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Shanghai Star National Touring Exhibition

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and Ten Australian Regional Galleries

Leading artists of the Chinese art movement ‘Mao Goes Pop’ exhibited new work in Sydney, as part of an Australian based art project, Shanghai Star. New paintings by mainland Chinese artists Yu Youhan and Li Shan, and the Chinese-Australian artist, Fan Dongwang, were created during a residency at the Casula Powerhouse in Sydney from August through to September 2001. Shanghai Star features new work, photographs and previous work by these artists, to enable Australian audiences to acquire a greater insight of the ‘Mao Goes Pop’ art movement. Shanghai Star investigates the commonalities of contemporary Chinese visual culture and the universality of cultural experience. The exhibition and accompanying catalogue explore topics such as gender, technology, cultural icons and the merger between eastern and western cultural practices. Shanghai Star will also examine the globalisation of Chinese culture and its current relationship with the West.


Shanghai Star
National Touring Exhibition

Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre


Shanghai Star artist residency photos by Tom Dion

The artists Yu Youhan and Li Shan are regarded by the English art critic Edward Lucien-Smith in his book, Visual Art in the 20th Century as the foremost figures of China’s ‘Mao Goes Pop’ art movement. Chinese Australian artist Fan Dongwang was a student, later colleague and fellow artist of Yu Youhan. In 1986, the three artists exhibited together in the inaugural Shanghai Art Museum Exhibition. This is the first time that these three artists have worked together in Australia. The body of work that the artists have produced explores the transition, change and sense of uncertainty in the present age of globalisation. The transformation taking place in China, as traditional culture is superseded by one of capitalism and mass culture is another theme that is explored. The exhibition went on to a national tour to 10 Australian regional galleries until 2004.

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