2012 Open Sky: An Exhibition of International Contemporary Art

2012-12-22 09:00 - 2013-02-22 21:00

2012 Open Sky: An Exhibition of International Contemporary Art

When: 22 Dec, 2012 - 22 Feb, 2013
Where: ChangJiangHui Museum of Contemporary Art, ChongQing
Opening Reception: 22 Dec, 2012, Sat, 4:00pm

 An Exhibition of International Contemporary Art

2012:打开天空-国际当代艺术展

By Gu Zhenqing (Curator)

For more than 30 years, the reform and opening up policy has brought many positive outcomes that include the flourishment of contemporary art. The innovation and development of contemporary art is a part of China's cultural course, resulting from the endless emergence, evolution, and accumulation of the numerous and intricate cultural experiences in today's society, a part that is literally irreplaceable, inevitable, and invaluable.

The 2012 apocalypse does not only bring haze to our sky and minds but also delivers an alarming sign for mankind in our heyday. Everyone wants a better life. However, when our common wishes are combined with insatiable desires, they become excessive exploitation and irreparable damage of global living environment. The 2012 apocalypse sounds a warning to all human being: the sustainable development depends on the global consensus view and increased cooperation in low-carbon lifestyle, energy saving, and consumption reduction; the increasing problem of imbalanced ecosystem becomes both pressing and complex, because the fragile ecosystem in danger may collapse and bring natural catastrophe anytime. Confronted with this situation, what can artists do? They should gain new insight through reviewing the old culture and also "open sky" to face the future.

As other long-lasting ancient cultures in Asia, Chinese culture and tradition have encountered the modernity and universal value dominated by western culture. Nevertheless, if we inspect the gene our culture, we will know for sure that it does not provide the cultural context that naturally generates logocentrist Francis Fuknyama's the "End of History", nor the sort of super "cultural virus" urging us to voraciously exploit natural resources, causing humankind's possible self-destruction due to the loss of control of nuclear energy. Furthermore, our culture does not give striking prediction about the end of word like 2012 Mayan prophecy. The ancient Chinese sages' wise sayings have inspired European elite intellectuals such as Voltaire during the Age of the Enlightenment in Europe and also American thinkers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. For example, the idea of ecological harmony in the saying "unity of nature and humanity", and the promotion of social equality as Confucius said, "Don't do unto others what you don't want others do unto you." These ideas, relevant traditional cultural values, and artistic conceptions are inherited, transformed, and reinvigorated by contemporary Chinese artists, turning into the dynamics of their spiritual world.

Contemporary art appeared from 1980s in China and gradually developed since then. In the early stage, some Chinese artists were prone to imitate and transplant the western cultural heritage into their own artistic practices. However, since 2000, major changes and considerable innovations sprout in China's contemporary art world, because more and more Chinese artists starts to derive inspiration from their native culture and other foreign civilizations, reconciling the diverse and rich cultural elements into an organic artistic entity.

No one can disregard or deny the great shake-up and historic change of Chinese contemporary art scene in global art world, but the western contemporary art experience and discourse, like a castle in the air, still linger in Chinese artists' mind. What can Chinese artists do? Open Sky answers the question by suggesting a new possibility for the global civilization and art, thus, "harmony but not sameness".

Open Sky is to break the western cultural hegemony that has been clouding the sky of discourse, unveiling the real, vivid, full vision of the "harmony but not sameness" within artists and various cultures. No matter for the developed countries affected by economic and financial crisis in Europe and America or the emerging economies in Asia, Africa and Latin America, the cultural concept "harmony but not sameness" proposes a new window leading to the future. It does not acknowledge the post-colonist context, nor the fake multiculturalism restricted by the existing geopolitical doctrine. To the artists from any developing countries, there is no rigid, unchangeable "harmony but not sameness". The real essence of this concept is the constant convergence, divergence, and evolution of multiple cultural identities.

To Chinese artists, "harmony but not sameness" is not a cultural strategy, a narcissistic glorification and self-pity of Chinese culture. Nor is it simply the evidence of criticism of social reality. "Harmony but not sameness" is a global cultural context that Chinese artists cannot escape from. Along with the interaction of different cultural forces and the transition from the old to the new, "harmony but not sameness" probably will become a basic trait of global art world in the next few decades.

Open Sky demonstrates a new cultural environment on international scale, the "harmonious coexistence despite of differences" that stimulates human subjectivity and diverse development. Open Sky presents the unique Chinese art scene and Chinese pattern in the field of contemporary art. It may reveal the internal drive of contemporary Chinese artists' soaring and persistent independent innovation.

 

Artists: BU HUA, DIEGO ZUELLI (ITALY), AKINO KONDOH (JAPAN), LI HUI, LI QING, LIU QIANYI, LI RAN, LIN XIN, LIU YANHU, ISLAND6 (SINO-EUROPEAN INTERNATIONAL ARTIST GROUP), LIU GUI DI, LUO HELIN & CHEN YICHUN (TAIWAN), MIAO XIAOCHUN, NIU MIAO, SHI DANQING, SHY GONG (TAIWAN), SHI JINSONG, SUI JIANGUO, SUN YUAN & PENG YU, TANG YIHU & XIANG YANDONG & ZAHNG WENTAO, TIAN XIAOLEI, WENG FEN, WU QIUYAN, WU WEIHE, WU XIAOJUN, XU ZHONGMIN (UK), XUE LEI, YANG QIAN(USA), ZHANG MENG, ZHOU CHANGYONG, ZHOU SHAOBO, ZHU JIA

 

CURATOR: GU ZHENQING
PRODUCER: CHEN JING, CHEN LU
SPACE DESIGN DIRECTOR: LIU HENG
EXECUTIVE CURATOR: TIAN DONG, WANG WENJUAN, GABRIELLE YANG
ASSISTANT CURATOR: QU MIN, RONG ZHAN GUO, LIU CAN, LIU YI, LIU JUAN, WU YAODONG
PUBLIC PROMOTION:ZHOU NENG, YANG SHU, DORIS HU

 

Opening Hours: 9:00 - 21:00
Tel: 023-62875333、023-62875666
Add: 16 Nanbin ST, Nan'an District, ChongQing

 

*Information provided by Li-Space

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