E-Moderne art Gallerie is being featured in a full page article in the Metro Chinese weekly . Read more on the English translation.
Asian Contemporary Art in Philadelphia.
A privately owned modern art gallery wishing to introduce Asian contemporary art to Philadelphia launched in the Old Art district recently.
When Chinese art comes to mind people always link the art to ancient paintings, porcelains, and jades. In the west the term Modern "Asian Contemporary Art” is relatively unfamiliar and often misunderstood by many art enthusiasts. However many modern contemporary artists from Asia have achieved prominent international status. Perception of the majority of art enthusiasts in the west view Asian art as "politically inclined", "imitating Western art", " Plagiarism” and as having "limited foreign markets". Besides artists like Ai Weiwei (艾未未) and Zhang Daqian (張大千), there is little awareness of the recent developments of the Asian art movement. A new contemporary art gallery, E-Moderne Gallerie, wants to buck this trend, bringing awareness to the current development & understanding of Asian (Chinese) contemporary arts.
A contemporary solo Chinese exhibition "Let the Hundred Flowers Blossom" by artist Lan Cheng opened last week. Lan Cheng is an emerging modern abstract artist from Guangzhou, China. The title of the exhibition represents Chinese modern art "flourishing" in the United States.
Our reporter attended the press reception. They observed that at first glance Lan's work resembles western abstracts, but soon discovered the artist's personal stories, their life and sentiment, beneath the surface under layers of thought. In the painting titled "The Cow" on red canvas, the artist uses abstract integral contours to depict the body of a cow and a green silhouette of a human to demonstrate the relationships between man and beast. The artist wants to express that cattle make physical sacrifices, life itself, for our survival, and yet are never a subject of attention and appreciation by their owner. (Contact the gallery for a more in depth story of this piece of art).
Another example, titled “Journey”, is a very colorful painting in the abstract form. The artist painted colorful Chinese character graffiti's on oddly shaped shoes, composed together to illustrate a baby being carried on the back of his mother on a journey to visit his grandmother.
Gallery founder, Edward Fong, shared with us that Mr. Lan Cheng is an emerging artist with limited experiences in the world of art and is still searching for a style. His use of art materials may not fit the taste of many western collectors unfamiliar with Asian contemporary art. But the choice of subjects demonstrates Lan’s unique artistic abilities. This is an exhibition that should not be missed.
Edward Fong also told us that Lan Cheng attended police academy in the Guangxi province in China after college and became a police officer. Due to his love of photography he often took snap shots whilst on street duty. He began to experiment with painting a little more than a year ago, but met with little success in China because he is not an established artist. The mission of E-Moderne Gallerie is to provide emerging artists from Asia, or foreign artists with Asian influence in their arts, an opportunity to exhibit their work in the United States, and at the same time to generate interest and understanding of modern Asian contemporary art, Fong said.
In addition, E-Moderne Gallerie also has a collection of well-known international artists in the lower gallery exhibition space. The majority of the work by these artists show Asian influences. For example, Philip Hua, a Vietnamese/American digital artist, digitally recreates the work of Asian masters and has been printed on the actual Wall Street Journal. Mr. Hua is well on his way to becoming an international artist star. At the time of press he is in line to win the prestigious "Young Master's Prize” in the UK.
From Cape Town, South Africa, pointillism artist Gavin Rain has created hundreds of brightly colored 3-dimensional dot portraits of notable personalities (Nelson Mandela, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Grace Kelly). His work is currently also on view.
Fong is not only interested in introducing contemporary Asian art to Philadelphia. He sees the artistic & commercial potential of Philadelphia too. He said that in recent years Chinese contemporary art has become the hottest product of the international auction market, not only in China, but also around the world. (Contact the gallery for more details).
In the past the work of Asian contemporary artists has fetched prices much lower than their western counterparts in auction houses around the world. However, as Western collectors have discovered Asian contemporary art and China has relentlessly promoted home grown artists, there has recently been an ever growing number of Chinese art collectors. The Asian contemporary art market is expanding at a rapid pace just as the auction prices surge ever upward, continually setting record sales at auctions. In October 2013, Contemporary art (The Last Supper) by modern artist Zeng Fanzhi (曾梵志) set the record for the most expensive Chinese Contemporary art sold at Sotheby's auction house at $230 million. Other well-known contemporary artist, Zhang Xiaogang (张晓刚), known for depicting revolutionary era family photographs, and the slightly wild, caricatured style work of Yue Minjun 岳敏君, were also sold at record breaking price at auction. Large auction houses like Sotheby's, and Christie's have grown their business in China rapidly, propelling the Chinese art collectors market to become the 2nd largest market in the world just after United States.
Christie's Chinese market saw a 40% growth of profits in 2013. Besides the success at auction, Chinese arts and Asian (Chinese) contemporary arts are also receiving renewed attention from art museums around the world. For example, the Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition of "Ink", the Armory Show of New York City 2014 opened a China Pavilion, Sotheby's New York presented the seminar "Focus on China" and Paris Muse d 'Art Moderne presented a Zeng Fanzhi exhibition. Meanwhile, many cities are in cooperation with China and their artists to bring exhibits of Chinese contemporary art to their cities. Asian contemporary art is destined internationally for the main stage.
Modern art has always been controversial, and many people do not understand it’s value, because the concept of art seems vague. It is certain that the status of Chinese modern art is rising steadily. This may result in more opportunities for Asian artists and for their works being shown around the globe. As Fong said, "I did not open the gallery to take advantage of the work of these artists. I only hope their works are being seen, understood, appreciated and encouraged. That is my vision". There are millions of artists that may never get a chance to be shown in a gallery. I am sincerely hoping to give them a chance to exhibit their work at E-Moderne Gallerie. It may open some doors for their future work being accepted and exhibited in their own country.