00 featured image of Exhibition View - EmergingLand: An Unconventional Display by teamLab and 17 Artists

As the most advanced Japanese new media art team, teamLab has become one of the most popular interdisciplinary art groups with its imaginative immersive experience and superb new media technology. This summer, YAM (Yang Art Museum) and teamLab joined together to create a large-scale immersive new media art exhibition entitled “teamLab·Future Park.” This is different from previous exhibitions, this time in addition to the introduction of “teamLab·Future Park”including 8 artworks that provide a mature independent interactive experience, YAM curatorial team and curator Professor Wang Chuan from the Central Academy of Fine Arts, creatively invited 17 artists from diversified fields including painting, sculpture, architecture, digital media, art theory, experimental art, theatre and stage, folk art, etc. They participated in the creation and intervened in the exhibition space of the museum with various art forms and identities, and joined together in the trip to “EmergingLand” with the audience.

“Joint creation” can change a public space into an experimental venue. “Changing the relationship between people and making the existence of others more meaningful” is the orientation of “teamLab·Future Park.” Knowing the concept of “joint creation” in “teamLab· Future Park,” YAM curator Wang Zhaokun believed that this broke through the boundaries between art and the audience, enabling participants to use technology to enhance the interactive links with others in a public space. “If you can introduce the Future Park model into the museum, it is equivalent to redefining the experience of an art museum. This is a very interesting innovation for the spatial properties of YAM.” During the curatorial period, Wang Zhaokun was not satisfied with the direct “introduction” of the teamLab exhibition, but thought of how to make it more distinctive in this already “mature” system. Under this context, YAM invited Professor Wang Chuan from the Central Academy of Fine Arts to serve as the curator. After the curatorial team constantly explored, revised, disputed, and communicated, this exhibition finally established an extended proposition parallel to the original exhibition: seeking “EmergingLand” and extended to the three sections of “Digitized Environment”, “Transcending Boundaries” and “Embodying Communication” are finally driven by “cooperation” and “creativity”, thus the thematic deduction of its theme was finally accomplished.

“Usually the opening is a positive result of the planning of the exhibition, a finished product, but with this exhibition, it is not the case,” said curator Wang Chuan. The 17 artists invited by “EmergingLand”come from various fields. Being different from other models of exhibitions, this time the artists’ creations are be divided into 5 groups and projected onto the scene over the 105-day exhibition period, hidden in works by the audience. There is no clear explanation to remind the audience of the source of these images. This “unconventional” display is undoubtedly a challenge for the artist, and finally the list of 17 artists was determined: Wang Shaojun, Huang Yong, He Wei, Wang Shugang, Zhang Wei, Mu Feng, Liu Libin, Yan Feng, Liu Zhenghua, Zhang Yanzi, Tang Hui, Kang Jianfei, Chen Xi, Wu Jian’an, Liu Di, Ma Wei, Xie Kun. Wang Chuan said, “This list is not to emphasize who is selected by the museum but it expresses our common consensus and attitude. Zhang Yanzi, an artist involved in the creation, said that there was some concern when receiving the invitation for creation. After all, under the mature system of teamLab which has a strong and highly recognized style, it is unprecedented. “But I think it is very interesting, and I’d like to try.” In the process of inviting artists to participate, Wang Chuan used a similar method of “proposition composition” to give the space to the creator. Artists diverged their thoughts in a fixed image outline, whether it was painting, writing, coating, cutting, pasting, etc., they can do whatever they like.

“EmergingLand” is not only an extended theme that strengthens the concept of “joint creation”, but also a continuous proposition that will be exploring different media forms. This exhibition can be considered dynamic as the ever-changing, continuous state of progress, does not only point to a specific space, but also points to the future of the experimental field of integrated technology and art. Walking through the exhibition hall, the images designed by artists constitute an indistinct undercurrent in the creative sea of the audience. Perhaps a keen audience will find the images belonging to artists, and perhaps the audience will pass on them. The creative works projected on the wall do not have a distinct line of intersection with the works that engage the audience. They are fleeting and hidden, and all the results become unknown. “During the whole exhibition period, the artist’s works are projected by groups among the creation of the audience, integrated as a whole and what is the resulting situation? I don’t know; what kind of experience will the artists and designers who gave up their identities have? I don’t know; professors from art schools have not really practiced in such public education practice, what impact will this have on their educational philosophy? I still don’t know…” Wang Chuan said, “Confronted with these unknowns, all of us have reasons to be nervous, but we should be more exciting.” Beuys once said that “everyone is an artist”, Andy Warhol also said that “everyone can be famous for fifteen minutes”, the exhibition blurs the customary identity of artists, in Wang Chuan’s opinion, “we would like to use this exhibition to stir up the solidified pattern, so that everyone has the opportunity to re-recognize their respective roles and their potential beyond their original identity.”

In addition, the final presentation of the exhibition, on top of YAM’s persistence, offers cooperation among artists, and technical support from teamLab becomes more crucial. “Real breakthroughs usually come from small changes, and even small changes require the most solid technical support.” With inspiration from Eastern aesthetics and a deep integration into contemporary technology with art, teamLab constantly updates the cognition of new media art with the art world. For a long time, they have been trying to break down the barriers in art, science and technology, and in the digital age, to propose positive ideas of relations between technology and people with an element of human care, so that all associations have more possibilities. The exhibition at YAM further promoted the connection among art, technology and the public. The concept of the appeal of exhibition is “cooperation and creation”, curator Wang Chuan said, “I think the curatorial thinking is the best practice for this concept. For the future, for the unknown, I hope that through this exhibition, we will ask questions then answer them together.”

Text by Lin Jiabin, translated and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

Photo Courtesy of the Organizer

List of the curator and artists


Wang Chuan, Professor of Photography Department, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Director of Development Planning Division, Postgraduate Supervisor.


Wang Shaojun, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Professor of Sculpture Department and Postgraduate Supervisor

Huang Yong, Deputy Dean, Professor and Postgraduate Supervisor of the School of Art Administration and Education of the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

He Wei, Associate Professor of the School of Architecture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Postgraduate Supervisor, Deputy Director of the Rural Architecture Committee of the Architectural Society of China.

Wang Shugang, a freelance artist.

Zhang Wei, Deputy Director, Professor and Postgraduate Supervisor at the Sculpture Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Mu Feng, CCTV Dance Beauty and Visual Designer, Drama and Film Director, Director of the TV Art Committee of the China Academy of Performing Arts.

Liu Libin, Ph.D. in Art History, Curator, Associate Researcher at the Institute of Fine Arts, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Postgraduate Supervisor.

Yan Feng, Artist, Designer, Associate Professor of the China Academy of Art, Postgraduate Supervisor.

Liu Zhenghua, a representative inheritor of Miao Embroidery, an intangible cultural heritage project in Taijiang County, Guizhou Province, and a visiting teacher at the International Tourism and Culture College of Guizhou Normal University.

Zhang Yanzi, Editor-in-chief of CAFA ART INFO and Artist

Tang Hui, Director, Professor and Postgraduate Supervisor of the Mural Painting Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Kang Jianfei, Associate Professor of the Printmaking Department at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Postgraduate Supervisor, Secretary General of the Art Committee of the Chinese Printmaking Museum, Art Director and Curator of the Ivy League Program.

Chen Xi, Professor and Postgraduate Supervisor at the School of Architecture, the Central Academy of Fine Arts.

Wu Jianan, Associate Professor and Postgraduate Supervisor at the Experimental Art School of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. He is a researcher at the Chinese Traditional Skills Research and Protection Center of the Prince Kung’s Mansion of the Ministry of Culture and a member of the Beijing Zoo Academic Committee.

Liu Di, a young artist.

Ma Wei, a young artist.

Xie Kun, a young artist.

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