Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation
Chaos and orderliness are not decided by the minority.
As time goes by, the behaviour of the masses creates order, direction and the future in a seemingly unconscious movement. The developments in digital and media technology are increasingly facilitating this process. The impact every individual can make on the future of the world is becoming more and more obvious.
If some roads are to appear on a virgin land, they are less likely the result of the designing of city planners and construction of workers; on the contrary, they are more likely formed in the long process of spontaneous treading by the masses in a seemingly disorderly way.
The masses are not just passers-by who head on in a blind way. They are wise, active and spontaneous.
A Solid and Real China
What China shows in the world arena is not always commonplace. It might be a dynamic world of political and economic significance, or the challenges in its social and environmental governance. The world is asking what the future holds for China? We could look away from the turbulent change or development, maybe look at people in their regular life do not always involve politics, wealth, art, discourse, power, or commerce. Perhaps one may find the vigor of the Chinese that remained unchanged despite all the vicissitudes of life, and their extraordinary works of creativity.
The Chinese Pavilion at the 56th la Biennale di Venezia looks into "Other Future". It discusses the following questions: Is art encompasses a larger ambit? And how does it respond to current events and future challenges? How independent could an artist cross-disciplinary practice? What are sources of vitality and originality for art works? All these questions point to civil future.
The term "civil" here is not a sociological concept. Rather, it involves the existence of every individual member of civil society who is unique and defies classification. Also, "civil" represents open minded and tolerant, and at the same time rather challenging stand in current China: spontaneous, non-mainstream pursuits and creativity and the enjoyment of freedom of creativity.
And "Future" is not something of invented Utopia; it stands more for the coexistence of and interaction between the old and new worlds, and for endless possibilities that are accumulated and created in different social dimensions.
"Other Future" is a sort of observation, a question, and something in progress. For the majority of artists with well-defined attitudes, their artistic visions and thoughts on society transcend time, space and culture, representing not merely the dreams of their countries, but also the future all the world moves towards.
Eminent Creativity of Artists at the China Pavilion
The Chinese Pavilion invites 3 artists and 2 art self-organizations: LIU Jiakun, LU Yang, TAN Dun, WEN Hui (Living Dance Studio), and WU Wenguang (CCD Workstation).
• Architect who has more interaction with the miscellaneous of society and who is good at innovation and introspection in dealing with actual problems;
• New media artist whose works are cutting edge that often attract controversy;
• World-renowned musician and artist who explore intangible cultural heritage and with a liking for "crossover" and diversity;
• Independent modern dance and documentary network workstation, and common people who participate in social and political reform by creating documentaries in a way that challenges the established definition of an artist. They are initiators of civil memories and historical images with the aid of creative effort in modern dance.
Each artist is an explorer outside the official system with challenging subjects and boundaries of creation. They draw inspiration from ordinary lives and traditions, seeking cross-disciplinary innovation with contemporary relevance. Their understanding of contemporary art and social reality is revealing dynamic energy of Chinese art communities, its ongoing diversity and the possibility of going beyond what is conventional.
Works of Tan Dun and Lu Yang draw inspiration from traditional Chinese culture and classics, such as Nu Shu culture (women's script, national non-matter cultural legacy), Buddhist art, Shan Hai Jing (The Classic of Mountains and Rivers) and deity sculptures. With the interaction of contemporary music, intangible cultural heritage and new media, the artists transcend cultural boundaries with their breathtakingly imaginative languages of art that engaging with audience. Liu Jiakun's art installations, CCD/Living Dance Studio's works (documentaries "China Village Documentary Project", "Chinese Civil Memory Documentary Project", modern dance projects) are created in interaction with ordinary people over the years, reveling a solid image of everyday life in China. Their ways of approaching reality, displaying tension in more audacious ways and their intervention in society, not only extend the boundary and definition of art, but also present a vivid picture of “other future” in China.
The works convey these artists' exceptional views and sentiments, representing their unique ways in which they respond to current issues: challenges, compassions, rights, equality, criticism, indignation, or more profound relationships with the past and present. They exploit the nature of things, taking root in reality, yet with their viewpoints and creativity.