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Chambers Fine Art
Red No.1-D, Cao Changdi,
Chaoyang District,
Beijing, 100015, China   map * 
tel: +86 10 5127 3298     fax: +86 10 5127 3298
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Chambers Fine Art is named after the distinguished 18th century British architect, Sir William Chambers who, in addition to his architectural practice, was a leading exponent of Chinese principles in garden design. Inspired by the example of Chambers, Christophe W. Mao, founder and director of the gallery since 2000, has organized a stimulating series of exhibitions that have introduced the work of some of the best artists active in China today to an American audience.

The gallery program has alternated between monographic exhibitions devoted to the work of established artists and thematic exhibitions organized by recognized scholars in the field. Thus the first exhibition in the gallery, First Encounter, was devoted to the work of the outstanding paper-cut artist Lu Shengzhong who converted the gallery space into a vividly colored “temple” that evoked another aspect of life in China than the contemporary urban culture explored by so many younger artists. 

Two innovative exhibitions explored the relationship between traditional Chinese art forms and the practices of contemporary artists. In Rocks and Art: Nature Found and Made Chinese scholar’s rocks from the Ming and Ching dynasties were juxtaposed with works by contemporary artists including Roy Lichtenstein and Brice Marden. Variations of Ink- Abstract Ink Painting of Five Chinese Artists was conceived of as a series of variations on the theme of “ink,” the fundamental material in the history of Chinese painting and a symbol of traditional values.

Other group exhibitions such as Cement: Marginal Space in Contemporary Art and Too Much Flavor have introduced the work of a younger generation of artists to the American audience. These carefully selected “reports” on the latest developments in China contrast with monographic exhibitions devoted to well-established artists whose work is frequently being shown for the first time in the United States.

Perhaps in reaction against the rapid modernization of China today, many of the most interesting artists find inspiration in the long history of Chinese culture. The conceptual photographer Hong Lei creates new versions of celebrated classical Chinese paintings in contemporary media including photography and installation while Qiu Zhijie’s “calli-photographs” transform traditional practice through the use of flash-lights and photography. In Na Zha Baby Boutique, the talented sculptor Shi Jinsong turned to a celebrated figure from Chinese mythology for inspiration for his series of stainless steel “baby products.”

In complete contrast were two exhibitions held in the first half of 2005, Insight: Paintings by Qiu Shihua and Boxes: Recent Works by Yung Ho Chang.  Qiu’s meditative landscapes, influenced by his Daoist practice, can be related to the western quest for the sublime while Yung Ho Chang’s intricate boxes, containing architectural models and theoretical texts, are the work of a master architect who has recently been appointed Chair of the department of Architecture at MIT.

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Tue - Sun 10am - 6pm


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