Xu Lei



There are many programs focusing on youth art, which serve as boosters for the creative practices of young artists. Among these programs, "Art Nova 100", with its unique selection criteria, brand value, and persistent efforts over past years, has been one of the most productive ones. One can see this from the fact that many artists chosen by "Art Nova 100" have since won recognition from both academic circles and the public, rising from nobodies to important emerging forces. With this in mind, the program's significance becomes immediately apparent. Young artists of today are living in an unproved dentally benign environment for the development of art. By contrast, it was very difficult for artists of my generation, who could only make them known through the National Exhibition of Fine Arts, which selected works based on monotonous criteria from numerous contestants. Moreover, back when we were young, we had extremely limited access to art information from abroad, receiving fragmented messages from foreign magazines, while in today's society of global information, content and resources of all kinds provide valuable opportunities for young artists; for example, they may now attend international biennials in groups. Thanks to the information age and to programs such as the aspiring "Art Nova 100", many talented artists can rise from ignorance and be encouraged to continue their artistic creation.


For young artists of today, it is easy for them to find an opportunity, where as it is difficult to make the best use of the opportunity so as to stand out among peers. To use one analogy, the tree on the plain is more prominent than one in the woods. Thus, independence, vision, and foundation are of vital importance for any artist. Living in today's society, in which there are many temptations and mixed standards of so - called "success," some young artists might unavoidably panic and lose their own ideas while others try to find a shortcut to success. Due to the accelerated pace of development in our times, it has been faster for someone to rise from nobody to "successful". But for those who do not deem themselves a genius, they should make the best use of the time when they are young to solidify their foundation, so as to prepare for a future rising.


A tree in the shade of another would never grow tall. It is important for people to find their most fruitful position, a process in which aspiration serves as navigator. Young artists will inevitably become eager and impatient under the influence of their teachers, absorbing the art history and models of former times. For young artists in such a situation, I believe that keeping a proper distance from these influences is a suitable approach to handle the dilemma, and a means by which they will gain real independence. The stances, experiences, and languages of others may appear eloquent to you, but not to everybody. In an era with extra ordinarily abundant information, it is a challenge for young artists to discern superficial assumptions and make their own voices heard in the discourse of the



In the case of outstanding artists, their talents and temperaments have been established over time, crystallizing out of the uncertainties of youth. The world views, means of expression, and orientation for future development of those master writers and artists were likely made clear to them by the time they were 30, followed by a period of sustainable development in later years. Therefore, an artist who still has no idea where he or she is going by the age of 40 will probably never achieve anything. This is perhaps even truer in the current era. It will be difficult for one to perceive and comment on the world when his or her sensitivity declines if he or she could not find the according mode or had the sensitivity to do so in his or her youth. What one can do after his or her 30s is mostly self adjustment, wherein one thinks from a broader perspective, detailing one's relationship with their era, with history, or beyond.


Whatever you are now or whatever you will be in the future, successful or not, you are alone from the bottom of your heart as long as you are independent. This is the destiny of artists, and of course of young artists. This is also the life we artists should enjoy. Consider yourself in good company, as one of 100 lonely artists whose talents and persistence have won applause from us.