Presenting/Representing the Chinese Image

A Panel Discussion

November 10, 2015

Press Release

A conversation with Zhang Hongtu (artist), Robert Lee (AAAC), Taliesin Thomas (AW Asia) and Samson Young (artist), moderated by Andrew Shiue (Beyond Chinatown). 

Tuesday November 10, 6pm-8pm 
Cocktail reception: 6pm; talk commencement: 6.30pm

Klein Sun Gallery
525 West 22nd Street
New York NY 10011 

Klein Sun Gallery is pleased to announce a new series of panel discussions, aiming to provide a platform for engaging, critical and inclusive dialogue on contemporary Chinese art and culture. 

The inaugural talk “Presenting/Representing the Chinese Image” introduces the complex varied histories of Chinese aesthetic, via personal narratives. Moderated by Andrew Shiue (founder of the contemporary culture site Beyond Chinatown), the discussion strives to break down how the Chinese image is and has been perceived throughout the last half century, from diasporic communities to institutional exhibitions and across generations. 

Admission is free of charge, but reservation is required due to limited seating; please email to RSVP.


Speaker Biographies:

Zhang Hongtu was born in China in 1943. He has lived in the U.S. since 1982. 

From the mid 80s to the mid 90s, Zhang Hongtu created paintings, sculptures and mixed media installations utilizing Mao’s image to express his ideas about Communist China and the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). In the last decade, Zhang‘s works have evolved to question complex relationships between the traditions of old China and the contemporary West, as seen in his large-scale shan shui paintings among other works. His most recent works focus on the relationship between nature and the human condition. 
Zhang has exhibited extensively in museum shows, most recently at Museu Picasso in Barcelona, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem. From October 18, 2015 to February 28, 2016, Queens Museum in New York holds his retrospective.


Robert Lee is the ED & Curator of Asian American Arts Centre, participating in its founding in 1974, and the Asian American Arts Alliance in 1983. Exhibiting contemporary artists since 1983, he developed the AAAC Artists Archive, embodying many of whom were exhibited at AAAC. The Archive currently includes 1,600 artists from 1945 to the present and its digital platform makes accessible the beginnings of a visual history of an Asian American creative presence in the U.S. Lee served on the board of The Association of American Cultures (TAAC) a national advocacy organization for people of color in the arts, and now the Cultural Equity Group (CEG), a NYC arts advocacy group.

Many well known artists today were exhibited by Lee at AAAC early in their career, such as Xu Bing, Wenda Gu, Ai Wei Wei, Tseng Kwong Chi, Martin Wong and Zhang Hongtu.


Taliesin Thomas has worked in the field of contemporary Chinese art since 2001 after living two years in rural Hubei Province, China. She was the managing director of Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, the oldest gallery in the United States to specialize in avant-garde Chinese art. She is the founding director of AW Asia in New York, a private organization that exclusively promotes the field of contemporary Chinese art. Thomas earned her M.A. in East Asian Studies from Columbia University and she is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Art Theory & Philosophy with the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. She has published articles on contemporary Chinese art in Yishu: Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art (JCCA), Art Asia Pacific and ARTPULSE magazine.


Samson Young is an interdisciplinary artist originally trained in music composition. He is the inaugural winner of the Art Basel–BMW Art Journey Award in 2015, and was named the Artist of the Year (Media Art) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council in 2013. Recent exhibitions and projects include Avant Garde on Speed, TKG+ Gallery, Taipei, Samson Young, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, and Kiinan Muuttuvat Maisemat, Amos Anderson Museum, Helsinki, Finland, in 2015; Harmonious Society, the Asia Triennial Manchester 14, United Kingdom, and China’s Changing Landscape, Nordiska Akvarellmuseet, Sweden, in 2014; the Shanghai West Bund Biennale of Architecture and Contemporary Art in 2013; and A Journal of the Plague Year, Para Site, Hong Kong, Arko Art Center, South Korea, and Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, in 2013-14.


Moderator Biography:

Andrew Shiue is the founder and editor of Beyond Chinatown, an organization dedicated to showing Chinese arts, culture, and society as diverse and dynamic.  Born in Taiwan and raised in Ohio and New Jersey, he had limited interest and understanding of Chinese culture until a trip to pre-Olympics Beijing and Guangzhou – his first time in China – started a personal exploration of things Chinese.  Realizing at one point that there was not a single comprehensive resource for Chinese-related events and exhibitions in New York, Andrew launched Beyond Chinatown to share his findings with others.  In addition to these online activities, he is interested in finding ways to support New York’s Chinese creative communities and the people who are part of them.