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Art Dept: Drei Künstler-Entdeckungen aus China

Art Dept: Three artist discoveries from China

F or Andrea Karg , art, especially contemporary art, is a constant source of inspiration. In the design process as in life. We have some of her favorite artists in our Art Dept. already introduced, this time three visionary creative people from China have done it to us.

Their style and their vita could not be more different, but their works complement each other to form a wonderful triad of expressive design language, poetic message and plenty of "wow" effect. All three were recently on view at the Art Paris trade fair, at the stand of the ifa gallery from Brussels, which has another branch in Shanghai. Founder Alexis Kouzmine-Karavaïeff combines big names from China and Korea with exciting talents from Europe in his repertoire. And that in almost all formats: painting, photography, video, installations and performances.

The theme of this year's work show at the gallery for Art Paris 2016 were graphic parallel worlds into which the viewer is drawn and guided by their sophisticated structures. Alongside three Korean artists – Ju Young Ban, who lives in Brooklyn, as well as Yulim Song and Jinhwa Jung – Chinese artist Dai Guangyu caught our eye, as did his compatriots the Gao Brothers and Lithuanian Zane Mellupe . She also showed cobalt blue knitting stitches and needles cast in plastic. How appropriate for this triple tip from the Allude team.


Dai Guangyu (b. 1955) began learning Chinese calligraphy at the age of five. However, instead of later dedicating himself entirely to tradition, he creatively threw himself entirely into the new wave movement of the late 1980s and the avant-garde scene in Sichuan province. Later, in the 1990s, he discovered the body as an artistic medium. His productions questioned the social order of his homeland, its ethics and the distribution of power between culture and commerce.

Since 2003, the year he moved to Beijing, Dai Guangyu has refined his palette of poetry, symbols and codes. His credo is: All solid forms only exist for the moment, all circumstances are in constant transformation. To express this, he draws on China's rich heritage and combines its elements with the skepticism and loud imagination of the now.


Zane Mellupe (born 1981) has focused on the artistic cosmos of photography since she was 14 years old. You think almost exclusively in pictures, Mellupe once said. First in Riga, later in London and today in Shanghai. In one continuous series she uses herself as her motif, in another the focus is on social issues.

In both cases she mixes different techniques and works towards the dynamic merging of the image with the depicted body and object. Where does the photo begin, where does the subject, where do they become one? Other interests include holistic urban development in her adopted country and intensive research projects within her favorite discipline, photography. More about Mellupe on their website .


The Gao Brothers consist of Gao Zhen and Gao Qiang (born 1956 and 1962) who are real brothers and live in Beijing. For more than 20 years, their work has been dedicated to the place of people in society and the limits of our brotherhood, especially in China - but not only. Her father's death at the hands of the Mao regime and her own protest on Tian'anmen Square clearly mark this artistic mission.

Their approach is diverse, the duo uses photography, film, painting, sculpture and performance. The two are also active as critics and curators. Works by the Gaos are part of the collections of MoMA in New York, the China National Museum, the Center Pompidou in Paris, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. More about the two on their website .

Photos: IFA Gallery ; Dai Guangyu; Zane Mellupe; Gao Brothers