History and myth meet minimalistic modern art

By Zhang Kun in Shanghai ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-06-22 11:41:35

History and myth meet minimalistic modern art

The Tree of Life, a work by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. Photos provided to China Daily

The Yuz Museum, a private establishment by Malaysian-Chinese collector Budi Tek, recently celebrated its grand opening.

The museum's first exhibition explores the twin themes of myth and history and is curated by Wu Hung, who is also chairman of the Yuz Foundation, and an internationally acclaimed scholar on East Asian art.

"Our exhibition offers an unprecedented opportunity to showcase a lot of mega installations ... And we want to draw the world's attention to Shanghai," says Tek.

The opening show presents 67 works of influential contemporary artists. Among the highlights is a huge installation made of obsolete airplanes by Adel Abdessemed, a 10-meter-high snake tower by Huang Yongping and a carpet made of 660,000 cigarettes by Xu Bing.

The exhibition aims to explore trends in contemporary art, Wu says. "Myth addresses a universe beyond historical continuity and chronology, while history is always a narrator's representation and refraction of reality."

Wu sums up the outline of Yuz Museum collection with three words: myth, history and minimalism.

"Such is the characteristic of the Yuz foundation's art collection, and also the direction and tendency of its future collection," he says.

Zhang Huan, who has just been awarded "Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur" by the French government, has a purple copper sculpture displayed at the entrance of the main exhibition hall.

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