On September 9th, the Meridian Club organized its first event, on the theme of "Art, Design and Business." Among our guests for this event were the renowned Chinese sculptors Xiang Jing and Qu Guangci, who founded the Xi Qi art brand. Through Xi Qi, they are carrying out a pioneering experiment in China, at the confluence of art and business. Another one of our guests was Pr. Marco Meneguzzo, professor at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts of Milano, art critic and curator of the Venice Biennale. He is also a regular contributor to many artistic and cultural publications in Italy, such as "Alfabeta," "Flash Art," "Contemporanea," "Avvenire," "Arte," "Abitare," "Vogue Italia," "Artforum," etc. The dialogue took place in an Italian-Chinese bilingual format. Qu Guangci presented a detailed account of the main challenges Chinese artists are faced with, in his opinion, when trying to establish new business models. Pr. Meneguzzo, who has been to China on many occasions, and paid special attention to the Chinese contemporary art exhibited at the Venice Biennale, voiced a central opinion:
In the West, artworks are seldom considered an ordinary product, and an artist's relationship with business is often deemed very delicate. But in China, this was never the case: artists are not respected on the basis of the novelty of their opinions, or because of their special understanding of anything; rather, the expression they give to harmony within society is the object of praise, and the value of their artworks is established by the awards received, among other tokens of honour.
He added that in China, innovation in the field of contemporary art, and especially that of artistic education, is hindered by the weight of art history. Later on, an interesting debate also took place between Xiang Jing and Pr. Meneguzzo, on the topic of whether Chinese artists should engage with the existing artistic patterns and frameworks in the West on the terms of the latter, or whether they should use their own, newly-invented vocabulary.
Pr. Marco Meneguzzo

Our guest Marco Meneguzzo has just published a new essay of art criticism, entitled "A Brief History of the Globalization of Art (and of its Consequences)." Within it, chapters 5 and 6 are specifically focused on the encounter of China and the West.

Zhang Xiangdong, Xiang Jing and Qu Guangci

Zhang Xiangdong, Meridian co-founder and host of this event, together with sculptors Xiang Jing and Qu Guangci.

 

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The goal of Meridian时差 is to encourage fruitful encounters and exchanges overcoming barriers of language, culture, time and space.

From now on, the Meridian Club will hold one event per month, and enable creative people from China and the rest of the world to meet around a variety of different topics. Stay tuned!

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