The Stars Art Group

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The Stars Art Group or simply "The Stars" (Xīngxīng 星星) was a Chinese avant-garde group of non-professional artists in the late 1970s and early 1980s (the exact interval usually given as 1979 to 1983). It was founded by Ma Desheng and Huang Rui and included Wang Keping (王克平), Qu Leilei, Ah Cheng, Ai Weiwei, and Li Shuang (artist) as the only female member. A historically significant exhibition, now called the Star Art Exhibition, took place in late 1979 in Beihai Park, Beijing, outside the China Art Gallery. [1] [2] [3] After the exhibition was closed by officials, the group staged a protest for cultural openness. They succeeded in reopening the exhibition. [4] The exhibition took place between 23 November and 2 December, in which around 200,000 people attended the event. [4] The group organized another exhibition the next year. [4] Around and after 1983, the group disbanded, partly due to their members going into exile under political pressure, especially the Anti-Spiritual Pollution Campaign of 1983. [5]


The Stars Art group in Beijing The Stars art group in Beijing.jpg
The Stars Art group in Beijing
Qu Leilei, Li Shuang & Wang Keping at the school of fine arts of Beijing. Qu Leilei, Li Shuang & Wang Keping.jpg
Qu Leilei, Li Shuang & Wang Keping at the school of fine arts of Beijing.
The Stars art group in a Beijing art studio with Mrs Cohen. The Stars art group in a Beijing art studio.jpg
The Stars art group in a Beijing art studio with Mrs Cohen.

The Stars Art Group was a foundational movement of the contemporary Chinese avant-garde active in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Mostly self-trained, the Stars championed individualism and freedom of expression both in their work and public activities. Taking personal experience and social issues as their subject matter, they pointedly diverged from state-sanctioned Socialist Realism. The group's member artists also included affiliates Zhang Hongtu and Zhang Wei, [6] Yan Li, Yang Yiping, Qu Leilei, Mao Lizi, Bo Yun, Zhong Ahcheng, Shao Fei, [7] and Ma Desheng. [8]

Arrest of Li Shuang

Because of her radical movement in art and politics, and her relationship with a French diplomat, Emmanuel Bellefroid, Li Shuang was arrested by the government and received a two-year sentence. [9] This led to a political tension between China and France at the time. Later an agreement was made between two countries and Li was released. This incident abolished the banned interracial marriage in China.

See also

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  1. "The Stars Art Group (Xing Xing)". Artsy. 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  2. Renaud, Smith (1998-10-01). "Chronologies". Asia Society: New Chinese Art. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  3. "Stars Art Group, China's artistic freedom fighters, celebrate 40th anniversary". The Art Newspaper. 2019-03-29. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  4. 1 2 3 Davis, Edward Lawrence (2005). "Stars (artist group)". Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture. Taylor & Francis. p. 561. ISBN   978-0-415-77716-2.
  5. Tate (2017-04-05). "Stars group – Art Term". Tate. Retrieved 2019-06-05.
  6. "The Stars Art Group (Xing Xing) | Artsy". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  7. Gallery, Zee Stone. "Zee Stone Gallery". Retrieved 2017-04-18.
  8. Beijing Spring | 52 Documentary , retrieved 2022-10-26
  9. Times, Christopher S. Wren and Special To the New York (13 November 1981). "CHINA JAILS WOMAN FOR AFFAIR WITH FRENCHMAN". The New York Times. Retrieved 2018-03-30.