My Generation: Young Chinese Artists is an extended look at the new generation of artists continuing to emerge in mainland China since 2000, the year that China first opened its doors to international artists and that Chinese artists began to command attention in the global arena. All of the artists in this exhibition were born after 1976—the end of the Cultural Revolution. Almost all of the participating artists are products of China’s one-child policy and have grown up in a country with a high-powered market economy. All of them, whether educated in the West or not, have been exposed to global art movements through the internet and, increasingly, liberalized education at China’s art academies. They are ambitious, determined, and technically sophisticated with much to say about their homeland—positive and negative—and are able to navigate around the restrictions of censorship and cultural differences.
In this exhibition, there are painters, video artists, installation artists, photographers, and artist collectives, addressing issues of alienation, self-definition, cynicism, and rebellion as they examine their lives and their homeland from a global perspective. Some ruminate over how their roles in a society have changed so much since their birth, but have not yet changes sufficiently to give the artists total freedom. Others proceed exuberantly, without fear of reprisals or criticism. This exhibition has been organized by the Tampa Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg and curated by Barbara Pollack.
Image: Chi Peng (Chinese, b. 1981). Sprinting Forward 4, 2004. Chromogenic print, 47-1/4 x 91-1/2 in. (120 x 232.4 cm). © Chi Peng, courtesy of the artist. Photo courtesy Tampa Museum of Art.