Li Zhiwang, “Female Nude.”
This chapter argues that the works of controversial Chinese contemporary experimental artists known as the “Cadaver Group”—some of whom were at the center of a recent controversy surrounding a retrospective of Chinese art at the Guggenheim—should not be dismissed so easily as “shock art.” Instead the works could be understood as documenting a transition from an earlier, “composite” model of politicized corporeality in the spirit of Frankenstein, to one that speaks more directly to the global biopolitical commons of contemporary Chinese identity and aesthetics: a diasporic model—and thus incidentally, a divergent history of realism. This chapter therefore briefly reviews the modern history of the cadaver in China; provides a closer reading of themes relating to the diasporic body in literary works by the author Yu Hua; and provides close readings of individual works by members of the Cadaver Group.
Open to UCLA graduate students only.
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING IMAGES CONTAIN GRAPHIC MATERIAL
Cover of exhibition catalogue “Fuck Off” (2000)
Artist: Peng Donghui, “Group Photo No. 1-3,” 1999
Zhu Yu, “Skin Graft,” Beijing, 2000.
Sun Yuan and Peng Yu, “Link of the Body” (also “Linked Bodies”), Beijing, 2000.