The FINANCIAL -- Georgia’s National Museum the D. Shevardnadze National Gallery is displaying artwork by contemporary Chinese artists. Private collector John Dodelande together with Ami Barack chose 10 of the famous Chinese artists for inclusion in the exhibition.
This exhibition is a major symbolic event representative of the emergent Chinese avant-garde artists who influence the art scene in China today. This generation of artists no longer relies on the political history background and have become the players of a larger scene, global in every sense. It shows an understanding of Chinese art as a vital and outstanding way of dealing with political, social and aesthetic issues.
“The idea of organizing the exhibition came two years ago”, says John Dodelande, a Paris Based, Independent Art Market curator, producer and entrepreneur, specialized in producing unique piece art design products for international exhibitions and investment opportunities.
The Exhibition - Spiritual Voice of the Human being
“Since I am involved in Chinese contemporary arts, I had observed this new generation of contemporary artists. They are really very interesting, talking about the problems of the world today. They are witnesses to what our century represents”.
“In terms of business interest, I do believe in a shift of power between West and East. I am a great observer of what is happening in the Western part of the world and in all of the Silk Road countries. Georgia is a vital part of the Silk Road in the Caucasus, so I thought it was a great idea to start the exhibition about Chinese contemporary arts in Tbilisi. This exhibition will travel to Baku, Azerbaijan, and then Astana, Kazakhstan”.
“We brought this great art to the national gallery of Georgia. We want to give the opportunity, the possibility to Georgian audiences to see what contemporary art looks like in China and worldwide and to create a dialogue with Georgians”, Dodelande told The FINANCIAL.
Ami Barak: I think this is about the new contemporary art scene. China came into the contemporary arts scene in the last 25 years in an accelerated way. Every 2-3 years there is a new generation arriving. So a lot of changes take place at the same time. If you are an observer of what’s going on in the global art world and if you focus on China, like my friend John, you will witness these big changes which are happening every 3 years.
Ami Barak is an independent curator and art critic based in Paris. Former director of the Frac (regional collection of contemporary art) Languedoc-Roussillon from 1993 to 2002 and General Associated Curator of “Public Treasuries, 20 Years of Creation in the Fracs” (2003), he was also the President of the International Association of Contemporary Art Curators – IKT from 2002 to 2005
“The exhibition is mainly about this new generation of very talented artists. It’s a very dynamic scene, most of all it’s about very good artworks. Some of the well-known personalities involved are Ay Weiwei, LuShanchuan, Hu Xiaoyuan, Zhao Yao, Wang Guangle, Liu Wei, and many others. These artists are big names and stars of the contemporary arts scene. That’s probably why we called this exhibition ‘Constellation’, because it’s the gathering together of a group of new stars of the arts scene in China.
John: It is important to note that Amy Barack the curator chose the 10 artists for this exhibition, 3 of whom will have their works shown in the Guggenheim Museum of New York which is a greatly important establishment in the cultural world.
Art is a passion for us. We do not like to relate money to artworks, but we cannot avoid the fact that of course China is a relevant and important market. The art market is related to the economic image of a country. Today the worldwide leader is the USA, but China is also in good positions in the art world. There are more than 100 museums lead by private collectors who buy extremely well. Every Christies Auction sale is saved by an Asian collector. Also, we cannot forget the Polly Auction, which is a EUR 1 billion company which belongs to the governor of China. It’s one of the biggest auction houses in the world. Chinese investors also have shares in Sotheby’s auction. China is a good player in the business, they arrived in the market and invested quite a lot.
Ami Barak: When you have a country where the economy is growing more than any other part of the world. In a mechanical or natural way the art market is also growing more than in any other place. There is a financial and economic side to arts and culture as well.
I don’t know that there are many Georgian collectors but I think what we could advise Georgians is to support this part of the world. They have to be interested; it makes sense to be interested in what happens in the Eastern part of the world. There are lots of Silk Road artists in Turkey, Iran, Georgia, Indonesia, who are very relevant. For a potential Georgian collector it’s much more relevant to look at what’s around them, because it relates to art.
John: All of the artworks came from the private collections of a small group of collectors from China, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Europe. They are not for sale, but perhaps Ami could say what the feeling of the collectors is when they live with art.
Ami Barak: I notice that even emergent economies or countries are involved in the contemporary. Now there are more local collectors. We hope that some of the people visiting the exhibition will get the impression that it might be a good idea to build up a collection of contemporary art, maybe reflecting local or global issues.
John: In 2011, out of the 10 most successful living artists, half of them came from China, whose works sold for USD 5-10 million at auction, which is very important for the Chinese market.
Ami Barak: There is something very specific to this area. When we started to be interested in China I noticed that the modern West is obsessed with the idea of doing something that hasn’t been done before. But in Asian culture it’s more about improving something that already exists.
What we can say is that we have been open since the 8th of June. The museum says that there are twice as many people coming here now in general. I hope this will continue. I did some mathematical calculations of the number of people who have visited and paid money to the museum. And I am really pleased that by the end of the exhibition we will have brought about GEL 70,000 to the Ministry of Culture and to the Government of Georgia. The exhibition will travel to Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, and each exhibition will increase the artworks on display.
Ami Barak: From the beginning I was very confident because I witnessed that when I did other exhibitions with contemporary art from China, the response from the audience was greater than usual, so I knew that Georgian people would like these artworks too.