In his book, Escapism, Chinese-American geographer and founder of humanistic geography, Yi-Fu Tuan, makes the point that human beings built cities to escape nature’s mercilessness, yet, finding themselves imprisoned by the noise of cities, yearned return to nature; that they invented science to escape the chaos of thoughts, yet faced with its unbearable dullness, longed for a nature that freed them.
Accompanying economic and social development, a series of disparate changes has emerged in the relationship between nature and the individual. For people on either extreme of developmental strata, nature means a livelihood, taken for granted, or the fantasy of the good life, comprised of expensive vacations, escapes from the metropolis—or, to residents of developing cities, it means a concept split from the present moment, a fragmented memory, or even a constructed, artificial landscape. In the backdrop of China’s breakneck urbanization in the last 30 years, myriad artists have served as witnesses to this split.
As biotechnology matures, making deeper interventions into nature, and as ecological crises become more and more common, this exhibition attempts to reinstate a fluid relationship between nature and technology. The exhibition presents a group of artists of different backgrounds, who express individual—or epochal—ways of understanding and being with nature, as well as the deep ethical concerns underlying these relations.
About the exhibition
Dates: 13 October, 2018 – 7 April, 2019
Venue: UCCA Dune, Aranya Gold Coast
Participating Artists: Li Shan, Liang Shaoji, Liu Yujia, Nabuqi, Yang Xinguang, Trevor Yeung, Yu Ji, Zheng Bo, Zhuang Hui & Dan’er
Courtesy of the artists and UCCA, for further information please visit http://ucca.org.cn/en.