Wu Hung - Contemporay Sculpture from China in Chicago

Art scholar sparks conversation between China and Chicago

A nearly life-size red dinosaur looms over Millennium Park a toy-like, yet ominous, figure with Made in China stamped prominently on its belly. A summer breeze blows through the open-grid construction of Windy City Dinosaur, which serves as a visual r...

Summary

A nearly life-size red dinosaur looms over Millennium Park a toy-like, yet ominous, figure with Made in China stamped prominently on its belly. A summer breeze blows through the open-grid construction of Windy City Dinosaur, which serves as a visual riff on Chicago's nickname.In its shadow stands Wu Hung, a giant in the world of contemporary Chinese art, who inspired longtime friend Sui Jianguo China's most prominent sculptor to create the piece for an exhibit of Chinese sculpture in Millennium Park.A Beijing native who has deep roots in the city's artistic avant-garde, Wu, the Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History and East Asian Languages & Civilizations, has known many of his country's most important artists for decades. He visited them in China and was crucial in bringing four monumental pieces by the country's most famous sculptors to Chicago.One of the foremost champions of Chinese modern art since the 1980s and a curator who has introduced China's bold aesthetic to the West, Wu was the obvious choice when the City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs needed an exhibit co-curator for a new downtown exhibit called A Conversation with Chicago: Contemporary Sculptures from China.He is the star curator of contemporary Chinese art, says co-curator Lucas Cowan, Millennium Park's visual arts coordinator. It would have been shameful if I didn't have him do this.