Dawn Breaking, a large-scale solo exhibition of the moving image artist Yang Fudong will be held at the Long Museum (West Bund) on March 23rd 2018. This is the opening chapter of Yang Fudong’s museum film project. In accordance with the unique architecture of the Long Museum, Yang created two novel and spectacular scenes, “The Morning Ceremony of the Song Dynasty” on the first floor and “The Tower of Life” in the stair gallery, which constitute the central filming locations of the “Museum Film Project”.
Yang initially conceived this idea of making an art film in an art museum in 2009. After nearly a decade of planning, his idea is finally realized in the Long Museum (West Bund), and this project will be presented in other art institutions exploring different themes in the future. In this exhibition, Yang and his team will film for one month in the Long Museum (West Bund), and the whole shooting process will be extended to become a large-scale live performance. The audience will be invited to witness the important process of film production. Yang integrates the strict and orderly process of shooting with the spontaneous visit of the audience, allowing viewers to wander into the flow of time and feel the multidimensional video world constructed by Yang. The 30-day filming process will be edited artistically into 30 Diaries, which will be shown on one of 30 unique screens at the museum progressively. The “Nietzsche Quotes” referring to desires, power and social ideals, originally presented on the screens will gradually be interlaced with the diary scenes that are completed every day.The abstract concepts conveyed from the quotes will gradually be illustrated by the figurative visual images. After one month shooting, the audience will continue to have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the artistic scene of Song dynasty through the complete dairy section of “Dawn Breaking”. Well-known actors are expecting to play on-site, such as Tan Zhuo and Lv Yulai. It’s worth to mention that more actors such as Xu Caigen from Shanghai Film Studio will join in successively as the shooting progresses.
Throughout history, the Song dynasty bestowed with economic prosperity and the flourishing of art was an era in which their civilized achievement came close to the modern times. At that time, people were prosperous and free. The historian Huang Renyu has stated that since Song dynasty, China “seems to have stepped into modern times, it was from here where their material culture begins”.
During the morning ceremony of the Song dynasty, the emperor and ministers would discuss the affairs of state together. The ministers went to court and the emperor announced his decisions at the morning ceremony. This exhibition allows us to trace back to history, to contemplate reality and reflect on the present. The imperial court of the Northern Song from a thousand years ago and the world today will have a dialogue beyond time and space at the Long Museum.
The second floor of the museum will present the “One-frame Film” photo exhibition. The photography works are selected from several of the artist’s most important black and white films from 2005 to 2014: The Light That I Feel, New Women I, Seven Intellectuals in Bamboo Forest and so on. “One-frame Film” is intended to convey the artist’s own understanding and interpretation of the living conditions of human beings through the most ephemeral and wonderful images. These still and recorded works perfectly complement the live performance and video works elsewhere in the exhibition.
As one of the most influential Chinese video artists in the world, Yang Fudong has refuted the linear narrative structure of traditional films, and created an illusionary world far away from real life, by means of multiple cultural perspectives, the complex illusion of space and time and a poetic editing style.
The exhibition not only overturns the ways of creating and viewing artworks in the traditional sense, it expands the boundary of works to the audience’s own personal experience and drives viewers to think about history, focus on the present and look forward to the future. The Long Museum brings this museum film project to fruition with a great challenge, to promote Chinese contemporary art towards a more diverse and experimental development.
About the artist
Yang Fudong, was born in Beijing in 1971. He graduated from the Oli Painting Department of the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou. He is regarded as one of China’s best known and most successful artists. Yang has been engaged in the creation of video works since the late 1990s. Whether it is photography, films or video installations, his works form a unique cultural visual interpretation through multiple cultural perspectives interlaced with experiences of space and time. They are all characterized by multi-perspectives, exploring the structures and forms of identities in myths, personal memories and lived experiences. Each work could be considered as both a dramatic lived experiences and a challenge. Yang has participated in several prestigious international art events such as Documenta in Kassel Germany, The Venice Biennale in Italy, La Biennale de Lyon in France and The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art. In 2004, he became the third Chinese artist, after Cai Guoqiang and Huang Yongping, to be a finalist for HUGO BOSS PRIZE at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. Now he lives and works in Shanghai.
About the exhibition
Dates: March 24, 2018 – June 3, 2018
Venue: Long Museum West Bund
Courtesy of the artist and Long Museum West Bund, for further information please visit http://thelongmuseum.org.