: Chinese Themed Exhibition for Mass MoCA : Chinese Themed Exhibition for Mass MoCA

Publication Title:
Writer: Charles Giuliano
Publication Date: 2nd May 2008

Extract from article:

...During a phase of questions from the audience I asked why there had been no mention of the political climate in China. While there was much discussion of a changing economy, and the disappearance of aspects of traditional culture, there was not much sense that China is not a democracy but rather a Marxist nation. The events of Tiananmen Square were as recent as 1989 or, before that, the Gang of Four, and the Cultural Revolution under Mao. Because of the booming economy there is an illusion of freedom which does not in fact exist. 

In response to this an artist commented on the great delay in receiving email and that it is even known to disappear. There is a constant level of police and government surveillance. 

David Cotterrell commented on encountering daunting extremes of wealth and poverty. His work focuses on the rapid construction of sprawling, high rise complexes. In the show he has a dense installation of plaster models of these tall buildings. China is in the midst of constructing the world's largest site specific project, the controversial Three Gorges Dam, which has meant the disruption and relocation of millions of individuals in a vast area that will be flooded. He discussed how, in the West, such a project would be delayed for decades with law suits and eminent domain cases. But, in China, the State owns all property which can be quickly vacated for new construction. He described the rapid razing of poor, working class neighborhoods in Shanghai which are being replaced by high rise constructions. 

Charles Giuliano

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