Amidst the post-millenial marketization of the Chinese art world, theory here had seemed lonely and left behind. Within the past couple years, however, certain happenings both online and off have alluded to its resurgence. This issue attempts to measure the severity of this newfound “theory fever,” starting with a survey of theory’s place and position in Chinese contemporary art, then on to a look at two heavy-minded art projects in the suburbs of Shanghai and their ideological underpinnings, and finally, a mapping of the imported theorists whose names are most often dropped at gallery openings and on BBS forums, as well as an investigation into the oft-overlooked epistemological vehicle that is translation, and its key drivers. Fittingly, the whole package is visually complemented by a commissioned design from Zhao Yao, an artist who has been central to these debates. Elsewhere in the middle are inquiries into the work of Tehching Hsieh, Gu Dexin, and Ma Qiusha, as well as photography from Liang Yuanwei and Agnès Varda. The top section includes write-ups of the artists Xu Qu and He Xiangyu, an overview of Tokyo’s gallery system, and an interview with Boris Groys. And in the bottom, critiques of solo shows from Heman Chong, Fu Baoshi, Leung Chi Wo, Tony Cragg, Yang Mian, He Sen, and Hong Lei, as well as of group outings in Shanghai, Los Angeles, Beijing, and New York, among others.
LEAP 47 | Spring/Summer 2018
LEAP 46 | Fall/Winter 2017