Contemporary Gallery Kunming’s inaugural exhibition, Notes on Region, opened on March 3, 2018. The exhibition featured recent works by ten Yunnan artists born since 1980: Cheng Xinhao, Guo Peng, He Da, He Jing, Li Donghai, Li Gang, Li Rui, Su Jiaxi, Yan Junjie and Ye Funa. These artists reassessed notions of “region” through the lenses of cultural diversity, geographic history and contemporary vision, exploring the rich layers of meaning in this concept through means ranging from concrete to abstract, formal to conceptual in works covering a range of mediums from painting to sculpture, video and installation. This is not a unified form of artistic expression, but an exploration of elements of “region” that crosses between different art forms and disciplines, into the humanities and natural sciences, to produce a series of “notes” on “region.” The works in this exhibition were all presented in Yunnan for the first time.
Yunnan is a fertile ground for the artistic imagination. Though located far on the southwestern frontier, the unique geographic, natural and cultural terrain, and open cultural attitudes of the region, have long attracted artists from far and wide, while also fostering an impressive roster of native-born artists, many of whom have had a major impact on China’s art and culture. With Notes on Region, CGK hopes to explore the role of these geographic elements in the artistic environment of the region through the eyes of these artists born since 1980. All of the artists are connected to Yunnan in some way, having been born here, having studied here or actively creating here. These young artists are all quite influential in the Chinese art scene, with some having already made an international impact. They have drawn creative nutrients from the local soil and their predecessors, while exploring the development of the regional artistic environment through “international” artistic language.