My Ideal ©Zhang Xiaogang/ Fondation Louis Vuitton
My Ideal ©Zhang Xiaogang/ Fondation Louis Vuitton

The Louis Vuitton Foundation is dedicating the larger part of the year to the Chinese art scene. It is presenting an exhibition of artists from the mainland, a selection of works by Chinese artists from its collection, as well as multi-disciplinary events.

The exhibition starts with Tree by Ai Weiwei, works by Huang Yong Ping and the Head of Buddha by Zhang Huan, monumental works combining Eastern and Western references in a meditative spirit, and continues with a Pop Art sculpture of a goddess from the Buddhist pantheon by Xu Zhen, and animated videos by Cao Fei, among other striking pieces.

The end of the show features Isaac Julien’s Ten Thousand Waves. Conceived in collaboration with famous figures of the artistic scene, the work adopts precise references from Chinese culture such as calligraphy and cinema of the 1930s. The installation weaves together the stories of Chinese workers with the legend concerning the goddess Mazu, performed by the now legendary siren of Chinese cinema Maggie Cheung.

The curators aim to share how the artists have found inspiration in both the Chinese myths that they reinterpret and the contemporary social realities of their country, which they reflect and question through their work. In conjunction with the new hang of the Chinese focus, the Fondation had brought to Paris the temporary exhibition Bentu earier this year, featuring the work of 12 artists of different generations who live on mainland China. The title of the exhibition referred to a word used to describe the native soil, but not to connote nationalism. Rather, it represents a dialectical concept that aims to reconcile the “local” and the “global” in a universality and a critical rediscovery of identity. This notion is central to the research of artists, curators and academics in China today.

Until September 5 at the Fondation Louis Vuitton. 8 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Bois de Boulogne, Paris 16th. Métro: Les Sablons. Open daily 12pm to 7pm, Fridays until 11pm, weekends 11am to 8pm, closed Tuesdays. Price €14. Tel: +33 1 40 69 96 00

From France Today magazine