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August 2010

Zhu Xiaolong is best known for his role as guitarist in the band, Shetou, a pioneering Chinese rock band that played the underground scene from 1998 – 2004.

In 2002 Zhu Xiaolong formed a second band, Iz, with his Kazak friend Mamer and a group of other Beijing-based musicians. Both Zhu Xiaolong and Mamer had grown up in the Western province of Xinjiang, and Iz drew on the Kazakh, Uyghur and Kyrgyz musical traditions of this desert region to create an energetic contemporary sound. Their music had a big impact on other musicians and inspired a movement of Central Asian influenced Chinese rock and folk music.

Xiaolong left Iz in 2004 when he left Beijing. In 2010 he was living in Sydney where I recorded him play the 2-stringed Kazak instrument, the dongbala.

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Celebrating a Good Harvest 庆丰收 1972 Poster © Chinese Poster Collection, the University of Westminster

China and Revolution: History, Parody and Memory in Contemporary Art
8 August - 7 November
University of Sydney Art Gallery

China and Revolution: History, Parody and Memory in Contemporary Art is an exhibition of Cultural Revolution propaganda posters, and their legacy in the visual culture of China today. The show brings a selection of original 1960s and 1970s posters from the University of Westminster collection, together with the work of four contemporary artists – Li Gongming, Liu Dahong, Shen Jiawei, and Xu Weixin – whose styles and methodologies continue to be influenced by this time.

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Shen Shaomin, I Am Chinese, 2007, 73 min film. Courtesy of the Artist and Osage Gallery.

Artspace China profiles Chinese visual arts, music and literature, presenting an overview of Chinese contemporary culture while also being a resource for specialised research. It is jointly sponsored by the University of Sydney China Studies Centre and Confucius Institute.

Artspace China will present conversations with contemporary Chinese arts practitioners and their work. Featuring writers, artists, filmmakers, musicians, along with the publishers, curators and arts managers who deliver creative projects to Chinese and global audiences, the site will showcase the diversity of China’s developing arts industries and their global spread. Where possible, the Confucius Institute will also aim to present these conversations to live Sydney audiences.

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Wang Jianwei, Hostage, 2008, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view at Campbelltown Arts Centre for Edge of Elsewhere, January 16 - March 14, 2010. Photograph by William Newell. Image: Courtesy of the Artist.

Wang Jianwei’s Hostage
Edge of Elsewhere at Campbelltown Arts Centre
16 January – 14 March 2010

For a few days in January 2010 I was Wang Jianwei’s interpreter, during the installation of his work, Hostage, for the exhibition “Edge of Elsewhere” at Campbelltown Arts Centre on the outskirts of Sydney. Wang Jianwei and I spent days discussing his art work, but also art more generally – its definitions, processes and manifestations, along with the context of the international art world and the markets in which art is produced.

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