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Jan. 15, 2004


LEWISBURG, Pa. — The Samek Art Gallery at Bucknell University will present an exhibit of contemporary Chinese art work Jan. 26-April 4.

Located in the main gallery, "Regeneration: Contemporary Chinese Art from China and the U.S.," will include some of the most exciting contemporary Chinese art being made today, according to Dan Mills, curator of the Samek Art Gallery and co-curator for the exhibit.

Mills and Bucknell assistant professor of art Xiaoze Xie spent over a year reviewing the contemporary Chinese art movement before traveling to China to make studio visits and select provocative works of art.

"This exhibit, which includes drawing, installation, painting, photography, video, prints, sculpture and mixed media, aptly reflects the United States' growing interest in contemporary Chinese art," commented Mills.

In conjunction with the exhibit, New York-based performance artist Zhang Huan and Beijing painters Liu Xiaodong and Yu Hong will give a lecture Friday, Jan. 30, at 5 p.m. in the Gallery Theatre of the Elaine Langone Center, followed by an opening reception in the Samek Art Gallery at 6:30 p.m.

The exhibit includes "the work of 26 artists who reside in Beijing, Shanghai, Goungzhou, New York and Pennsylvania who have been prominent in the international scene since the late 1980s, who have received international attention for their work in the last decade, as well as emerging artists who are currently being recognized internationally," said Mills.

Artists include Ai Weiwei, Chen Lingyang, Hai Bo, Hong Hao, Li Yongbin, Lin Tianmiao, Liu Wei, Liu Xiaodong, Qiu Zhijie, Yu Hong, Zhang Dali, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhang Yajie, Zhao Liang (Beijing); Chen Shaoxiong, Liang Juhui (Guangzhou); Hong Lei, Hu Jieming, Xu Zhen, Zhou Xiaohu (Shanghai); and Cai Jin, Wenda Gu, Xiaoze Xie, Xu Bing, Yun-Fei Ji, Zhang Huan (United States).

Xie, who is assistant professor of art at Bucknell, has had a solo show in Beijing, New York, Houston and Los Angeles. "Having an artist of his caliber and his sensitivity to Chinese culture has aided immensely in conceiving and curating this show," said Mills.

"While the work in this exhibition will be diverse and wide-ranging, the artists share thematic concerns. Some employ or appropriate traditional Chinese art forms in new ways. Some investigate the significant social and cultural transformations in China. All represent the vital and rapid regeneration of contemporary life and culture in China today," he said.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a four-color catalogue with an essay by distinguished Chinese avant-garde art critic and curator Li Xianting, as well as writings by the curators, color illustrations, and biographical information.

Often recognized as the preeminent critic and curator of avant garde art in China, Li Xianting has been editor of China Type, Art Magazine and China Newspaper, and is a frequent contributor to exhibition catalogues internationally, most recently the 2002 "Shanghai Biennial catalogue." He has curated and co-curated many seminal exhibitions on Chinese art, including for the "45th Venice Biennial" in 1993.

While several significant exhibitions of Chinese avant-garde art have been organized in the U.S. in recent years, these have primarily been exhibited in a small number of urban centers.

According to Mills, this exhibit is unusual "not only because of its genesis here in a non-urban area; after closing in the Samek Art Gallery, Bucknell plans to travel`Regeneration' to museums, universities and art schools throughout the United States, so people in many regions of the country will have the opportunity to view a substantial exhibition focusing on the work of prominent and emerging Chinese artists."

During the next two years, the exhibit will travel to Slusser Gallery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design, Los Angeles; Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, Ariz.; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, Mass.; Ewing Gallery, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn.; and University of Virginia Art Museum, Charlottesville, Va.

To view images of each artist's work or for more information about the exhibit and its itinerary, visit http://www1.bucknell.edu/SamekArtGallery/

Admission to the Samek Art Gallery, located on the third floor of the Elaine Langone Center, is free. Gallery hours are weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, call 570-577-3792 or check http://www1.bucknell.edu/SamekArtGallery/

This exhibition and programming is sponsored in part by a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency, which is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; the Association for the Arts of Bucknell University; office of the vice president of academic affairs; Chinese Culture Association; and the departments of art and art history, and East Asian studies.

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