The Cass Sculpture Foundation is to present ‘A Beautiful Disorder’, the first major exhibition of newly commissioned outdoor sculpture by contemporary Chinese artists to be shown in the UK. From May 2016, fifteen monumental outdoor sculptures will be on display throughout the grounds of CASS. These artists employ a variety of ambitious sculptural techniques across a range of materials including bronze, stone, steel and wood.
The historical relationship between English and Chinese landscape aesthetics is the starting point and inspiration for these contemporary Chinese and Greater Chinese artists. The title of the exhibition, A Beautiful Disorder, is a quote from an influential letter written by the Jesuit missionary and artist Jean-Denis Attiret in 1743 that had a tremendous effect on English garden culture. Attiret used the term to describe the ability of the Chinese garden to provoke violent and often opposing sensations in the viewer through a series of theatrical framing devices. The exhibition invites the viewer to reflect on China’s past, present and future relationship with the world at large, and provides valuable insight into the state of Chinese culture, politics and society today from the perspective of some of its most dynamic and engaging artists.
Cass Sculpture Foundation’s Executive Director, Clare Hindle, says: “To date, Cass Sculpture Foundation has commissioned over 400 works – A Beautiful Disorder is a landmark moment for the Foundation as it is the first time we are commissioning works for a major exhibition by international artists. The exhibition will showcase contemporary Chinese sculpture by some of the leading Chinese artists.”
Participating artists for A Beautiful Disorder include: Bi Rongrong, Cheng Ran, Cui Jie, Jennifer Ma Wen, Li Jinghu, Lu Pingyuan, Xu Zhen (Produced by Made in Company), Rania Ho, Song Ta, Tu Wei-Cheng, Wang Sishun, Wang Wei, Wang Yuyang, Zhang Ruyi, Zheng Bo and Zhao Yao.
From 8 – 13 September 2015, the Foundation will participate as a non-profit booth in the West Bund Art & Design Fair in Shanghai, along with 30 regional and international galleries. Within the booth, CASS will showcase a selection of maquettes created for A Beautiful Disorder, alongside other works by internationally-renowned artists from the CASS archives, such as Tony Cragg, Marc Quinn, Thomas Heatherwick, Alex Hoda and James Capper.
Viewers will also have the opportunity to see one of the newly commissioned monumental works created for A Beautiful Disorder – Zhao Yao’s “A Sculpture of Thought I-192” – outside the main entrance to the fair. At the fair’s conclusion the sculpture will be shipped along with the rest of the commissioned works to Goodwood for the May 2016 exhibition.
Ella Liao is Curator at the Cass Sculpture Foundation. She graduated from Shanghai Normal University in 2000. She lived in France from 2000 to 2005 and completed her graduate studies in Lyon where she obtained both an MA in Museum Studies and New Medias at University Jean-Moulin Lyon III and an MA in Art of Theatre at University Lumière Lyon II. In 2005 she started working as curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCA), Shanghai. Her curatorial projects include Restless: Photography and New Media (2006) and Remote/Control: Interactive and Multi-Media Art (2007). From 2007 to 2009 she worked for Osage Shanghai as a curator where she curated Goodnight, My Beauty (2008), The Plague of Fantasies (2008) and I’m Too Sad to Tell You, Solo Exhibition of Alexander Brandt (2009). From 2009 to 2013 she was a curator at Rockbund Art Museum in Shanghai where she curated Time Traveler, a group exhibition (2012).
Claire Shea is Curatorial Director of the Cass Sculpture Foundation in West Sussex, UK. She was an Associate Curator on the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial in 2014. Her previous experience includes the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, White Cube and Bold Tendencies. She received her M.Litt in the History of Art and Connoisseurship, focusing on modern and contemporary art, at Christie’s Education in London, UK in 2006.
Wenny Teo is the Manuela and Iwan Wirth Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary Asian Art at The Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. She received a PhD in the History of Art from University College London in 2011, focusing on contemporary Chinese art, spectacle and geopolitics. Prior to joining The Courtauld, she worked in various curatorial roles at the Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai and Tate Modern. She was an Associate Curator of the 8th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial in 2014, and currently serves on the editorial advisory boards of Art Review Asia, the Oxford Art Journal and The Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art. She is a trustee of the Cass Sculpture Foundation.
Cass Sculpture Foundation was established in 1992 by Wilfred and Jeannette Cass. It was conceived as a unique charitable body, profoundly committed to fostering new, as well as established talent. Set within twenty-six acres of West Sussex countryside, the Foundation is composed of exhibition spaces, an educational resource and a commissioning body.
After 23 years of exhibiting and commissioning over 400 works and supporting more than 200 artists, CASS is expanding its model to commission pioneering sculpture from international artists.
‘A Beautiful Disorder’, May 2016 – November 2016 – Cass Sculpture Foundation – Goodwood, nr. Chichester