- b. 1962Art critic, artistWang Nanming studied Law at the Huadong College of Politics and Law (Huadong zhengfa xueyuan) in Shanghai. In 1988, he left the legal profession to become an independent artist, art critic and curator. He has also worked to set up artist residencies and exhibitions for overseas artists in China.Since the mid 1980s, the focus of his critical work has been the modernization of Chinese traditional art practices. By combining deconstructionist and critical theory, he has targeted the views held by neo-conservatives in publications such as ‘Understanding Modern Calligraphy’ and ‘From Chinese Painting to Modern Ink and Wash Painting’. Since the early 1990s, Wang Nanming has written numerous critical essays on art, including cultural and social criticism. On the subject of post-modernism and ‘art concepts’ that are ‘effective’ within contemporary art practice, he has written several critical essays on the 85 New Wave [Art] Movement and its underlying ideas. On the subject of Chinese contemporary art practice and the stifling effects of an outdated art infrastructure and the perversions brought about by Western hegemonic practices, his best-known essay remains ‘Chinatown Culture: Chinese Contemporary Art on the International Art Stage’, originally presented as a symposium paper at the British Museum. In more recent years, he has curated exhibitions like ‘Critical Dimensions: Art that Oversees Society’, which looked carefully and critically at the dynamics of indigenous social, political and cultural development. He is presently working on two new publications, The Honour of the Post-colonials’ and ‘After the Concept: Art and Criticism’.For the past ten years, Wang Nanming has continued to create new artworks in his Calligraphy Ball Assemblages series which were recently exhibited at the British Museum.Wang, Nanming (2000). The Shanghai Art Museum Should Not Become a Market Stall in China for Western Hegemonism—A Paper Delivered at the 2000 Shanghai Biennale’. In Wu Hong (ed.) (2001), Chinese Art at the Crossroads: Between Past and Future, Between East and West. Hong Kong: New Art Media, 265–8.ROBERT BERNELL
Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. Compiled by EdwART. 2011.
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