01 Originators of the Finding Friends project Wu Hongliang (the second on the left), Gao Peng (the third on the left)

On the evening of April 22, 2016, sponsored by the Today Art Museum, “2016 Finding Friends: Gravitational Waves” was unveiled with amusement in the art window on the ground floor of Building 2, Today Art Museum.

In Einstein’s theory of general relativity, gravity is treated as a phenomenon resulting from the curvature of spacetime. The project compares “gravity” to the uncontrollable “artistic gravity” between artists, they invited a drama group and artists to jointly participate in the show, so that the young artists can present their artistic creations in a certain space, trying to erupt special “art sparks”. As was written in the preface: “gravitational waves” is caused by the interaction between two objects with a mass, and it’s able to penetrate regions of space that electromagnetic waves cannot. Gravitational waves which are caused by the “drama star” and “art stars” interacting with each other will not be shadowed by interstellar mediums (the boundary of the exhibition space) any longer, but spread to the depths of the universe. And what interesting information can be carried by the gravitational waves that the observer standing on the blue planet can receive? With such an idea, the organizer began to try such an experiment…

The whole project is built to be a journey of “boarding and exploring another planet”, and the audience needs to take a ticket to experience “boarding”, “security check”, “departing from the capsule”, finally setting foot on different “planets”, along a certain route to explore a series of mysterious planets. The audience first lands the “Daqing Star” – Liu Guannan who graduated from the Department of Sculpture at CAFA brought about the work “Silent Fountain”, piled by many broken and divisive skulls of men, the feeling of sharp broken items brought with a solemn silence; Desk Research Team’s Descol Nebula was the second station, the work “Snowing”,  was made full use of the window display space, combined with different colors of lights, to shape a visual sense of snowing like a rain of flowers; the artist Qin Guanwei’s work “Add, Subtract, Multiply and Divide”, the most intuitively using blue balloons and small magnets to showcase the four symbols of “add, subtract, multiply and divide”, when the audience conveniently touches the small balloons outside the window, the magnets drove the big balloons to move within the window. The artist said the existence of the work was transient, and as long as the audience participated in, the “add, subtract, multiply and divide” was announced as disappearing and it produced various random new forms.

Finally, the audience set foot on the “STAGE NO MORE Start” by the STAGE NO MORE group. STAGE NO MORE group introduced dramatic language into a non-theatre space, breaking the boundaries and space of drama, they invited the audience to enter the theater, when the actors perform, the audience could follow the actor’s pace and move randomly. STAGE NO MORE played the Hamlet’s Gate which was an adaptation of the classic play of Shakespeare, the story started from a piece of news, now involved in new media elements such as modern mobile phones, weibo, WeChat and interacting with the audience, so that the audience has a new theatrical experience.

“Finding Friends” project was jointly initiated by the Director of Today Art Museum Gao Peng and the Director of the Art Museum of Beijing Fine Art Academy Wu Hongliang, the project aims to find young unknown artist groups and it is showcased in the display space, there is no curator and only uses the recommendation of the artists, to transfer power to the artists, showcasing a lively vivid window show, and becomes the first domestic 24-hour “art exhibition”, bringing the audience a fresh sensory experience.

The window show project remains on view until June 15.

Text by Lin Jiabin/CAFA ART INFO, Photo by Today Art Museum

Translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

About the artists 

Liu Guannan was born in Daqing in 1984, and graduated from the Department of Sculpture, CAFA in 2014, with a master’s degree. His works are full of divinity with a poetic quality and maintain a precious and serious deconstruction relationship with reality.

Desk Research Team was founded in Beijing in 2015, successively setting up two art studios in Shunyi, Beijing. Team members include Zhang Zheyi, Song Jianshu, Wang Chengpu, Ji Chuan and Zhu Yujie. Now the work of the team includes sculpture, painting, installation, video, earth art, etc., and it is dedicated to the exploration and practice of the transboundary art.

Qin Guanwei graduated from the Department of Printmaking, CAFA. In a series of works taken using ready-made materials as the main forms, Qin often considers everyday objects or daily behaviors as materials for media, in order to explore the boundaries between everyday objects and works of art and then to explore the role of artists in the definition of the works of art.

Stage No More is a loose art group, founded in Beijing in 2014 by Hu Han, Zhang Xinxin, Chen Ran and He Shan. SNM focuses on introducing drama vocabulary into the non-theatre space, to create the experience of viewing and playing that is different from traditional drama.

Related posts: