Future for all

By Sun Shuangjie in Shanghai Source:Global Times Published: 2015-3-17 20:38:01

The Jinling Chronicle Theater Project at the Red Brick museum in Beijing 2014. Photo: Courtesy of The Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale's 56th International Art Exhibition will open to the public from May 9 to November 22. Titled "All the World's Futures," the event will feature 136 artists from 53 countries, announced Okwui Enwezor, curator of the exhibition, at a press conference for the event in Shanghai Monday.

The exhibition will be held at two locations, the central pavilion at Giardini gardens and the Arsenale, an exhibition area measuring 11,000 square meters in total.

In addition, 89 countries will join the Venice Biennale with their national pavilions at Giardini, Arsenale and around the city of Venice, among them first-time participants Grenada, Mauritius, Mongolia, the Republic of Mozambique and the Republic of Seychelles.

Forty-four co-events will also be held at various locations in the city by non-profit organizations.

"When you've go to the Venice Biennale, you don't see, you scan it, because you've got so much. It's unprecedented," said Enwezor, the Nigerian curator who ranked 24th in London-based ArtReview magazine's list of the contemporary art world's 100 most powerful figures last year.

According to the curator, the theme of the International Art Exhibition is based on the past 120 years of history that has witnessed human beings living through radical changes as the world moved from industrial to post-industrial modernity, from technological to digital modernity and from mass migration to mass mobility. As such the exhibition is devoted to "a fresh appraisal of the relationship of art and artists to the current state of things."

Growing Chinese participation

Four Chinese artists, Xu Bing, Qiu Zhijie, Ji Dachun and Cao Fei have been formally invited to the international exhibition.

Xu, the Mac Arthur Award winner for his well-known A Book from the Sky series, will bring his installation Phoenix to the exhibition. Meanwhile, Qiu is set to present his latest work, the Jinling Chronicle Theater Project, in which the artist uses installations to interpret traditional Chinese painting in a contemporary way.

A well-established artist, Ji is known for the critical and ironic view of Chinese society that he portrays in his oil paintings, and so many look forward to what he may bring to the exhibition.

Born in 1978, Cao is the youngest artist among the four and is famous for her multimedia and video installations that combine surrealism, social criticism and pop culture to reflect on China's rapidly changing society.

This will be the seventh time that China has established a national pavilion at the Venice Biennale. This year, the Chinese pavilion will be curated by the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation (BCAF). Taking the theme "Other Future," the pavilion will present a different view towards life and art through non-mainstream artists.

Participating artists include Tan Dun, a musician and artist well-known for his devotion to China's intangible cultural heritage; Lu Yang, a young multimedia artist that has attracted quite a bit of attention for her experimental art series; Liu Jiakun, an architect who has created a number of creative cross-over art projects; Wen Hui and Wu Wenguang, two artists who use modern dance projects and documentary series about grassroots movements to promote critical thinking; and a group of rural film directors whose documentaries record how Chinese village life has changed.

"'Other Future' is an observation, a question mark and a time of being," said Cui Qiao, president of the BCAF. "Additionally, 'Other Future' represents a multi-dimensional existence, which reflects the status quo of China that embraces different types of viewpoints and spirits."

According to a press release, seven other Chinese artists including Li Lei and Qin Feng will be featured at other national pavilions.

Posted in: Art

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