The group exhibition "Great Performances" successfully opened at Pace Beijing on August 28th, providing a new perspective to the study of Chinese Contemporary Art. From the perspective of "performance", this exhibition brings together over 30 active figures in Chinese contemporary art field and tries to interpret the occurrence, development and status quo of Chinese contemporary art (mid-1990s to now). The overspeeding development of China in recent decades has created an inner sense of uncertainty in people's mindset. Artists turn the uncertainty into "performance consciousness" and present it through video, photography, installation, painting and various forms of art. The "performance consciousness" has an implication of "role playing", which has become a quite widespread social phenomenon in contemporary China. The phenomenon is probably caused by an urgent need of selfidentity in a period marked by gradually awakening selfconsciousness. Artists turn such self-consciousness into an art form presented through body language, a kind of exaggerated, dramatic and even absurd art form that is accompanied with performance. The embodied performance consciousness is a vivid, autonomous and instinctive inner spirit. Moreover, such performance consciousness constitutes a ritual sense during the performing process. As both serious and ridiculous, it evolves into an infinite, dynamic and uncertain spiritual form. Regarding this, "In such a compressed age, our 'performances' have been irrefutably passionate. 'Real' and 'surreal', it is a great performance", as suggested by the curator Leng Lin.
Undoubtedly, Chinese contemporary art is radiating extraordinary charm in a passionate manner. "Great Performances" provides a new perspective, through which one can see a kind of Chinese contemporary art that is vibrant, exciting while slightly anxious. The exhibition runs through October 16th and includes 33 artists: Duan Jianyu, Hai Bo, He An, He Yunchang, Hu Xiangqian, Li Songsong, Lin Yilin, Liu Wei, Liu Xiaodong, Ma Liuming, Ma Qiusha, Qin Ga, Qiu Zhijie, Song Dong, Sun Yuan, Peng Yu, Wang Jin, Wang Qingsong, Wu Daxin, Wu Xiaojun, Xiao Yu, Xu Zhen, Yang Fudong, Yang Maoyuan, Yang Zhichao, Yuan Shun, Zhan Wang, Zhang Dali, Zhang Huan, Zhao Bandi, Zhou Tiehai, Zhu Fadong and Zhu Yu.