CHAMPAIGN, ILL.- Krannert Art Museum
highlights its newly renovated African Gallery with Encounters: The Arts of Africa, as well displaying a survey of contemporary Chinese photography, at the opening Thursday, October 11 from 68 pm.
KAM opens its newly designed gallery devoted to the arts of Africa. Encounters: The Arts of Africa is a thematically organized installation inspired by the idea that objects can tell multiple stories, not only about themselves but also about the broader social contexts and often fraught global histories through which they have journeyed. Indeed, as a 21st century museum, KAM is committed to raising awareness about the life histories of African artworks, as well as the museums role in shaping an understanding of those histories.
The installation displays nearly 70 artworks from KAMs African holdings, many of which have not been on view for decades. In the spirit of introducing visitors to African contemporary studio-based practices and to the long participation of African artists in the global arts scene, several worksfrom artists Wosene Worke Kosrof, Yelimane Fall, Magdalene Odundo, and Rotimi Fani-Kayodéwill be displayed in meaningful conjunction with the tradition-based works. The gallery also includes several visitor-activated iPad videos of artist interviews, narrative vignettes, and masquerade clips that allow visitors to see masks as they were intended by their makers.
KAMs African gallery celebrates the aesthetic power, global reach, and contemporary relevance of the visual arts of Africa, which continue to change and reflect the social worlds that give them meaning. The gallery will inspire new ways of seeing these works, and encourage visitors to reflect on their own diverse histories and connections to the arts of Africa and its diasporas.
Encounters: The Arts of Africa, curated by Allyson Purpura, is sponsored in part by the Theresa and Harlan E. Moore Charitable Trust Fund, Krannert Art Museum; the Arnold O. Beckman Award, U of I Campus Research Board; and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.
KAM is also opening Rising Dragon: Contemporary Chinese Photography (October 12December 30, 2012), an exhibition showcasing the work of 36 artists that use photographic techniques to highlight contradictions between the carefully controlled public image of China and discreet personal gestures informed by Western influence. Organized by the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York, and curated by Miles Barth, the exhibition includes images that explore such themes as identity, cultural memory, globalization, and the urbanization and degradation of nature. These images depict a gripping portrait of a country filled with contradictions and cast an ironic and critical look at Chinas rising power as a political and economic contender for global leadership. The artists represented in this exhibition capture moments of hardship, uncertainty, disorder, and pleasure in the everyday experiences of contemporary China.
Among the photographers represented in the exhibition are Cao Fei, Weng Fen, Yu Haibo, Zhang Huan, Sun Ji, Wang Jin, Liyu + Liubo, Wang Qingsong, Rong Rong, Li Wei, Huang Yan, and Qui Zhijie. Rising Dragon is sponsored in part by Fox Development Corporation, Krannert Art Museum Council, and Petals & Paintings 2012.