Short Cuts: Artists in China
Thomas Fuesser and Lorenz Helbling
The first, intimate visual documentation of artists who have influenced and transformed the Chinese art scene over the last two decades German photographer Thomas Fuesser has been following artists in China since 1993, when he was first invited by renowned Dutch curator Hans van Dijk (1946–2002) to join a group of foreign journalists and photographers to visit the up-and-coming members of the then fledgling Beijing and Shanghai art scenes. Reports on this visit, by New York Times art critic Andrew Solomon and several others, later played a major role in the making of prominent artists, such as Fang Lijun, Wang Guangyi, and Yue Minjun. Over many years, Füsser has developed close and enduring professional relationships with the artistic community in China. His striking portraits tell their stories and depict their work and personalities in an entirely distinct style, documenting a part of contemporary history and an immensely dynamic time in China. Recording the lives and thought processes of leading artists, such as Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Qiang, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhang Peili, Feng Mengbo, Wu Shanzhuan, and Zhou Tiehai, ‘SHORT CUTS’, inspired by Robert Altman’s concept of multiple parallel destinies that interact, provides a fascinating visual insight into the heart and soul of Chinese society.