Shifting Fields: Contemporary Chinese Painting at the Stanford Art Gallery, Palo Alto

 By JOHN SEED March 8, 2024

“Shifting Fields: Contemporary Chinese Painting” is a richly layered and eclectic show that reflects the desire of its curator, Stanford Art Professor Xiaoze Xie, to examine recent developments in Chinese painting. As the works of the ten rising artists—all under 50 years old— amply demonstrate, contemporary Chinese painting has been energized by individual viewpoints that reflect diverse experiences and backgrounds. Three of the artists included are from Taiwan and five have studied art outside of China: in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia, New York and London. Cultural interchange and stylistic hybridity are the order of the day. As a result, “Shifting Fields” raises challenging questions including this one asked by Xie in his introductory essay for the show’s catalog: 

“In an increasingly internationalized art world, is it still possible, or even necessary to define Chinese-ness?” 

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