Taiping Tianguo: A History of Possible Encounters is an exhibition catalogue co-published by Para Site and Sternberg Press.
The curatorial project began as a series of questions: How did Ai Weiwei, Frog King Kwok, Tehching Hsieh, and Martin Wong—four artists of Chinese heritage hailing from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and San Francisco, respectively—all end up in New York in the heady 1980s? Did they know one another? By considering them together, what might we learn about their practices and the storied time and place in art history?
With nuanced glimpses of the artists' overlapping experiences, networks, and friendships, this book makes a unique contribution to a critical reading not only of New York art of the 1980s, but also of nascent contemporary Chinese art in the advent of the globalization of the art world.
In recent years, Ai, Kwok, Hsieh, and Wong have come to prominence in different ways. While all of them are “Chinese,” they hail from different places, contexts, and lineages and are situated in wildly divergent art historical narratives and discursive matrices. Ai is from mainland China, Hsieh from Taiwan, Kwok from Hong Kong, and Wong from San Francisco: all arrived in New York in the late 1970s to the early 1980s and lived there until the early 1990s. Ai, Kwok, and Wong returned to their hometowns in the early 1990s, while Hsieh continues to live in New York. Wong died in 1999.
Edited by Doryun Chong and Cosmin Costinas
Designed by Textandpictures
Co-published by Para Site and Sternberg Press
Title: Taiping Tianguo
Subtitle: A History of Possible Encounters
Format: Paperback, 144pp, 170 x 240 mm