The Crocker Art Museum will present the first major American museum exhibition for artist Gong Yuebin in spring 2012 in “Gong Yuebin: Site 2801.”
On display from March 10 through April 29, Yuebin’s massive conceptual installation of 210 terracotta warriors invites viewers to become archaeologists of the future by confronting humanity’s past and present.
In “Site 2801” Yuebin’s warriors are based on models of those commissioned by China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, displayed rank by rank, having been “unearthed” in a site that not only includes historical warriors, but additional modern combat troops and nuclear missiles.
Inherent in the display is the artist’s consternation about the apparent lack of progress in thousands of years of human evolution and empire building. Newborn infants that lie within the missiles offer small indications of hope, yet that hope remains sealed within a capsule of time and destruction.
Yuebin asks that viewers consider the behavior from the perspective of our children’s children.
“By looking at the past from a vantage point in the future, Yuebin hopes that all who see his work might be held more accountable in the present,” explained Scott A. Shields, Ph.D., associate director and chief curator at the Crocker Art Museum.
Yuebin’s artistic vision was created by his childhood in rural China, which was rife with physical hardship and persecution. He found tranquil moments by making drawings and set out to become an artist after the Cultural Revolution ended.
In 1978, he began his art training at Luo Yang Art College. After working as an art teacher in a community college, he went on to graduate studies at Guangzhou Art University. He immigrated to the United States with his family in 2004.
The Crocker is located at 216 O St. in downtown Sacramento. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Thursdays. Every third Sunday of the month is “Pay What You Wish Sunday” sponsored by Bank of America.
For more information call (916) 808-7000 or visit crockerartmuseum.org.