6 Artists: A pictoral journey through China

Production Overview
“Right now I feel there is no point in depicting an object – it's only paint on a canvass although it pretends to be something. No matter how perfectly I paint, it will always be just paint on a canvass pretending to be something. And then I think I can leave out this grid although it helps the recipient: he can recognise something but it diverts his mind from the actual picture."

This is how “abstract" is perceived by Erwin Bohatsch, one of the six Austrian painters who toured four Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Xi'an and Guangzhou) with their exhibition on “New Abstract Painting from Austria" between April and October 2005.

He and his five colleagues, Herbert Brandl, Gunter Damisch, Hubert Scheibl, Walter Vopava and Otto Zitko, opened their studios in Vienna, Lower Austria and Berlin to viewers.
Apart from philosophising about the concept of abstract art which gets a mention in the title of the exhibition curated by MUMOK Director Edelbert Köb, the artists grant us a glimpse of their mode of operation and access to their oeuvres.
The portraits of the artists, standing out by their visual language vis-à-vis each of them, are tied by their exciting and stimulating images, shot in Shanghai, Beijing, Xi'an and Guangzhou, documenting the opening of each show as well as the differences between the four main cities of China.
The tour brought 200 large-dimensioned paintings to Chinese society and culture, which were enthusiastically received by the “Middle Kingdom". A spectacular tour d'art, it was initiated Yvonne Weiler, widow of Max Weiler, paterfamilias of Austrian contemporary painting, who had his own show in Beijing in the late 1990s.

The documentary offers a platform to the director of NAMOC, the National Art Museum of China, who is also China's deputy minister of culture.

A special highlight is an excursion to the “Terracotta Army" near Xi'an. Declared a world cultural heritage by UNESCO, it is known as the “eighth wonder of the world", and it offers breathtaking images.

Upon its return to Austria, the exhibition was presented at the Vienna MUMOK from 16 December 2004 to 19 February 2005.



Director: Alex Hesse
Photography: Ferdinand Steininger
Editor: Sebastian Würger
Producer: Heinrich Mayer-Moroni
Executive Producer: Rudolf Klingohr
Executive Producer: Franz Grabner, Karl Pridun

Television Premiere: 11.12.2005