We get a lot of crazy questions in the museum store, like “How much is that?” Ordinarily this is not an unusual question, given the nature of our endeavors, but in this instance patrons are pointing out Jian-Jun Zhang’s installation, Vestiges of a Process: Shanghai Garden.
Even those who don’t follow the art market know that major Chinese contemporary art is priced out of the the means of most apartment-dwelling San Franciscans, so the question “How much is it?” is a question not asked casually.
If you’ve seen the Shanghai exhibition, Zhang’s work is the one comprised of bricks from dismantled shikumen, as well as life-sized silicon rubber scholar’s rocks and an unsettlingly flesh-hued vessel. For those of you who require a little more background, see this earlier post.
Happy news for those of us who like to buy art and afford lunch, as Zhang has proven in a multiple charting the disappearance of old Shanghai. His Vestiges of a Process: Shanghai Shikumen, consists of an enevelope of nine photographs of the rapidly disintegrating past and a wee paper boat to help you travel the waters of memory. Both the folded boat and envelope are fashioned out of a painted composite map of Shanghai showing the restlessness of the landscape. The best part? This artist’s work is $15.
There’s little chance that I’ll ever be able to buy anything that we exhibit in the museum–minus what’s in the museum store. I’ll take what I can get, until someone wants to gift me one of the great rubber scholars rocks.
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