LEAP 9

Our June issue takes a look at what we call the Middle Generation, those artists who found their voices in the 1990s, in the wake of the ’85 New Wave but before the rest of the world caught on to Chinese contemporary. Our spotlight falls on Wang Jianwei, Chen Shaoxiong, Song Dong and Wang Xingwei, four artists who have evolved subtly over the last two decades and for whom different ideas, once taken hold, have become the basis of a distinctly enduring kind of innovation. We also discover certain congruences of sensibility in the works and worlds of contemporary ink masters Liu Dan and Li Huayi, the bicontinental history painting of Hung Liu, and the pioneering social electronic practice of Dajuin Yao’s Open Media Lab. Other highlights include a fashion shoot from Shanghai-based photo collective Birdhead (who feature prominently in the newly opened Venice Biennale), a walk through the new National Museum of China on Tiananmen Square, and a history of The CourtYard, Beijing’s first great gallery. And as usual, our top and bottom sections abut all this with a fitting assortment of interviews, news and reviews.