AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

An Account of Development of Performance Art in China from 1979-2010

by Pui Yin Tong

Institution: University of the Arts London
Year: 2015
Keywords: Chinese Society and Culture studies
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2129824
Full text PDF: http://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/8753/


The research study aims to raise questions about and gain new insights into the development of performance art in China. The development of performance art in China is set out in a chronological account of the events and art works that illustrate the development of a permissive, open-ended medium with endless variables. The events and works included in this study are executed by Chinese artists impatient with the limitations of traditional or established forms and determined to take their performance art works directly to the public. Following the rapid socio-economic development that started in the late 1970's, soon after the end of the Cultural Revolution and the start of economic reform. The chronological account of the development of Chinese performance art explains how Chinese artists, in creating their work, draw freely on a number of disciplines and media including literature, poetry, theatre, music, dance, architecture and painting, as well as video, film, slides and narrative. The account also illustrates how Chinese performance art has gradually moved away from the traditions of Chinese performance and how performance art works often promote interpretive individualism. Research shows that Chinese artists choose performance art to break free from the dominant media and the constraints of working within the evolving social and political environment in China. Research further shows that artists use performance art as a provocation to respond to changes. Finally, performance art is gaining acceptance from the public in recent Chinese socio-economic development.