From the Mundane World

2020.03.21 -2020.12.31

From the Mundane World: Inaugural Exhibition of He Art Museum

Organizer: HEM

Chairman of Exhibition: He Jianfeng

Chief Curator: Feng Boyi

Curators: Hu Bin, Wang Xiaosong, Liu Gang, Shao Shu

Assistant Curators: Yang Qing, Gou Xianxu, Yuan Zhao, Wang Qi, Lai Zhiqiang


Exhibition PeriodTo be announced

VenueNo.6 Yixing Road, Shunde, Guangdong, China

From the Mundane World: Inaugural Exhibition of the He Art Museum

The exhibition attempts to develop on two aspects: "Mundane world" and the things from said world.  "Mundane World" or the human world, includes the space inhabited by human beings, and time, material, energy, speed, etc. The rest of it, the tangible items like landscapes make up the things from the Mundane World. The things in the "Mundane World" are disordered, uncertain, but equally interdependent. Given that artistic practices are often reliant on material constructs, the thematic exhibition explores human civilization within the confines of the laws of nature. The exhibition pays attention to specific living environments, examines the relationships between man and things, nature and other ecological systems in the process of modernization, as well as issues regarding the heritage of regional cultures and sustainable developments. It is a study of how tangible "things" develop through the nebulous nature of the "Mundane World" and the resulting issues of production, consumption, ecology, etc. The material energy will artistically transform into existence beyond matter, revealing the spirit of the time in a contemporary way. In other words, the artist's material-based creation embodies the multi-dimensional care of environmental protection awareness and reflects a special modern characteristic in the context of social development, resulting in a crisis of identity and artistic alertness.


Introduction to the Thematic Exhibition

Experience all things

"All things" is the broad concept of all objects and beings, including the unpredictable enigma of nature and its inexhaustible energy. Experience is both the starting and end point for humans, gaining greater perception through a process of coming in contact with these various objects and beings. In the field of contemporary art, material mediums are of paramount importance. Our interaction with nature is constructed and reconstructed by exploring, utilizing the quality and energy of materials, as well as by accumulated creative experiences. Artistic experiments extend beyond mere experience, they record the direction of our understanding of natural materials, reveal the limitations of the visual experience, and deconstruct, while transforming the original form of materials. As artists "experience all things," this gradually shapes their perceptions, thoughts, and transformations of art in material and visual culture, and brings out a transcendental visual tension.


Doctrine for "sole" material development

Modern development directly impacts all fields of human life. Humanity’s infinite worship of energy on an epistemological level and the overexploitation of natural resources have led to resource depletion. This depletion lays the foundation, on which the doctrine of "sole" material development is built. It represents the rampant destruction of the Earth's natural ecology and lack of control as a result of social production, consumer culture, and personal desires. Hence, through an artist's anxious expressions of the ecological changes, they are alerting the world and protecting the environment. Perhaps this exhibition will give insight to the profound social problems that affect the world through the artists' expressive displays. Although this explanation and criticism involve social systems and realistic demands of them, the exhibit tries to arouse the audience's awareness of the crisis of human survival and the sense of reverence for nature.


Mundane canteen

In traditional Chinese history, Shunde is one of the most culinarily rich cities. Eating is a human instinct and is closely related to our body and survival. The food chain can also be one of the indicators for measuring the diversity of natural ecology. The change and integration of food culture has not only become a major source of national and religious taboos, but also reflects the conflicts in social history, events, power, and class. The participating artists transform this indispensable sustenance into a creative resource, build a metaphorical canteen in the exhibition space for communicating the deeper themes of cooking, and trace the food-related memories about life based on the traditional diet and cultural experience from different countries and ethnic groups. Food art re-interprets the basis of our existence and extends it to the realm of material culture. This art is formed through experiences of cooking, consuming, desire, and the diverse eating cultures of the artists and audiences, thereby presenting the symbiotic relationship between our living environment and our food systems.


Introduction to the Collection Exhibitions

Milieu in Change: An Exhibition of Modern Chinese Art

Chinese art and culture have formed a unique model in the relationship between humans and nature, as well as humans and society. Since modern times, this kind of model has undergone new changes through the process of cultural inheritance. As the intellectual Liang Qichao stated, "The criticism of painting in today's context, it is a state of milieu in change." Hence, taking "Milieu in Change" as the theme of the modern art exhibition of the museum's collection aims to highlight internal extension and timely adjustments in thinking towards all things concerning Chinese art in the 20th century, particularly in the context of exchanging discourses between China and the West. Moreover, the rise of the notion of "the heavenly way" in the context of the "new world," brings forth the changes on the social structure, culture and visual system in a much broader spectrum. This exhibition attempts to present the concepts of Chinese painting that have been violently involved in the global culture in a state of transition from tradition to modernity. This exhibition can be considered as a way of tracing the path China has taken, as well as a reference for critical reflections on the present.

On the Rise: A Contemporary Art Exhibition

The contemporary art works collected by the He Art Museum are mainly easel paintings, which consist primarily of contemporary Chinese art since the 1980s. This second part of the three-stage structure of the inaugural exhibition should not only respond to modern Chinese art based on ink, but also be related to the thematic exhibition. Based on the status of the collection and exhibition space, we've tried to expand the practice of viewing linearly from tradition to modernity, and then finally to the world as a whole. We intend to shift our focus toward the meaning of works to the analysis of influential factors of contemporary Chinese art. When we step out of the logic of self-narration and view the work in a global context, we can more clearly see the previously hidden creative motives, resources, and methods. This allows us to once again develop and respond to the important notion in modern China: "The Dissemination of Western Learning." Most importantly amongst these ideas is the practice of contemporary art shows that disrupt their time and space, that absorb external influences, and discover the intricacies about how self and society are somehow intertwined.

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