The two artists from Dalian, Zhang Bin and Ye Hongtu of the “Art Education Group” cleverly broke the inherent conventional exhibition mode, normally you walk into a gallery and enjoy the static works of art hung on the wall or placed on the ground, trying to use a more open and dynamic environmental space and form of discussion, inviting the audience to participate – “Art Education Group aims at loosing the soul of your imprisoned ideas, hoping to vibrate your brain, shrinking your heart.”

From June 22 to June 28, 2016, the “Unfinished Exhibition – World Questions We Answer in Seven Days” was held on the second floor of Today Art Museum. The exhibition features more than 300 works by Art Education Group (Zhang Bin and Ye Hongtu). The works cover painting, video, sculpture, etc.

Seven Days of “Unfinished Exhibition”: The Open Dynamic Form

Art Education Group is composed of two young teachers from the School of Architecture and Art, Dalian University of Technology: Zhang Bin, Ye Hongtu. They consider decades of daily teaching as a big work, and continuously expand the experiment of “social education”. Today Art Museum gave the Art Education Group seven days as the exhibition period (June 22 – June 28, 2016), and a space where the artists can constantly create and break away from, as well as the new possibility to explore the art world.

The exhibition is themed “Unfinished Exhibition”, which contains several meanings. Firstly, the dynamic exhibition space made the contents of the exhibition change slightly every day, “unfinished exhibition” is the circular process of  an “arranging exhibition”, “dismantling exhibition”; secondly, the artists invited scholars, curators, critics and artists from the art circles to attend the dynamic discussion over 7 days, while this “Seven Days Project” itself becomes one of the most important “exhibits” of the “Unfinished Exhibition”. “Unfinished exhibition is actually the arrangement of an exhibition, and it is nothing more than ridiculing the exhibition system and discussion on contemporary art.” For Art Education Group, the essence of art is the concept.

As one of the main highlights of the show, “Seven Days Project” that continued for seven days, daily invited one or two insiders who are involved in the conversation, including Dong Bingfeng, Du Xiyun, Feng Boyi, Gao Peng, Hang Chunxiao, Liang Kegang, Lv Shengzhong, Sheng Wei, Yu Zhenli, Zhang Xudong, Zhang Zikang (ranked in alphabetical order) etc., which unfolded around different themes, enjoying the collision of thinking.

It is worth mentioning that the “Seven Days Project” is different from other conventional seminars, and it employs the Marathon-Relay chat mode, rather than clinging to fixed topics, for example, the event “UK leaving Europe” happened during the period of the discussion, the artist changed the topic and started by purchasing the British flag from the network to continuously ramble, it seems to be a casual attitude, with a nonsensical feature of Waiting for Godot, while challenging the existing system of an exhibition and symposium mode.

Art Education Group: Artists as Teachers

Art Education Group is established by two teachers from the School of Architecture and Art, Dalian University of Technology Zhang Bin and Ye Hongtu, in order to develop art practices. The exhibition features hundreds of paintings and images, which are all the result of the teaching activities of artists who are university teachers. They have the background and ability of independent artists, and also play the role of the artistic guardian of young students. The use of teaching activities to let students participate in artistic creations, proposing the basic art education depending on the study of the curriculum of different classes, and then carrying out the guiding and penetration of contemporary civilization ideas.

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

Photo by Today Art Museum

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