This paper will discuss the situation of ‘contemporary art’ in today’s post-totalitarian China in order to highlight the drawbacks of the narrative approach to art history that assumes cultural coherence and temporal synchronization. The analytical frame of reference is not a narrative of art’s development but the specific local (and national) conditions of its production, reception and consumption, including the relationship between China and the Eastern Bloc, which cannot be ignored in any discussion of Chinese modern and contemporary art.



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