THE 1990S ARCHIVES PART III: THE SCHOOL OF ROCK

Cui Jian and his band shooting a, music video in Dashilan, early 1992, PHOTO: Wang Di

Cui Jian and his band shooting a music video in Dashilan, early 1992, PHOTO: Wang Di

Rock and roll first made its way to Chinese audiences as reference materials for the critique of capitalism, before it began to spread among the children of officials and musical families. Memories of early-1990s rock exist only in the communities of expats and elite intellectuals, who forged friendships in the Kempinski Hotel and Song Huaigui’s restaurant, Maxim. At the same time, bootlegged American and European cassette tapes traveled further inland from the coastal regions. Before rock was even officially introduced to China, a substantial supply chain had already formed on the gray market.

At Zhang Ju’s funeral, 1995, From left: Zhang Ling (member of Mayday), artist Zhu Jia,, Zhou Ren (member of Xiutie and Pork), Jin Hai, (bassist of Zhang Chu’s band and The Fly), Li Ji and Li Jie, (founders of Titanium club), PHOTO: Gao Yuan

At Zhang Ju’s funeral, 1995, From left: Zhang Ling (member of Mayday), artist Zhu Jia, Zhou Ren (member of Xiutie and Pork), Jin Hai, (bassist of Zhang Chu’s band and The Fly), Li Ji and Li Jie, (founders of Titanium club), PHOTO: Gao Yuan

Approaching the turn of the century, artists couldn’t resist using their bodies to rebel against society. Fashionistas in patent leather rushed to the discos, and radical activists to Yuanmingyuan; there was a moment in which art and music could find common ground. In 1992, four students from the Tsinghua Academy of Arts & Design, including Colin Chinnery, who would later become an artist and curator, formed the alternative rock band Acupuncture. They left one song, “Nothing Much,” in the infamous Beijing Rock Compilation. Wang Qiang, from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, formed the important heavy metal band Ghost World. Feng Jiangzhou, Song Yonghong, Yan Lei, and Wang Jinsong, members of the seminal band The Fly, all became accomplished contemporary artists. (Translated by Yvette Zhu)

The band Tang Dynasty at Beijing Workers’ Stadium, 1990, PHOTO: Wang Di

The band Tang Dynasty at Beijing Workers’ Stadium, 1990, PHOTO: Wang Di

Zhang Ju (member o f Tang, Dynasty) performing in Beijing, Diplomatic Club, summer 1990, PHOTO: Wang Di

Zhang Ju (member o f Tang, Dynasty) performing in Beijing, Diplomatic Club, summer 1990, PHOTO: Wang Di

The rock band ADO in Jianwai, Embassy District, Beijing, spring 1989, PHOTO: Wang Di

The rock band ADO in Jianwai, Embassy District, Beijing, spring 1989, PHOTO: Wang Di

Shooting the video, for “Dream Retuen to, Tang Dynasty”, 1992, PHOTO: Gao Yuan, Courtesy Lens

Shooting the video, for “Dream Retuen to, Tang Dynasty”, 1992, PHOTO: Gao Yuan, Courtesy Lens

The Halloween party at Scream Bar, 1998, PHOTO: Wang Di

The Halloween party at Scream Bar, 1998, PHOTO: Wang Di

Shen Yue and Gao Yang (members of, Wuliao) at Baihua Hutong, 1999, PHOTO: Wang Di

Shen Yue and Gao Yang (members of, Wuliao) at Baihua Hutong, 1999, PHOTO: Wang Di

Wu Ke (guitarist of Zuomeng) at, Titanium Club, 1992, PHOTO: Wang Di

Wu Ke (guitarist of Zuomeng) at, Titanium Club, 1992, PHOTO: Wang Di

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Post in: Features | January 21 , 2016 | Tag in: LEAP 36 | Sasha Zhao
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