In the 21st century, ‘contemporary’ is a huge topic in the society. Contemporary art which becomes a new type of art is also one of the main subjects for the study of art history. The definition of contemporary art can be quite different according to diverse aspect. This essay is going to define contemporary art in a historical trajectory and discuss how it is revealed in Cola Project which created by He Xiangyu, a young Chinese contemporary artist.
The Definition of Contemporary Art
With the development of western art, art can be separated into three major categories which are classical art, modern art and contemporary art. Wang (2011) defines that ‘classical art refers to the realist art which began from Greek. Even though it suffered a lot in the middle ages, it flourished in the Renaissance, and even became a standard of western (academic) art’. Classical art lasted for thousand years and ‘becomes a special culture type of the world cultural heritage’ (Wang, 2011). For modern art, it includes the production of the artworks during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1960s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. Harrison and Wood (2002) also point out this period that ‘Now in the history of art and criticism, it has a clear conclusion for modernism. Whether it is according to the trends of western art or to the historical stage, modernism is defined as beginning from the 1860s and ending to the 1960s’. After the end of modern art, contemporary art (also called ‘post-modern art’) appearanced in the world. Generally, contemporary art is considered to be the art of the late 20th and early 21st century. It is the art that runs from around 1970 up to now. In fact, contemporary art does not have an actual time boundaries. Wang (2011) claims that ‘creating a time period for the changing progress of art is just for the convenience of historical writing’. She said that ‘classical art did not actually...
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