The Other Art Forms: Avant-Garde and Behavioural Art in China

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This paper looks into forms and modes of avant-garde art and behavioural art and their sociocultural reflections in China. The first part discusses different modes of behavioural art as shown in China since the 1980s, exploring motivations behind the expressions and expected effects of the artists. The second part discusses audience’s commentaries and attempts to offer an explanation of the gap between the motivation and expected result fof the artists and the actual responses from the audience. The last section analyses a narrative story titled “Behavioural Art” (Xingwei yishu) by Fang Fang, a well-known Chinese woman writer. The paper argues that art speaks itself with audience/spectators and artistic value as form of beauty exists only in the intercommunication of art works and audience/spectators; if a so-called art work fails to engage with audience/spectators (the group including critics), the work may be seen as a farce or an “emperor’s new clothes” which attempts to deceive on-lookers but only deceives the actors.


Keywords: Avant-Garde Art, Behavioural Art
Stream: Arts Policy, Management and Advocacy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Haixin Jiang

Senior Lecturer, Languages and Cultures, University of Otago
Dunedin, New Zealand

Teaching Chinese language, literature, and culture at University of Otago since 1994; gained PhD degree in 2000 at University of Canterbury, New Zealand. Research interest focused mainly on Chinese literature, especially Chinese women's literature, and cultural and literary theory.

Ref: A09P0336