00 featured image of the exhibition - “Immortal City”: Art Explores New Metaphors on Technology and the Interdisciplinary Actions that Draw the Map of the Times

On 15 September 2018, “Immortal City—Ivy Art 2018” Tianjin Youth Art Week was officially held at Tianjin Binhai Cultural Center • Binhai Art Museum. The exhibition also started a series of activities for Ivy Art 2018.

In the face of the re-construction of the future using emerging technology, the chief curators Kang Jianfei and Sheng Wei proposed that “immortal” lies between the East and the West, running through the ancient and modern history of art and the universal concept of the human ideological development and how it extends. From myths to reality, human desire for immortal life is endless and alternately emerges. Immortal life appears as both a physiological ideal and a reality in daily life. It is precisely because human beings tirelessly pursue the immortal life that they have derived as a variety of graphic representations and ideological creation and the bodies which are not able to be immortal are preserved in various carriers, which encourages the new technological media to replace nature, icons, religion and man-made myths, and becomes the object that achieves immortality.

The rapid changes of science and technology and network media is synchronized with the development of bio-genetic technology. On the one hand, it encourages artists to update their understanding of material and image forms. On the other hand, they break away from technical constraints and practice social issues with distinct personal methods, the use of highly sensitive technological metaphors to make their voices heard, and it is the value engine that drives the exhibition. The exhibition curatorial team has built a frame with a clear context and offers the art lovers and media guests a valuable narrative path and a map of times for cross-disciplinary actions and integration.

The Immortal City focuses on the exploring of the mixed ecology of “science, art, life” mutually surging and blurring borders. Associated Professor of the Department of Printmaking, CAFA Kang Jianfei and Deputy Editor-in-Chief of “Fine Art” magazine Sheng Wei serve as the chief curators of “Ivy Art 2018”. They invited young curators Wang Lin, Song Zhenxi and Su Lei to respectively curate three parts of the exhibition including “Tittytainment Park”, “God Reassembly”, “Where is the Hometown”.

Through the invitation and recruitment, the curatorial team finally selected more than 150 pieces (sets) by 43 artists (groups) to participate in the exhibition. The works cover easel paintings, photography, moving images, interactive installation, immersive art, biological art, audio vision, network art and comprehensive media. Through the consultation and mutual assistance with young artists, the three parts jointly explore the interconnection of symbiosis between technology, humanities and art production in the context of new media, fast consumption, and entertainment, in order to awaken the awareness of issues of social groups at the level of value, humanity, faith and culture.

Tittytainment Park: A Playground of Information and Desire

Zbigniew Brzezinski proposed the theory of “Tittytainment”, the life of the majority of the world’s population should be filled with entertainment. “Tittytainment Park” curated by Wang Lin focuses on the desire dominated by the invisible hand and the excessive stimulation of temporary consumption.

God Reassembly: Yearning for the Original, the Re-created Sublime      

The issue of faith re-constructed by the current capital was presented in an absurd and heavy way in the “God Reassembly” planned by Song Zhenxi. “God Reassembly” mainly presents the immersive video art, as well as traditional easel paintings depicting the entertainment, landscape, the classical and the era that lacks a myth and a faith. The comprehensive media of different forms jointly create a secluded sense of the sublime, and it aims to trace the original culture and reassemble the system of aesthetic standards and find a way to solve the current problems.

Where is the Hometown: Extension of Roots and Reconstruction of the Globalized Human Space                      

“Hometown” is homeland and home, but now she is not the extension of land, but the continuation of roots and origins. At present, the use of smart technology has increased the ability of the system to be independently operated, and the market is rebuilding its own text and the public script composed of myths and ideals are replaced. The art of being rooted must transcend time and the traditional logical sequence, which are the characteristics of fusion, which is like a sensitive inflatable material that accommodates different human behaviors. As Lyotard said, “Adapting to changes of modernism does mean adapting to the reconstruction of a global human space.”

Compared with previous years, the Ivy Art 2018 is more focused on the combination of diverse mixing, public experience, art and new media technology in both content and form, and highlights the use of artistic creation as a medium, to expand the possibility of the natural convergence of art and cross-disciplinary research. Perhaps, it is able to rediscover a new strategy that resonates with the sounds of the times for the group exhibition of young artists, the use of artistic language to continue to question the social changes led by technology.

It is the 5th anniversary of the “Ivy Art” in 2018 and reviews the development of the past few years: from 2014 to 2015, it launched annual exhibitions to present the general research of youth art ecology; from 2016 to 2017, the annual exhibition was upgraded to “Tianjin Youth Art Week”, which also launched an annual exhibition as the core, in addition, it also presented the creators project, the young curators project, and the walking project, and it also started to pay attention to young curators, and the young curators project has also been a normal project; in 2017, YAC was established at the Dongjiang International Art Center, and it built a shared community covering artists’ creations, residencies, exhibitions and exchanges, offering young artists more help with comprehensive development. In 2018, how it changes with stable development, how it makes the exhibition be increasingly in line with current artists and social concerns, how it adheres to the original mind while adapting to new development demands, are the challenges faced by Ivy Art, perhaps this exhibition is an answer given by Ivy Art over the five years.

Edited by Lin Jiabin, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

Photo courtesy of the organizer  

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