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“Nomadic Readymade” in Chinese Contemporary Art: Ai Weiwei and Ni Haifung

Dong-Yeon Koh 1

1홍익대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Since the 2000s Ai Weiwei(艾未未) and Ni Haifung(倪海峰) has used readymade in their collaborative works to convey the dire circumstances in which Chinese workers can be compared with western consumers, especially under the western-centered market capitalism on a global scale. Hereby, I coined the term “nomadic readymade” to examine the recent development of readymade works transnationally manufactured and exhibited in contemporary Chinese art. Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower (葵花籽, 2010) sheds a light upon the dire circumstances of the chinese workers under communist government while it also indicates the 17th and 18th century colonial history related tofair trade of the Dutch East India Company and Chinese porcelain workshops. In a similar vein, Ni Haifung collected 15 tons of left-over and garbage fabric from one of the factories in Habei(河北) area and exhibited at Manifesta in 2008 to make western audience/potentially consumer to stitch fabric and to question the division between Chinese workers and western consumers in Para-production (2007-2008).

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.