“Art and China after 1989”

Today, the Guggenheim exhibit “Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World” closes here in New York City.

I did not go expecting to see any works of great beauty. To be sure, there were none. But so, too, did I not expect to see a view of China’s artists straining so mightily—and exclusively—under the weight of the CCP regime. That is the singular narrative. Portrait after portrait, list after list, needle after needle, video after video: oppression. I wondered: could there not be even just one alternate voice, one perspective from a slightly different angle that had turned its head not to the sun but, instead, toward the sky?
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China Needs More Chocolate Tins of Postage Stamps

brown paper 2Several years ago I worked as a research reporter for the New York Times’ Beijing bureau. One of the best trips I took, alongside another reporter, was to Zhengzhou in Henan province. We were there to visit two HIV/AIDS activists—Hu Jia and Gao Yaojie.

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