From March 14 to May 23, 2004, Le printemps de Chine, a group exhibition with Zeng Huan Guang, Tang Nan Nan, Shen Ye, Zhou Xiao Hu, Dong Xing, Lin Xi & Fish, Lin Xi & Jia Wen Hou, Wang Yi Ji, Ai Weiwei, Miao Xiaochun, Bai Yiluo, Xie Nanxing, Qi Zhilong, Wang Jin, Hai Bo, Zhuang Hui, Baojun Ruy, Y-F Yuen, curated by Qin Jian.

China today is undergoing a major transitional period, politically, economically, with major developments in the fields of science and technology. This rapid development has generated an incredible sort of "urban energy". Cities are expanding exponentially, high rises are sprouting up everywhere, as are foreign and private enterprise. Rural workers are pouring in, looking for jobs hoping that they can make a better living than at home.

What does it all mean for China? These massive transformations have deeply affected Chinese life, both materially and spiritually. The new ways of life have generated both excitement, as well as confusion. Massive leaps have been taken, instead of measured steps. The energy generated by this urban revolution of sorts marks a change from a belief in a unique ideal; now it is a question of dealing with a variety of principles and opinions, resulting in a remarkable diversity of values. Ideas and values are converging on all levels: old and new, rich and poor, foreign and native, all come together in the same space and time. These contrasting forces create a rich cultural and visual environment. It is also a time when everyone is in flux, questioning their former beliefs and searching for meaning, happiness and truth.

Individual desire and public propaganda, traditional beliefs and modem methods, foreign and Chinese influences, beauty and ugliness, happiness and sadness, all these confrontations define the Chinese urban landscape and lend it urgency and character.

I hope that the selected body of work will convey this. The videos are not so much about artistry but more about life. I have sought to portray the experience of daily life in China, to reach the individual. The artists who contributed to this exhibition come from different generations—each has their own approach and perceptions of this transitional period.

—Prof. Qin Jian, January 27th 2004, Xiamen University

This exhibition was organized as part of the Year of China in France (2004)