Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Reflections in East Asia
Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Reflections in East Asia is a group exhibition presenting works in various media (ranging from Chinese paper-cutting to digital projection mapping) by eight contemporary East Asian artists who interpret traditional methods in innovative ways. Beyond Tradition reconsiders long-established Asian techniques and styles that have taken a backseat to contemporary East Asian art, partly due to their being viewed as antithetical to Modernism. Traditional Asian art within the regions has struggled against the influx of technology in art and the dominance of Western art techniques. Many avant-garde artists in East Asia vowed to reject the traditional styles by adopting radically new forms and media. On the other hand, traditional art still thrives in East Asia, particularly in Mainland China where an enormous number of ink painters and calligraphers and even western-style experimental painters tend to incorporate to varying degrees traditional images, materials, and techniques. For some Asian artists who live in the West, including those participating in this exhibition, Asian traditional methods have become strategies by which to express their Eastern identities as well as a way to fight against modern Western commercial culture. In Beyond Tradition, practitioners from China, Japan, Korea present work that moves either towards or against traditional Asian art techniques, and in some cases, manages to do both at the same time.