Friday, March 29, 2019

Battlefield: the trend revolution.

We visited the Bric Biennial. Of all the works shown, I would highlight Animalistic Punk – Fish by the Chinese artist Yi Xin Tong. It is a tapestry which represents a collage of images from Tv of fishermen. It combines images of current fishers to reference the fishermen's revolution in the Song dynasty, which was an era of Chinese history between 960 and 1279.

This transdisciplinary artist uses art as a space for activism and global communication, specifically about the censorship of the internet by the Chinese government. Through his work, he reflects on media control and abuse of natural resources in China. 

By presenting a tapestry, the artist refers to a historical and ornamental art related to high culture. By doing this, he is appropriating a high culture format to display a history of the working-man, elevating their stories. He uses this traditional technique to attack the idea of art as an institution.

I wonder if, in this piece, the visual appearance becomes more relevant than its conceptual meaning. The message seems distorted by the ambiguity of its images. The intent of the work seems to be hidden under its image, which looks more concerned with achieving its validation as a work of art by taking advantage of a ”cool” aesthetic based on new technology, but with a clear intention to connect with art history. In any case, the work caught my attention because its appearence, and that is the most important thing these days, no?


  1. I think this was very well written. You broke up each idea into their own sections and it flowed nicely. I thought your criticism was well thought out and appropriate.
    I’d say the ideas in the second paragraph you could move to the top and open with for better flow.
    “Yi Xin Tong is a multi-disciplinary artist who uses art critically, as a space for…” “This is evident in Animalistic Punk at the BRIC’s Biennial show…”
    I think you could have maybe taken a sentence or two to communicate the name and themes of the biennial and how they applied to this work. As well, and this is more a nitpick but you do not need to qualify that “you” or “we” visited a show. This is implied in the fact that you are reviewing it.
    I think I understand what you mean with your final question but it comes off fairly cynical given the criticism that you just leveled. Maybe reverse it and talk about your attraction to it and then end with your doubts of the conceptual, the image, and the material functioning the way the artist is suggesting it does.

  2. I appreciate your effort for bringing in some background information and in this case the history of it plays a major effect for Tong's work. It was very important to conclude these information, however, I wish your argument could be brought before all the facts behind the piece, which will give you an opportunity to reinforce your statement at the end. I also think it would be more interesting if there are more discussion of the actual work with your input, but overall it is a great review.