Xiamen Dada

Xiamen Dada was a 1980s Chinese art group who protested the influence of socialist realism art from the Soviet Union, through absurdist artworks and performances

The group from Xiamen in southern China were inspired by the relationship between European dada and Chan Buddhism, and embraced absurdity. They were particularly interested in the concept of chance, using it to determine the making of the artworks.

The group first came to prominence in 1983 with a controversial exhibition held at the Cultural Palace in Xiamen featuring assemblages and paintings. In 1986 they took part in a public action known as the Burning Event in which they set fire to sixty artworks and painted slogans on the ground including the statement ‘Dada is Dead!’ This resulted in the group being banned from mounting any further public art exhibitions. 

Artists associated with Xiamen Dada include Huang Yong Ping, Lin Jiahua, Jia Yaoming, Yu Xiaogang and Xu Chengdou.

See also


TateShots: Contemporary Art from China

Contemporary Art from China

Tate Liverpool Exhibition

The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China

30 Mar – 10 Jun 2007
The Real Thing: Contemporary Art from China past exhibition at Tate Liverpool 2007