Materializing Memory: Contemporary Video Art from China

Exhibition Dates
September 5 – October 11 2019
Exhibition Location
University Art Gallery, Frick Fine Arts Building, University of Pittsburgh

Exhibited in Pittsburgh for the first time, Materializing Memory presents the work of five young Chinese artists, all born after 1980. These artists are part of China’s balinghou and jiulinghou (post-1980 and post-1990) generations. Unlike earlier practitioners, they came of age following the dramatic economic and cultural reforms of 1978. Through the medium of video art, these artists explore contemporary Chinese society during a period of profound technological and urban transformation. Their work is deeply informed by the Internet, rapid economic development, international communication and exchange, as well as opportunities to earn advanced degrees abroad. These videos document personal and collective experiences. Some record individual feelings of boredom and isolation, while others investigate broader social contradictions and complexities within China and beyond. Together, these works illustrate the plasticity of contemporary experience, and ask what it means to remember during a time when progress accelerates the urge to forget. 

Participating artists: 
Chen Dandizi
Lin Ke
Liu Yujia
Shen Xin
Sun Wenhao

Curator: Ellen Larson
Curatorial intern: Steven Haines


This exhibition was made possible with generous support from Asian Studies Center, The China Council, the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the Department of the History of Art & Architecture, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and Pitt Studio Arts Department.