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Artist Talks: Shared Values, 4 Sichuan Artists & 4 California Artists

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You are cordially invited to participate in Bad Exhibition: Value in Art Artists Talk, hosted by The Squire Foundation in Santa Barbara, California on Monday, May 21st, 2018 at 7 pm. This talk will facilitate cultural and artistic exchange between Chinese and US artists. (Click here to learn more about the participating artists.)  This discussion will focus on ‘shared values’ as a form of ‘manufactured consensus’, serving ultimately to direct art markets by affixing high monetary value to artworks deemed ‘good’, and low monetary value to artworks considered ‘bad’. We discover where value may actually derive, if not top-down from high-end art markets. Perhaps a more relevant value may be found in relationship of the artwork to its creator, as part of a larger body of work, or to society, or even to present and future audiences.

While we may expect Chinese and US artists to agree on some shared values, we may discover a great deal of disagreement upon values grounded in starkly difference aesthetic ideals. These contrasting views, once discussed in detail, may reveal how Chinese artists relate to art very differently than their US counterparts. Whereas Chinese artists as a rule contextualize their creative practice within socio-political and economic systems; US artists focus on individual expression, freedom from normative controls, and innovation. What both Chinese and US artists bear in common, however, is a burdening global art market which acts upon artists regardless of their nationality. This global art market pressures artists to brand their own expression, ‘scolding’ them for lack of commitment to a single artistic medium or otherwise singularly narrow visual language.