History of Art and Architecture

Opening Reception: Materializing Memory

Thursday, September 5, 2019 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm

Exhibited in Pittsburgh for the first time, Materializing Memory presents the work of five young Chinese artists, all born after 1980. These artists are part of China’s balinghou and jiulinghou (post-1980 and post-1990) generations. Unlike earlier practitioners, they came of age following the dramatic economic and cultural reforms of 1978. Through the medium of video art, these artists explore contemporary Chinese society during a period of profound technological and urban transformation. Their work is deeply informed by the Internet, rapid economic development, international communication and exchange, as well as opportunities to earn advanced degrees abroad. These videos document personal and collective experiences. Some record individual feelings of boredom and isolation, while others investigate broader social contradictions and complexities within China and beyond. Together, these works illustrate the plasticity of contemporary experience, and ask what it means to remember during a time when progress accelerates the urge to forget.  

Curator: Ellen Larson

Curatorial intern: Steven Haines 

This exhibition was made possible with generous support from Asian Studies Center, The China Council, the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, the Department of History of Art & Architecture, and Pittsburgh Filmmakers. Special thanks to Alpha Graphics, Clear Story, the Department of Studio Arts, the Department of Theatre Arts, and Hughie’s Event Production Services.