Nanjing Triennial - Reflective Asia
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[楼主] allatonce 2008-08-27 17:43:27
The 3rd Nanjing Triennial 2008 - Reflective Asia

Source: Nanjing Triennial Website
Please click here: Nanjing Triennial

Nanjing Museum & RCM The Museum of Modern Art
321 Zhongshan East Road & 72, W. Beijing Road,
Nanjing, People's Republic Of China
Sep 10, 2008 To Nov 10, 2008

The 3rd Nanjing Triennial 2008, themed as Reflective Asia, not only means directions and positions literally, also reflects an imagination of Asia Community, that is, city fantasy, society criticism, value negotiation, daily attention, religions and customs, tradition and modernity, reality and fiction. Reflective Asia is a redefinition and reinterpretation to diversified Asian cultures from a brand-new respect. Reflective Asia not only continuously explores new positions of Asia within international language situation, also pinpoints the new coordinate of subjectivity from different countries in the dynamical Asia. The amazingly artistic progress of China and India pushes Asian Position forward. Reflective Asia is also a consideration and analysis about development process of Asian modernity and status quo of Asian contemporary art, reflecting the potentiality and vitality of Asian development, and representing imagination and innovation of Asian artists. Asia is a geography conception, but in multiple world structure, also a conception of geopolitics. In contemporary art field, Asia is a multiple space with complexity, involving different nations, traditions, religions, customs and modern opportunities. Contemporary art in Asian countries have their own developing trace apparently differing from each other. They embodied identity and difference, tradition and modernity, rejection and compatibility, complexity within or without Asia, richness and diversity.
The 3rd Nanjing Triennial firstly take Asia as the object and theme, trying to discover and establish an imaginary space and dialogue platform surpassing the political structure of nation states within Asia. Basing on this point, The 3rd Nanjing Triennial raised the following propositions of contemporary cultures and aesthetics through exploring different view points, imaginations and innovations of artists from different countries. ”Daily and Beyond experience”” Amplification and Percolation”.” Heterotopias and Bewilderment”.“Fiction and Probe”
Accordingly, the 3rd Nanjing Triennia tries to explore Asian contemporary art which allows differences co-exist, from such a unique angle. If we say arts is an ideal form of culture, it will be of great significance that we try to explain and construct the dialogue, negotiation and exchange within Asia by means of art imagination.

[沙发:1楼] allatonce 2008-08-27 17:46:01


Huang Du

1965 born in Shanxi Province, P. R. China.

He is senior curator of Beijing Today Art Museum, China.
Currently Huang Du works as chief curator of the 3rd Nanjing Triennial 2008, China.

The Brief Curatorial Experience:

1995 Co-Curator of Open Your Mouth, Close Your Eyes: Beijing-Berlin Art Communication, Beijing
1999 The Chinese Pavilion of the 1st Melbourne International Biennial, Melbourne, Australia
2000 Post Material: Interpretations of Everyday Life by Contemporary Chinese Artists, Beijing
2002 One of Contributing Curators of The 2nd Seoul International Media Art Biennale, Seoul City Art Museum, Korea
2003 Assistant Curator of Chinese Pavilion of the 50th Venice Biennale
2004 Chinese Pavilion of the 26th Sao Paulo Biennale
2006 Co-Curator of China Contemporary: New Urban Realities, Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
2006 The 6th Shanghai Biennale
2007 What is Mono-ha? , BTAP+BTAP Annex in Xiedao, Beijing
2007 Contributing Curator of Thermocline of Art: New Asian Waves, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany
2007 Artistic Director of The First Today’s Documents, Beijing Today Art Museum and etc.

Kang Jaeyoung

Born in 1971 in Seoul, Korea
B.A. and M.A. in Art theory from Hongik University, Seoul, Korea

1995-2000 Curator of Whanki Museum, Seoul, Korea
2000-2007 Chief curator of World Ceramic Biennale, Kyeonggi-do, Korea
Present Lives in Beijing and work as freelancer curator

Major Curatorial Experience:
2007 Invitational World Contemporary Ceramic Exhibition: Skin of Asia,
2007 The 4th World Ceramic Biennale, Korea
2006-07 Asian Ceramic Delta: Korea, Taiwan, Japan, World Ceramic Center, Icheon,
Korea/Taipei County Yingge Ceramic Museum, Taiwan/Contemporary Ceramic Museum, Gifu, Japan
2005 Invitational World Contemporary Ceramic Exhibition:Trans-Ceramic-Art,
2005 The 3rd World Ceramic Biennale, Korea
2004 White Spectrum: Korean Contemporary Art and Joseon White Porcelain, Gwangju Joseon Royal
2004 Kiln Museum, Korea
2003 Korean Contemporary Ceramic Art, the 2nd World Ceramic Biennale, Korea
2002 Memorial exhibition World Cup between Korean and Japan: 11 VS 11, Seonggok Museum, Seoul
2002 Korean and 11 galleries, Tokyo, Japan
2002 East of the Yellow Sea, ddm warehouse, Shanghai, China
2001 World heritage Ceramic exhibition, the 1st World Ceramic Biennale, Korea
2000 Cultural event: Artists studio visit program, The 3rd Kwangju Biennale, Korea
1999 The 25th Anniversary of Whanki Passed away: Odd to White Porcelain, Whanki Museum, Seoul,
1998 Prix-Whanki: Seoul, Tokyo, Berlin, Whanki Museum, Seoul, Korea
1997 Exchange exhibition between Korea and Australia: Sense
1997 Whanki Museum, Seoul, Korea and CCP, Melbourne, Australia1997
1996 Picasso’s Lithography and Ceramics, Whanki Museum, Seoul, Korea
1995-1999 Series exhibitions: Examination and Groping for young Korean artists
Whanki Museum, Seoul, Korea

Fumihiko Sumitomo

Born in 1971
Senior curator of Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo
Deputy director of Arts Initiative Tokyo

Curatorial Experience:
2007 Beautiful New World 798+Guandong Art Museum, Beijing/Guangzhou
2005 Possible Futures: Postwar Japanese Art and Technology ICC, Tokyo
2004 Out the Window Japan Foundation Forum, Tokyo
2004 Reactivity ICC, Tokyo

Contributed essays on contemporary artists(Rirkrit Tiravanija,Carsten
Nicolai, Experimental Workshop and many others) and museum studies.

Li Zhenhua

Born in 1975 in Beijing , lives in Beijing . Executive Director for Beijing Art Museum Of Imperial City . Leonardo Journal Advisor

Curatorial Experience:

2008 ChinaChinaChina !!! The practice of surpass the art market of China (Italia)
2007 Sustainable Imagination-Media Art In China-Exhibition Series: 1999-2007, Arario Gallery , China
2007 Multi Media Arts International Lab and Forum, CIGE China
2006 Moscow Photo Biennale , Russia 1997-2004 (China-USA-Hungary )
2006 The Wave, Walker Art Centre, USA
2004 Out The Window-Space of Distraction, art exhibition, Tokyo, Japan / Seoul, Korea/Beijing, China
2001Loft New Media Art festival, Beijing
2001Nemesis Project, MSG, Beijing

2000 Sound, China contemporary art museum, Beijing
1999 Life or Art, Beijing

Chen Yun

Born in 1975.
She majored in news and media at university, and majored in art and common management when she was studying for master’s degree.
She had ten years experience in mastermind and management .
In 2006, she masterminded documentary thirty years of China contemporary art with independent China movie director Wangxiaoshuai,
and she was also production manager of this documentary.
In 2007, she organized sailing-China contemporay art auction independently .
In 2008, she is curator assistant of the 3rd Nanjing Triennial.
[地板:3楼] allatonce 2008-08-28 11:15:32

Where is Asia?

Huang Du

In recent years, the contemporary Asian art has been concerned internationally, and the Asian identity has also been enhanced. Such a cultural transformation is obviously related with rapid economic development of Asian countries and the continual enhancement of national awareness, which were brought about by globalization. Why, then, the Asian art issues to be raised? Although the Asian art was received widespread, but there still lack of understanding and comprehension of Asian art, includes differences, traditions, ethnics, religions, customs, and stick on an imagined Asia. Therefore, the raising of questions is the beginning of thinking and action. If they have a clear understanding of the uniqueness of the Asian contemporary art in the international arena, they shall be able to place the Asian contemporary art in a historical context, and examine with the development of reality.
In fact, when one is talking about Asian issues, he is aimed at the orientation of major European egocentrism, because the region is clouded by the history view of Western egocentrism; another view is to found the imagined space for a political structure beyond national states inside Asia. The pre-assumption and imagination for a national state takes the national state as a core. If we imagine a supra-national space, it should take a nationalist orientation which criticizes to centre the nation state as the core. Such a thought of receiving or disputing the idea of globalization by regional political structure, undoubtedly is impacted and inspired by EC model. Europe has shaped a new economic and political structure beyond the original national-states, to face the challenges brought about by globalization. Of course, European cultural development is the established upon such a whole political structure of super-national state. Therefore, in this contrast, the Asian issue seems very urgent and important; since art is a form of cultural ideals, then it has particularly practical significance to explain and build a possibility of supra-Asia in artistic imagination.
Today, research of the contemporary Asian art still has to be placed in a historical context-it contained a diversity and complexity which linked to difference and identity, traditional and modern, inside and outside, inclusive and exclusion.
In fact, if we want to recognize the contemporary Asian art, as a precondition, we shall understand the historical connotation of the word “Asia”. Although geographically it is easy to locate the Asia, it is culturally difficult to clarify its meaning. It is determined by abundant and complex diversity of Asian culture, because they are different in religion, culture, tradition, custom, or in the process of modernization and social system. In a historical perspective, the concept of Asia is not brought forth by Asians firstly, but by Europeans. Asia originally referred to the area to east of Greece, including the region of Turkey today. In the early European concept, Asia was equal to the East, and then it was derived concepts of Far East and Near East. After the 17th century, Asian was linked with the geographical concept of colonial expansion among Europeans. It can be said that Asians own concept of Asia was ambiguous before the 19th century. Accurately, the notion of Asia came from the outside of Asia, that is, from a definition for different time and spatial location by Western colonialists. In other words, the Westerns discriminated others from themselves with such an assumption. The geographic territory of Asia today is divided by the Suez Canal, which became the border between Asia and Africa; and Ural Mountains became the division between Asia and Europe; the common boundary between Indian Ocean and the Pacific as its southeast borders. Such a geographical concept of Asia had been formed with geographic expansion of modern European colonialism gradually. From the perspective of cultural history, the notion of ‘Asia’ is linked with fuzzy ethnic relationship and despotism, and is built through the contrast with countries in Europe. Therefore, Asia is not only different from European continent in political system, economic system and cultural tradition, but also a highly divisive region inside.
Concerned with the bringing forth and application of the ‘Asia’ concept in Asian countries, We can be traced back to March 16, 1885, when Fukuzawa Yukichi, the modern Japanese transformation pioneer (1835-1901) announced a theory of “from Asia”, that is the view of ‘breaking away from Asia and joining Europe’, in Under the Hong Kong Daily News. Its intention is to rid itself of the feudal relations representative by Chinese Confucianism (tributary system), and to intend to build Japan as European-style nation-state. In fact, this idea was influenced by 1884 Coup in Korean Lee Dynasty. The civilized faction in Lee Dynasty “uncivilized faction” tried to adopt modern Western ideological model of the country, the society and the power to reform their own society; ultimately, the coup lasted for only three days before its failure. Fukuzawa Yukichi penetrated such a political change, and agreed with the enlightened thinking of civilized faction, but this incident gave him a great shock; he reflected this unsuccessful reformation, and thought that the reason of failure of Korean Lee Dynasty lied in long-term control deeply by Confucian culture . Therefore, he clearly put forward the idea of deviating from Asia, which means that if Japan want to move toward the path of reform, it must shake off the influence of Confucianism at first, in order to build a nation-state type with the European-styled ‘freedom’, ’human rights’, ‘State’, ‘civilization’ and ‘independent spirit’. Its purpose is to make Japan no longer to rely on Confucian culture which centered in China within Asia. His idea represented a value orientation, and deviating from Asia is in essence deviating from the Confucianism. Therefore, deviating from Asia expressed the reform ideas, and established the modern Japanese national self-awareness. Meanwhile, ‘deviating from Asia into Europe’ has become an important slogan for the rising of nationalism in Japan, and has been adopted by the extreme right-wing forces and the Japanese colonial policy, that is, confusing a national state logic of ‘joining Europe’ with the logic of imperialism of ‘joining into Asia”. In concrete action, they had been transformed into ‘Joining into Asia against Europe’, and Japan launched aggression and colonial rule in China, Korea and Southeast Asian region by the pretext of ‘liberating Asia’. In essence, Japan demonstrates Japanese egotism with Asian-ism.
The concept of ‘Asia’ is linked with the socialist movement and bears revolutionary connotations. In the first half of 20th century, the socialist revolutionary movement had thrived full of vitality; during the process of against colonialism and capitalist expansion, the socialism explicitly put forward a concept of Asia. If we trace back the modern history, we can found that, socialist movement originated from 19th century in Europe is in fact an internationalist movement. It advocates and criticized nationalism in thinking. Before World War I, Socialists had to face a serious problem – if or not all the proletariat and the working class in a country can support their government against another imperialist nation, and the position of the working class in their own ethnic conflict. In this special social background, Lenin made national self-determination theory. Lenin’s views on the point of national self-determination mainly targeted at how the revolutionaries and intellectuals in a large country as like Russia to treat of the demands of national self-determination in some weak nations — the Russian people how to deal with the issues of ind
[4楼] allatonce 2008-08-28 11:20:37
A Slow Boat to China


In the 1920s, China was transforming from the 1911 Revolution to the Socialist Revolution, and at this time in Beijing, Lu Xun portrayed the farmer ‘Ah Q’. In the 80s, Tokyo greeted the arrival of modern society, and in Haruki Murakami’s writing Ah Q becomes the conscientious salary-man ‘Mr. Q’ – the imagery has been regenerated. In the 90s, in Hong Kong following its return, society suffers an identity crisis, and Murakami’s writing strikes a chord with the population, the Mr. Q character is transformed under the eye of Director Wong Kar Wai’s camera into the handsome, wealthy, naïve, bad and spoilt ‘Ah Fei’.

The literary scholar Shouzou Fujii, studied the work of Haruki Murakami and its reception in China. In his book ‘Haruki Murakami Mind’s China’ (Asahi-shimbun-sha, 2007) he is the first to point out the similarity between Haruki Murakami’s and Lu Xun’s literature. But also in Wong Kar Wai’s ‘Ah Fei’s Story’, with Leslie Cheung in the leading role, Ah Fei’s character is portrayed in a similar way to the other two writers. Behind all these characters, you can see society going through sudden changes. First, Lu Xun is living through a time of huge transformations as China becomes a modern country. Through the character Ah Q he severely criticizes people who do not want to join the revolution. In his short story ‘Decline Kingdom’, Haruki Murakami, working in an environment of economic growth in Japan, describes those who have lost their enthusiasm, and the complacency of the middle class, reduced finally to the conscientious but ultimately unsuccessful salary-man’s pitiful destiny. When the writers see changes around them, their writing reflects this, and the ordinary reader can feel these changes through the writing. All these literary characters are not active or positive, they are imperfect, lacking in charm, but people can still feel sympathy for them through the writing.

Back to Hong Kong. During the period when it left Britain’s colonial rule and returned to China, the residents face their own identity crisis. Shouzou Fujii believes that in Haruki Murakami’s literature, the fragments of memory which appear in the dialogue, such as “we are only 1 minute friends from now on”, show that he writes about this time very accurately, something which the Hong Kong people can feel a great empathy for during this period. Shouzou Fujii also points out that in Wong Kar Wai’s work, the character Ah Fei is trying to avoid the depression caused by his lack of meaning in society by attracting attention to himself through playing love games. Wong Kar Wai’s critique and Haruki Murakami’s work have a similar way of expressing themselves.

Here, whether in literature or film, they have crossed the boundaries between China, Japan and Hong Kong, and have surpassed the natures of the period they are in, unearthing representative characters from their content.

Not only films and literature, but also the fine arts, fashion, animation, music etc., have gone beyond their local concerns, and have also mutually affected each other. In Japan’s fine art environment, for more than 80 years, there has been a discussion whether traditional art should become Westernized. This conflict between traditional and modern has gradually lost its significance. In fact, this is the changing perspective in the conflict between global values and local values. There are two major reasons for this: first, modern Western culture’s dominant position has been reduced; second, mobility and improved communications technology have allowed cultural exchange to become easier and to cross boundaries, so it has devalued the traditional order of communication and allows the possibility of free information exchange. Also, there is a conflict in that on the one hand progress and modernization is desirable, but tradition should also be maintained – both need to remain as the foundations for society. With these kinds of transformations going on, this highly volatile situation may have an affect on many people. From this the mass media began to notice a social problem among young people, a kind of restlessness which is embodied by the empty character Ah Fei, who is full of nothing. However, this kind of emptiness cannot be avoided during this period when identity is in crisis. Anyhow, do we really need something to fill up this emptiness?

These kinds of uncertainties do not only exist on one level of society only. From our personal perspectives as individuals living in society these worries can be represented by the complicity between memory, rules, and culture etc. Contemporary art practice represents this complex network of complicity. If the emptiness exists in society, then memory will be used as content to describe this emptiness. The individual can be seen as the point of crossing between families, education, history etc. and society, so the artwork will reflect this special position.

The representations of art are changing. They are no longer representations of the majority’s ‘story’. In the 20th century these changes were like a tidal wave and could be recognized very easily. They affected not only the artistic representations but also the way of looking at the artworks. All kinds of contexts have changed and moved towards an emphasis on an individualized ideology of artistic representation, and this is already a wave which cannot be reversed. If we put the representations of Contemporary art under consideration, they match our time, revealing an impossibility of unity.

The advancement of social change is irresistible, but there are still many problems. If we start from the problems, the individual should gain more rights but we shouldn’t be focusing solely on the minority of people who already have rights. We believe this is not an option. The individuals who have lived through the enormous changes in society have all felt the emptiness of self-loss. In order to express their changed thinking they developed their creativity, and these activities have led them to understand themselves little by little and also to weave all these different feelings together as a whole. This is a new experimental attempt to create Contemporary art.

It’s better to take a small amount of water from the spring, rather than have a large pot of water, because the spring is the source of possibilities.
Wang Yangming, The Book of Knowledge and Action

[In Eastern thinking there is the belief in] the cycle of nature, that times change and society changes with it, the discovery and thought about the all these are the necessary conditions of humanity today. If it doesn’t work in this way we cannot rationalize or deal with accidental and irregular events. In order to understand this we have emphasized and focused on science and art. The land of China is as large as an ocean and many theories entered China, one of which is Zhuzi study . [A major exponent of ZhuZi studies,] philosopher Wang Yangming wrote that humanity cannot avoid being affected by strong outside influences, as a counter to this he advocated looking for knowledge and rational thinking from inside ourselves 5.

After modernization Western society will gradually become more prepared for dealing with unexpected changes in nature and society, learning how to deal with these issues from inside of humanity by using the anthropocentric worldview. Wang Yangming is interested in the moment at which the focal point of a sense of knowledge and the emotional feelings that deeply touch peoples hearts starts to move [from outside to inside]. Wang also wrote that according to Zhuzi studies, once we reach this point of research into the outside world, this research becomes transformed into a recognition of the seeming impossibility [of knowing the outside world], and at
[5楼] allatonce 2008-08-28 11:28:08

Asia in the 21st Century's New Era of Cultural Contact

By Jaeyoung Kang

In the fifty-year interval from the late 20th Century to the early 21st Century, the stage during which Asian countries modernized themselves by imitating Western civilization has come to an end. Now we are beginning a return to true concern for ourselves, to concern for an origin point within the minds of Asian people themselves. Thus the rubric of Asia has given rise to many new and different conceptions of Asia. Asia contains over 60% of the world’s population, and it has gradually grown into a huge new consumer market. In the United Nations and in international diplomatic circles, it is rising above its one-disadvantaged position and emerging to play a increasingly crucial role. More and more, it is becoming a focus of global interest. Along with rapid changes in the world power balance (with the collapse of pragmatic socialism and the end of the Cold War, the whole world has entered an era of capitalism and ascendant globalism), a system consisting of Europe, U.S.A., Asia, South America, and Russia has emerged. What is more, the upsurge of Japan, Korea and China has brought about a new order in which these three countries are broadening their influence in politics, economics and regional culture. At present I would like to discuss the cultural phenomenon of Asia, which has long been perceived as the “other” by the West. Confronted with this, Asia has been striving to transcend the constraints of so-called Asianness or Orientalism. The impetus for this comes from the political and economic self-confidence of Asia’s new generation. Seeing the boundless vitality and pluralism that today’s Asia is filled with, we believe it will assume an undeniable role as an inexhaustible source of innovative culture. Asia weaves a multiplicity of ethnic groups, religions and cultural forms into a tapestry, integrating them into a multi-polar society. In past centuries it has experienced severe rifts and clashes, but we at present we have gone beyond these adversities to transform our historical accretions into a motive force that energizes new cultural forms, while setting up a suitable platform for the 21st Century’s new era of cultural contact.
This Nanjing Triennial has adopted “Reflective Asia” as a theme, to display as best we can the substance and position of Asia’s new art market. Meanwhile, of course, this theme implies our intention of re-affirming and re-interpreting, from new perspectives, the multiplicity of Asian civilization. One could say that the post-colonial, post-Western discourse which has developed regarding Asia has mostly adopted the interpretive angle of Asians as victims, but this time our theme—“reprivatized Asia”—adopts perspectives belonging to an Asia which is self-determined in terms of economics, politics and cultural geography. From these inherent perspectives we hope to analyze, deconstruct and even critique the violence and colonialism existing within the complex, multifarious minds of men who were once called the spiritual leaders of Asia. Thus many images appearing in this exhibition will be jarring and unsettling for viewers, because the scars of darkness, prejudice and hardship we bear will be unreservedly exposed before us.
As the curator in charge of works from India and Korea, I naturally wish to work with the Triennial’s theme: to assemble outstanding artists from all over Asia in Nanjing, this city of special significance, and to present an overall picture of Asian contemporary art. The splendors and low points that China has experienced, its abundant heritage and the unforgettable suffering it met with in the course of modernization—all of these things are contained in the name “Nanjing.” Nanjing is a special city: one can think of it as an ideal spokesman for many cities that rose to their moment of splendor, fell into decline, and found ways to continue. All the people who struggled to survive here, in their clashes of past, present and future, have helped to usher in our new era of cultural contact.
Moon Kyungwon engages in creation of new media art, yet she has not wholly abandoned traditional techniques, and she is solidly grounded in craftsmanship. Moon Kyungwon has always worked at depicting people’s surroundings—landscapes and urban scenes. “Traces: Sungnyemun As an Urban Scene” presents drawings of Sungnyemun from different angles, arranged in order of completion. Throughout this series, the gate of Sungnyemun is the distinct feature in each picture: the surrounding scene is a transient bustle. Due to an act of arson, only ruins remain where Sungnyemun once was, yet it is a testament to history. This concrete symbol of ancient times comes to life again in Moon Kyungwon’s pieces. Amid the pictures’ fluid variations, the quiet space of history seems to reappear before viewers as an ongoing process. The true face of Sungnyemun seems instantaneously restored; time has been reversed, and the gate is once again allowed to persist as an object which changes according to point of view. The present significance of an artifact which succumbed to a destructive act is re-affirmed. Another work depicting urban scenes is “Traces: Seoul and Pyongyang.” This shows city government locales from the two representative cities of North and South Korea. This work uses photographs of city squares as a basic image: digital color manipulation is used to produce a randomly checkered effect. Varicolored pixel clusters of various sizes overlie the scenes of bustling traffic, so that after a while the scenes seem interchanged. This seems to be an ironic metaphor for the North-South talks, which have dragged on without progress under anxiety-producing conditions. In this we see the artist’s intention—her hope that peace will soon be restored between North and South. The city in Moon Kyungwon’s works is preyed upon by political problems which persist from tradition into modern times. Through suggestions of ideology and digitized treatment, the spaces become sites of merging forces and therefore symbols of history.
Shin Meekyoung’s works are motivated by questions of historical heritage. They convey feelings about place, culture and the passage of time. Her series of works titled “Translation Vase” renders Qing dynasty and Korean ceramics, of various shapes and patterns, using soap as a material. Shin Meekyoung selects ceramic ware and makes a mold of silicon resin, into which she pours liquid soap. When this solidifies, she removes it and hollows out the inside. She uses colored soap for each object, and paints on patterns using vegetable dyes. Just as with ceramics, she too adds a “glaze,” which for her is a brushed-on layer of transparent soap, which she encloses in a membrane and exposes to light. Only then is the piece ready to be exhibited. Not only are these pieces beautiful in external shape, they exude an alluring odor. Along with an air of classical grace, these inspired pieces show a flash of wit. They are genuine and artificial at the same time: the genuineness is rendered in an artificial medium. Part of their beauty lies in their seeming solidity but actual fragility. Shin Meekyoung calls her pieces “translations,” possibly implying that translation is an interpretation, but also a shift into another medium. This series of pieces by Shin Meekyoung, rendered in the everyday material of soap, explores questions of cultural interpenetration, of dissemination in new forms, of originality versus replication.
Kim Kira works by combining various techniques including installation, video and drawing. By merging creative forms, she demonstrates the dissimilarities among cultural forms. “Secret Garden Suffering from Obsession” is described as a piece that “manifests the human aspect of capitalist society in highly humorous form,
[6楼] allatonce 2008-08-28 11:29:21


Geographical Outlook

Asia, or Yazhou in Mandarin, is located in the northeast part of the eastern hemisphere. To the east it borders the Pacific Ocean; to the south it adjoins the Indian Sea; to the north it abuts the Arctic Sea; and to the West it reaches the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, which belong to the Atlantic Ocean. Asia’s land area extends from Cape Dezhnyov in the east (169.40°W, 60.5°N) to Baba Bumu [Turkey] in the west (26.3°E, 39.27N); from Cape Chelyuskin in the north (104.18°E, 77.43N) to Cape Piai in the south (103.30°E, 1.17°N) . Covering greater latitude than any other continent, it extends from the arctic to the equatorial zone, comprising nearly every climactic and ecological zone on the way. It embraces a broader longitude than any other continent, covering eleven time zones. To the northwest its boundary with Europe is marked by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Caucasus Range, the Bosphorus Strait, and the Dardanelle Strait; to the southwest it is divided from Africa by the Suez Canal and the Red Sea; to the southeast it faces Australia across the ocean; to the northeast it faces North America, only 86,000 meters away, across the Bering Strait. Asia’s land area of 44,000,000 square kilometres (including islands) takes up 29.4% of the world’s total land, making it the largest continent. Asia is continuous with Europe, and together they comprise the world’s largest land mass—Eurasia, with an area of 50,700,00 square kilometres, of which Asia makes up four-fifths.

Preliminary Thoughts
Having passed through the cry for “creative freedom” of 1979, followed by the 85 New Wave’s broad ferment and hunger for émigré experience in the 1980s, China’s contemporary art in the 90’s, while calling for engagement with the rest of the world, pioneered experimental, conceptual, new-media and multi-disciplinary modes of art. The 45th Venice Biennial (1993) and the 10th Kassell Documenta (1997), along with other international exhibitions, brought the parallel lines of Chinese and international art into gradual convergence. At the same time, the first wave of new émigré artists returned to China, whereupon began a thorough renewal in everything from concepts to methodology.

This exhibition has chosen the pictures of Wang Guangyi, Zhang Xiaogang and Fang Lijun as a case study in contemporary art, not for reasons of historical taxonomy. If we can speak of any common ground among these pictures, it is the challenging mode and historicist attitude of their response to deep-seated changes occurring in our current life and historical predicament. Moreover, they have caused this change to proceed in a more humanistic, nativist direction. These works, with their high degree of sensitivity and originality, have enriched contemporary Chinese art through their unstinting tension between reality and ideals. In this sense we can say, “Pictures are power.”
–“Pictures Are Power: The Art of Wang Guangyi, Zhang Xiaogang, and Fang Lijun”/ Curators: Huang Zhuan, Pi Li. Nov.20, 2002 at Hexiangning Art Center

In 2002, capital and power from the civil sector began examining the role of painting within contexts of society, internationalization, and identity. This had the effect of reinforcing native tendencies.

The MAAP (Multi Media Art Asia Pacific) Director Kim Machun: “The MAAP has been held annually beginning in 1998. It chiefly explores how to use more and newer techniques to create works of art, while exhibiting new multi-media artworks from Australia and the Asian-Pacific region. It is establishing a new network for introducing such works to audiences. In our past exchanges, we have seen fairly rapid development in China’s multi-media art, with far-ranging prospects. Thus we chose Beijing as the first venue for the festival outside of Australia. Through this activity, we hope to strengthen exchanges and collisions among multi-media artists in the Pacific-Asia region.”

Fan Di’an, chief curator, MAAP: “The development of multi-media art in China, drawing on a fair number of young and middle-aged artists, has built up considerable momentum. But overall, whether in terms of technique or concepts for media art, there is still need for more international exchanges. That’s is why we are gathering and showing works by media artists from various Asia-Pacific countries. I feel this is a genuine interaction.”
—-Fifth MAAP Exhibition 2002, Millennium Monument Museum of China, Beijing

The year 2002 also saw art festivals, artists and art organizations—with both official and international backgrounds—relocating to Beijing. This gradually led to deep interchanges and collisions among China’s contemporary society, culture and art.

Since 2005 China’s contemporary art has become a player in local and international capital markets. It has been estimated that 44 billion active investment dollars are in play within Asian and Chinese art markets as of 2008. The artist Yue Minjun brought annual auction receipts of 60 million RMB (2007, Sotheby’s auctions). Liu Xiaodong’s sales at the Mary Boone Gallery in America were even more impressive ($700,000 to 3 million apiece, sold out, 2008. In view of its role in China’s economy, art is no simple question of an isolated, native aesthetic, for China in the context of Asian and other nations poses an economic and relational aesthetic.

Why Speak of Asia?
Asia is a shifting topic, a methodology undergoing constant conversion. As we discuss Asia, we discover its indefiniteness. When we face particular nations that make up Asia, this indefiniteness becomes all the more obvious. Questions come up, such as how to define persons embracing various religious faiths and bloodlines in Asia? Asia has been the seedbed of Buddhism, Islam and Christianity. Is it correct to think of Asia as a religious sphere? A geographical sphere? Or perhaps the question to ask is what “Asia” offers us!? Then again we can posit Asia as a massive concept (a hypothetical entity), a region to be discussed in relation to Europe, Africa, the Americas, or perhaps the Islamic world.

Do these questions themselves constitute our reasons for discussing such a huge topic? How is such a huge topic to be presented at the 3rd Nanjing Triennial?!

Why we discuss Asia and a methodology for Asia: These questions gradually take on the dimensions of a real-world strategy, as at the Istanbul Biennial. Curators and artists tend to speak of topics that bring about intellectual clashes, rather than focusing on constructive thought, discussion and the promise of ongoing development.

Often the emergence of a theme proves to be no more than a gambit for filling space. Is discussion of “Asia” to be no more than this?

Along with the upsurge of the Asian economy, Asia has established itself as a space for art in which autonomous cycles and exchanges can occur. Asia’s reading of itself has gotten underway. The 1960s saw the emergence of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore as the four economic tigers. Also in the 60s, Yoko Ono and Yayoi Kusama of Japan wielded influence on American and European art trends. At the same time, Zen, meditative disciplines and yoga found acceptance within a broad spectrum of intellectuals. Asia and the mysteries of the Orient, merging with magical Magical Realism魔幻现实主义currents from Latin America, helped to shape the psychedelic culture of the 1970s.

Developments in the sphere of culture cannot be separated from the influences from within Asia. In the 20s and 30s, when many intellectuals pursued advanced study in Japan and Korea was a colony of Japan, Asia’s center of gravity shifted toward Japan under the Meiji Restoration. Classical Tang traditions left their mark in Japan, Korea, Laos, India, Thailand and Malaysia, where we can still see preserved aspects
[7楼] allatonce 2008-08-28 14:09:17

Shanghai-Nanjing Art Events (hot)

September 3, Sh Contemporary party at Bund 18, 6-midnight (their invite below)
September 6, Shanghart and Shanghai Gallery of Art openings (Yang Fudong and Michael Lin respectively)
September 7, Song Dong opening at Zendai Museum + Ke Center Opening
September 8, Shanghai Biennial opens (Sept 9-Nov 16)
September 9, ShContemporary VIP Preview (Sept 10-13)
September 10, 2 pm - Arthub presents at ShContemporary: Zhao Chuan, an art historian from Shanghai, will talk about his book on the “Birth of Avantgarde in Shanghai.”

September 10, 4 pm – 3rd Nanjing Triennial, Nanjing Museum
(Shanghai – Nanjing related project)

September 10, Yishu launch at Zendai
September 11, 2 pm - Arthub presents at ShContemporary: Shanghai-based Curator Biljana Ciric will launch and talk about her book “Rejected Collection” with CHARTA.
September 12, 2 pm - Arthub presents at ShContemporary: Birdhead (artists Song Tao and Ji Weiyu) will be on site to sign their limited-edition books.
September 12, 7.30 pm, Chinese Contemporary Art collector Sylvain Levy will speak to FCC. (venue TBD- will keep you posted)
September 13, 2 pm- Arthub presents at ShContemporary: A presentation of Asia Art Forum, an educational initiative for young collectors, art professionals and
October 17-22, E-arts festival (a city-wide celebration of new media)
October 22, Christian Marclay with Elliott Sharp, Wu Na, Ben Houge, Bruce Gremo, etc. (a PERFORMA Commission)