Adidas Presents Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition
  Resource:Bloomberg   2007-11-30 10:38:38  
  Adidas, the world's second-largest maker of sporting goods, has teamed up with Singapore-based Opera Gallery and museums in China to produce the exhibition "Gong Zhen: Sport in Art." The marathon show of works by 70 artists from around the world includes Wang Guangyi and Yue Minjun, darlings of China's contemporary art market. 'Gong Zhen," which means resonance or collective exhilaration, opened in Shanghai this month and will travel to four more cities to help drum up enthusiasm around the country. It will roll into Beijing in time for the games in August. Wang's diptych "Olympic" regurgitates his weary formula of slapping present-day images -- in this case, the word "Olympic" -- above brawny socialist peasants and soldiers. Ebullience and zing erupt from the colorful "Free", "Hope" and "Victory" by Zhong Biao, with sprinters, swirling Shaolin monks and fiery backdrops. Yue, whose "Execution" sold for $5.9 million in London in October, depicts a bubblegum-pink centaur atop Yellow Mountain, a linking of traditional Greek and Chinese motifs. The centaur, of course, has Yue's signature laughing face. Track Star French sculptor Pierre Matter offers a flat, metal cut-out crouching within an industrial frame that metamorphoses into a detailed, three-dimensional sculpture of U.S. track star Wilma Rudolph, who won three gold medals in the 1960 Summer Olympics. Two portraits of Muhammad Ali, by Brazilian Romero Britto and French painter Paul Alexis, show extremes in the life of "The Greatest" -- one youthful, unstoppable and jubilant, the other aging, strenuous and pained. The exhibition also highlights the dynamism and aesthetics of athletics. "Knees and Arms," by Maki Umehara, is composed of triangles bobbing like waves or a flock of seagulls. Photographer Hans Gissinger, whose book "Salami" magnifies sausages into works of art, takes a similar look at meat in his "Muscle" series. The steak and other cuts, presented close-up and in black and white, resemble nature scenes of cliff-faces and rapids gushing over boulders. A video by Addictive TV (London audiovisual artist-remixers Graham Daniels and Tolly) begins with a heartbeat and a runner and crescendos with sounds, actions and muscles. It's so effective it makes you want to dash out and smack a ball.
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