Modern Recluse: Hermit Spirits of Zhu Xinjian is the first major exhibition of Zhu Jianxin’s left-hand works. About 150 works of calligraphy, painting, booklets, sketches, manual scripts, videos, documentary and Chinese fan paintings will be on display. The exhibition is a review of the life and artistic achievements of the artist in the past year in Beijing.
The title of the exhibition was decided and hand-written by the artist. As the artist passed away during the preparation of the exhibition in Beijing, the curator decided to add a small amount of the right-hand works and earlier left-hand works to the left-hand works as planned by the artist himself. The aim is to help viewers understand the overall artistic development and styles from different periods of Zhu Jianxin in a more complete retrospect. The exhibition also features video clips of interviews with the artist’s friends. Here we are able to get to learn about the characters of the Zhu not only as an artist but also as a person.
Zhu Jianxin, born 1953 in Nanjing, China, passed away February 2014 in Beijing. The exhibition is given unusual significance since it is the first exhibition after the life of the artist. A session of condolence is planned on the day of the opening ceremony. Zhu graduated from Nanjing Art Academy and his works of naked women with bound feet during the ’85 New Wave of Art Movement in China aroused much controversy. The unique style and erotic element of women with bound feet was regarded as in conflict with the ideological convention at that time and even condemned as “sheer feudalistic rubbish”. Art critic Li Xianting considers Zhu to be one of the representative figures of the Southern School of new painting of the neo-literati. The notion “hooligan culture” was thereby coined and it influenced the later on “cynical realism” in China.
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