Recently we were at a party when the topic of contemporary Chinese art came up. “It’s a shame we don’t see any more from Wang Xiaojin right? His works sold so well,” someone tittered to us. Who? was our reply. “Do you think Xiao Lu has any future past her shock value?” another one asked. Buuuh, we gave as an answer. If only we had ArtSpeakChina to quickly wiki an opinion – or at least a hint about what was going on – up.
ArtSpeakChina.org is a new collaboratively-authored bilingual encyclopedia of Chinese contemporary art. Online at both www.artspeakchina.org and www.tanyishu.cn, the guide provides hundreds of in-depth articles on Chinese artists and what’s going on in China’s ever evolving art world.
As they put it:
ArtSpeak China now contains well over 300 articles and a multi-media timeline of historical and arts events since 1949, and is growing by the day. Articles can be explored by category (artists, curators, critics, museums, galleries, collectors, etc.); by searching on a specific name, topic or text; or by following articles’ internal links.
ASC operates not only as a direct reference source, but throughout its articles provides context-specific links to other definitive sources, including Asia Art Archive, the San Francisco Art Institute, AW Asia, Artzine China, and the Asia Society Museum. ASC also provides previously unavailable information, including a real-time view of the most accessed artists’ entries by number of page views and location, revealing for the first time such shifts in community interest and involvement. With more than 10,000 page views a day prior to its official launch this week, such rankings and other statistics constitute a meaningful indicator of developments and trends in contemporary Chinese art.
And most importantly, it’ll give us something to go on so we’ll feel less silly when we’re amongst our artsy friends again!