An impressive and fairly substantial looking volume, Young Chinese Artists sets out show what the new generation in China is producing in terms of art. Choosing its artists from those born between 1975 and 1981, it concentrates on those which it considers in some are representative of their generation, those who choose themes and ideas which "reflect the mindset and ideas of their peers". By way of an introduction several brief chapters discuss the recent political, economic and social changes in China
Thirty artists are chosen for inclusion including three duos; of these twenty three are male, seven female. Their chosen disciplines breakdown into thirteen painters, eight photographers, two animators, one sculptor and six other including installation and performance art and multimedia. However the impression on looking through the book is that there is some overlap. Each artist is represented by several examples of work, along with a page or two of text describing their work, and in addition their answers from a set telephone interview or written questionnaire, with most of the questions having little to do with their art. There is also a small photo of, and a list of exhibitions for, each artist.
Any comment on the work of the artists included here is bound to be subjective, and being a painter it is no surprise that I found the painters the most interesting, with several especially so. Some of the photographers I found disappointing, more photo journalistic than genuinely creative.
The overall presentation of the book is very good, a lot of effort has clearly gone into it, and the format is lively an imaginative with being distracting; the pages showing the artists' work are thankfully free from any other graphic devices. The book is exceptionally well illustrated with 310 colour pictures, most of them of a good size with many full-page images. It has a printed hard cover but no dust jacket.