Chinese conceptual artists forging new strategies at the intersection of aesthetics and ecological activism are exposing urgent dilemmas affecting the earth’s health as a foundation for humanity’s own survival. Working against the background of a rapidly changing landscape, they express environmental consciousness through engaging with contemporary theories of post-nature and historical notions of nature as a space for contemplation. How can art as a cultural endeavor provide meaningful expressions for representing humanity as being inside of nature?
Betti-Sue Hertz is a curator, writer and educator. She is currently developing a public art program for Shishan Park, Suzhou, China; and was curator in residence at HOW Art Museum, Shanghai in 2018. Hertz was director of visual arts, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, (2008-2015) and curator of contemporary art, San Diego Museum of Art (2000-2008). She has been adjunct faculty at the San Francisco Art Institute since 2011; and lecturer at Stanford University and UC Berkeley.
Image: Liu Jiangua, Discard, 2015, (installed at Echigo-Tsumaria Art triennial, Japan); installation, porcelain. Courtesy the artist.