In the early 1930s, the Chinese painter Ni Yide came to Shanghai to organize a group of like-minded artists, sharing a disaffection of conventionality and a devotion to the avant-garde. They declared themselves the Jue Lan Society. A new art scene emerged by creating secret meeting places in 1930’s Paris to trade, create and buy art outside the watch of their homeland in Communist China. It was the Chinese response to the European art movements of Cubism, Surrealism and Dadaism.
The name itself ( 决 澜 社 ) literally means, “determination to create change.” That small group of artists rejected what had come before them; they sought to improve not only themselves but also the world around them through their artwork.
It is in that spirit, on the site of the 20th centuries’ most notorious nightspot that we opened the Jue Lan Club at The Limelight Church in New York City. It is a space where we invite you to share in our cuisine, art and our nightly revelry.
Welcome to the Jue Lan Club.
“The atmosphere surrounding us is so quiet that triviality and vulgar embraced us. Countless morons are wriggling and countless shallows are clamor…
Where is our talent and glorious history created from the ancient? The only thing that left to the whole art circle is decadence and invalidity.
We should not be satisfied with such compromised environment.
We should not let it wait for death alone.
Come on! Let’s create the world, which is staggered by colors, lines and forms with our crazy enthusiasm and sound reason!
We admit that painting is not imitating the nature, nor repeating the primness, and we should express our spirit of pungent barely with our lives.
We hold that art is not the slave of advertisers, nor the expression of literature, and we should create our formative and colorful world freely and comprehensively.
We should use new techniques instead of the old forms, old colors and ordinary and vulgar ones we hate to express the spirit of the new era.
Since the 20th century, new scenes appeared in European Art Circle: the shout of Fauvism, the deformation of Cubism, the violence of Dadaism and the expectation of Surrealism…
It is necessary for Chinese Art Circle to emerge a new atmosphere, too.
Come on! Let’s create the world, which is staggered by colors, lines and forms with our crazy enthusiasm and sound reason.”
Jue Lan Society, circa 1931, Paris