TCG Nordica http://en.tcgnordica.com Stimulating reflection on human worth as expressed in various Art Forms. Tue, 29 Jan 2019 09:02:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.1.1 Announcement http://en.tcgnordica.com/2019/announcement/ Tue, 29 Jan 2019 09:02:48 +0000 http://en.tcgnordica.com/?p=8092 2019 is going to be a year full of new energy at TCG Nordica! Firstly, we will close our center at the Loft from Jan 31st. Soon after the renovation is finished, we will open our new space that is situated at the second road of Rain Town. After the opening, our new center will continue to offer high quality activities as always. The design of our new center has a Scandinavian feel, and a Swedish architecture and a Norwegian artist cooperatively created it. They share the conception of keeping zero distance between art and audiences. Moreover, they created even more possible spaces for all kinds of art forms. Providing a comfortable and tidy atmosphere is a high priority. Parking will not be a problem at all by the new place. However, you should come and experience the atmosphere of the new Nordica, and see for yourself!

Please keep following our media platforms for new updates! All weekly events will contemporarily stop.

We wish you a Happy Chinese New Year!

]]>
Outrageous, like a painting. http://en.tcgnordica.com/2018/outrageous-like-a-painting/ Thu, 20 Dec 2018 10:38:31 +0000 http://en.tcgnordica.com/?p=8074

Curator: Luo Fei
Artists: Fredrik Fermelin, He Libin and his students from the Yunnan Arts University

Opening: 8pm, Dec 28th, 2018
Exhibition Time: Dec 28th 2018 to Jan 7th 2019 (Sundays Close)
TCG Nordica Culture Center, Chuangku, Xibalu 101, Kunming
Organized by TCG Nordica and Oilpainting Department of Yunnan Arts University
Live Music on the opening: Eilev Stoveland Dekko, Fredrik Fermelin

Outrageous, like a painting.
text: Luo Fei
editor in English: Sanne Raabjerg

Painting is probably one of the most intimate and vexing things in the art world today. It always provides stories about itself. These stories set a lot of road signs for later painters. Sometimes, it heralds some sort of end, and sometimes it heralds a return. More frequently, it is just an ancient game that makes people feel like they can continue on their paths. For many painters, painting is just a matter of their own interest, and the continuing growth of their vision and craftsmanship is fascinating, and nothing more.

But painting today is no longer the wild land of artists. Today’s artists are not only facing painting itself, but also the entire art world. People go from looking for breakthroughs, in the methods of painting, in the way of seeing images and in the performative part of painting, to painting the possibility of “painting a painting” and to painting the matter of “painting”. This does not only make “painting” more complicated, but it also makes “seeing paintings” more complicated, since they are no longer as intuitive. The task of painting is no longer just to represent or express something, but to provide different possibilities in “painting” and “seeing”. Correspondingly, this is the starting point of our exhibition today.

Fredrik Fermelin, an artist who graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Art in Sweden in 2015, came to TCG Nordica in September as an artist in residence. Here, he spent three full months focusing on painting. Before that, he mainly engaged in performance, installation, video and digital media, etc. Fermelin’s concept of painting is related to image generation in gif format. Two seemingly similar images are juxtaposed, and the audience themselves associate their correlation, similar to the method of making film montage. However, he just makes two paintings juxtaposed in space, not in time. Although he strongly denies that his paintings are related to the expressionist style, on the surface level they might seem to comprise expressionist tendencies, but that is not what he wants to pursue. He is more concerned with the potential constructional relationship between the pictures.

He Libin’s painting practice in recent years combines the way of performance art with blind painting. In the middle of the night, he paints his impressions and feelings on a large-scale canvas, both indoors and outdoors. In his practice of blind painting, painting, an art form with a long history, is forced into a critical state: Between visible and invisible, between known and unknown, between painting and non-painting. The only thing that can be identified and continually confirmed is the artist’s own existence and self-growth in the vast natural environment. This confirmation is accomplished through inner dialogue and contests in the long-lasting darkness. This turns the painting process into photography development: Developing it in the dark, watching it in the daylight.

He Libin’s and Fermelin’s paintings are very similar in style. They both use expressionism to paint landscapes, and they both provide an unconventional “seeing” experience. He Libin deliberately paints what he has seen when he cannot see; therefore, only time will show the final appearance of the painting. Fermelin’s juxtaposition in space of different paintings, creates uncertainty and dissimilarity in the paintings themselves and in the seeing of the paintings. They both paint in the most intuitive way, but at the same time they create paintings that can be seen on multiple levels.

For this exhibition, more than forty students from Yunnan Arts University participated in He Libin’s short-term expressive painting course. They combine their paintings with the practice methods of action painting, in order to discuss how paintings can be. Fredrik Fermelin, He Libin and the students present us with such a communicative exhibition about “Paintings Behind Paintings”. Here, I have just named it “Outrageous, like a painting”.

]]>
The 15th annual TCG Nordica Christmas Fair http://en.tcgnordica.com/2018/the-15th-annual-tcg-nordica-christmas-fair/ Fri, 23 Nov 2018 00:59:44 +0000 http://en.tcgnordica.com/?p=8069

Please bring your family and join us for

The 15th annual TCG Nordica Christmas Fair .

Theme for this year :

Family-life’s greatest blessing

Time :

17:00-21:00 Dec. 7th,2018

10:00-18:00 Dec. 8th,2018

Address : Xiba lu No. 101, TCG Nordica ,kunming

Tel: 0871-64114691

There will be children’s activities(cookie decorating, story telling, face painting, kids land)international food, pictures with Santa, shopping, family photos, performances and fun for all ages to celebrate the Christmas season.

This year there will be a special presentation from a guest speaker to teach us about the blessings of children and families at 6 pm on Friday and noon on Saturday.

]]>
Alfred Vaagsvold: SEE AND BE SEEN http://en.tcgnordica.com/2018/alfred-vaagsvold-see-and-be-seen/ Wed, 14 Nov 2018 14:10:23 +0000 http://en.tcgnordica.com/?p=8032

SEE AND BE SEEN

I am. You are. He, she and it is. We are. You are. They are.
Let us make this visible in making art together. All visitors are welcome to take part in the creative process. Add your work to the great installation. Norwegian artist Alfred Vaagsvold will guide you to the art! Welcome!
What happens when the artist lets the visitors take over and the process of creativity is not only the artist’s work? In the post-modern art, many artists invite people to cooperate in the artwork. That means the final result is unpredictable. We have to respect the result of what the participants choose of colors, form and design. I choose the materials: paper, ink, tread and tape. As artist I don’t know the way the installation will take form. I am just leading the creative process. When does the art start? When does it end?

Artist: Alfred Vaagsvold
Curator: Luo Fei
Assistants: Visitors, invited artworkers and students
Place: Grand Gallery, TCG Nordica
Opening: 8pm, October the 20th 2018
Exhibition Duration: Oct 20th to Nov 17th ,2018 (Sundays Close)
Continuing installation work up to the exhibition ends

This exhibition is the result of the collaboration between the artist Alfred Vaagsvold and the participants. It is also an exhibition that grows because of people’s participation, especially those who are physically special, giving the entire exhibition a unadorned and natural energy, in the lines unconsciously outlined, in the paper balls nailed to the wall, and in the wire hanging in the air. These simple objects and traces together constitute a loose daily nature that has not been disciplined and continues to grow.
— Curator: Luo Fei

About Art Class:
The Art class in Trinity International Church, Kunming, is a week-end activity for children and young people with different handicaps. It was started in 2016 and continues with art studies every week. The idea is to use everyone’s possibilities in basic drawing, painting and sculpture forming. The leaders are Ms Lily Zheng and Ms Bjorg. Mr Wang is a teacher in cooperation with Alfred Vaagsvold. Other assistants are also helping. The Art Class is specially invited to participate in the artwork SEE AND BE SEEN. The workshop started Saturday the 13th of October and will continue till the end of the exhibition. All works from the Art Class in this period will be shown in the exhibition, curated by Mr. Luo Fei and organized by Ms Tina Hu.

“I am. You are.” Participants from the neighborhood restaurants in Kunming . in Paper construction.

From the opening of SEE AND BE SEEN. Sat the 20th October 2018 Grand Gallery in TCG Nordica. From left: Artist: Mr. Huang. Curator in TCG Nordica: Luo Fei. From Art Class: Mrs Deng, Teacher Wang, artist: Alfred Vaagsvold, From Areopagos: Grethe Raddum, From TCG Nordica: General manager: Helen Wu. Organizer: Tina Hu.

Spontanous performance by He Libin(right) and Li Zhiyang(left)

]]>
Monica Dematté: Thirty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art http://en.tcgnordica.com/2018/monica-dematte-thirty-years-of-chinese-contemporary-art/ Wed, 07 Nov 2018 01:17:02 +0000 http://en.tcgnordica.com/?p=8058

Monica Dematté
– Thirty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art

2018/11/13
19:30–22:30

Program:
Film Show: IL SOGNO DI MO
Dialogue with Monica Dematté face to face

Lecturer: Monica Dematté
Italian freelance writer / art critic / curator
Academic Director of Mo Art Space in Xinmi, Henan

Moderator: Luo Fei, TCG Nordica curator

Language on site: Chinese

Sign up for participating:
1, on TCG Nordica’s WeChat Platform
2, send email to gallery@tcgnordica.com with title “Monica+number of participants”

About the Film

The first time Monica Dematté went to China was in 1986, when Chinese contemporary art was a mysterious reality that was completely unknown. Her first trip to China, which was a long time ago, lasted for five months, but it was just the beginning of a journey, seeking knowledge and emotions and leaving a mark on the lives of many Chinese artists. Some of them became stars, and they are incomparable today. Her interest in direct contact and long-term relationship with artists has always been one of the most important and unique features of her work style. This documentary reviews this extraordinary experience through the narration of Monica and the artists she worked for, and a lot of the unpublished content recorded in the last three decades, is precious. At the same time, it also puts forward some essential questions about the commercialization and “materialization” of art in the world today, together with other promptings.

Film Director: Francesco Dal Bosco
Producer: Wei Shijian, Carlo Dal Bosco, Luca Dal Bosco
Music: Carlo Nardi
Cover Design: Emmanuele Lamedica
Produced by FILMWORK SRL in 2017
Film length: 135min
Language: Italian / Chinese
Subtitle: Chinese / Italian

About Monica Dematté
Monica Dematté was born in 1962 in Trento, Italy. After graduating from the G. Prati High School in Trento, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the School of Arts, Music and Drama (Bologna University of Bologna) and qualifications as an Italian Art Teacher. She came to China in 1986 and studied Chinese art history and art criticism at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts from 1988 to 1989. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Genoa, entitled “Chinese Contemporary Art from 1989 to 1994.” In 1990, 1991, and 1992, three documentaries on Chinese contemporary art were produced. From 1996 to 1997, she was a curator at the Singapore Art Museum. She has taught Chinese culture and art at the Department of Oriental Languages at the University of Bologna and the Department of Oriental Art at the University of Venice. In 1999 and 2001, she participated in the work of the Venice Biennale twice and wrote a series of review articles for the exhibition album. Since 1994, she has independently curated exhibitions of Chinese and foreign artists.

Photos from the evening at TCG Nordica:

]]>
Drawing to Heart: Huang Jianzhang’s Art Exhibition http://en.tcgnordica.com/2018/drawing-to-heart-huang-jianzhangs-art-exhibition/ Wed, 10 Oct 2018 02:15:09 +0000 http://en.tcgnordica.com/?p=8042

Drawing to Heart
Huang Jianzhang’s Art Exhibition
Opening: 8pm, Oct 20th, 2018
Exhibition Duration: Oct 20th to Nov 17th, 2018
Opening Hours: 11am-5pm, Sundays Closed.
TCG Nordica Culture Center, Xibalu 101, Kunming

To the soul that lives/living in the ball-pen drawings
Text: Huang Jianzhang

I am an artist of ball-pen drawing, abandoning the bright colors of traditional paintings, obsessing with the relationship between the single color of ballpoint pens and contemporary art, showing a casual and steady style of painting. I use force to control the lines, free, easy and casual layout, and depict the works with emotions.
I was born in Yunnan, a region with many ethnic minorities. I love the traditional handicrafts of ethnic minorities and are fascinated by the unique linework of ethnic minorities. They are keen to reuse lines for painting. I applied a lot of lines of elements to my creation, improvised in the moment of inspiration, showing the light and shade of the lines by controlling the pen.
At the beginning of my creations, I don’t conceive the picture, but I sketch the lines as I want, and am able to truly understand myself after the creation. Others express themselves through works, but I know myself through works. In the moment when the picture is finally presented, I will really understand a different perspective of myself through the work. Such a creative process can reveal a different world of the soul, and be able to find a free and easy life in a regular world of rules and regulations. It provides a distance to the closeness of real life and thus alleviates the limitations of our time.
People can express their understanding of art through any means or carrier. This nostalgic feeling and theme are consistent with my inner feelings. It also expresses contemporary people’s attachment to national culture and the realm of life from one aspect. The single color and line are seemingly simple, but can portray a more complete and vivid me in the abstract expression.
The soul that lives in the ball-pen has gone through ten springs and autumns.

]]>
RECRUITING: TCG Nordica’s15th Annual Christmas Fair http://en.tcgnordica.com/2018/recruiting-tcg-nordicas15th-annual-christmas-fair/ Sun, 30 Sep 2018 12:11:47 +0000 http://en.tcgnordica.com/?p=8038

TCG Nordica’s15th Annual Christmas Fair

You are welcome to apply as a vendor, performer, charity or activity coordinator. Please read our guidelines(https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J5NDGVJ) before you apply, and then send your application email to christmasfair@tcgnordica.com before Sunday, October 30th.

Please write “vendor application” as the subject of your email.

Tel: 0871-64114691

Mobile: 13908804673

]]>
AiR: FREDRIK FERMELIN http://en.tcgnordica.com/2018/air-fredrik-fermelin/ Thu, 20 Sep 2018 03:48:29 +0000 http://en.tcgnordica.com/?p=8025

FREDRIK FERMELIN

A Swedish artist who currently works with painting but also with performativity and sound. His work is sometimes conceptual within the frames of what an artistic practice is as a form of a time-killer, passivity and in-activity. Also his approach is an un-motivational input, artistic practice as a last resort, a compulsion. What can one do in todays society(civilization) when markets, success, happiness as an constant isn’t enough anymore? He will be here from September to November as an artist in residence at TCG Nordica to continue his paintings in one of the studios.

Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland 2015 Exhibition ”Morgonröte, aurora borealis and levantin: into your solar plexus”, Wallpaintings, performance. photo by David Aeby

Studio 44, Stockholm Sweden 2017 Exhibition ”Tripprapport” Ink drawings and video installation with sound performance.

In an odd sense it felt like a moment of truth when Fermelin was standing there and swaying on one leg wearing nothing but an adult diaper on stage, arms stretched out as being crucified or to maintain the balance while singing: ”Happy birthday dear Falukorv, happy birthday to you”. It was totally mad, desperate, touching, naked and suicidal. It was forces of contradictions, an everything struggle against everything else in a cohesion that was on the verge to fulminate or disintegrate.
— Lars-Erik Hjertström Lappalainen, art critic, curator and writer.

]]>
Artist Talk: International Residency as an Encounter State http://en.tcgnordica.com/2018/artist-talk-international-residency-as-an-encountering-state/ Wed, 05 Sep 2018 11:34:33 +0000 http://en.tcgnordica.com/?p=8011

International Residency as an Encounter State
– Luo Fei’s encountering with and observations in the Zurich Residency Project

From May to August 2018, Kunming curator and artist Luo Fei, also the director of TCG Nordica gallery was invited to participate in the Kunming-Zurich Friendship City Exchange Residency Project. This was also the first time that Luo Fei visited Switzerland. During his stay in Zurich, Luo Fei visited local art museums and galleries. Furthermore, he visited off-spaces, curators, artists, and deepened the local rich artistic ecology. Luo Fei noted that the structuralist traditions in Swiss contemporary art are ubiquitous in today’s phantom, noting the tradition of oral performances among Swiss performance artists, and the artists’ embrace and re-engineering of entertainment culture.

During nearly three months of observation and communication, Luo Fei experienced the charming city of Zurich – an ordinary, affluent, stable, and high standard of daily life. It is such daily life that shapes the “formal correctness” and “media bombing” of contemporary art today globally. It is also in such a society where everything is guaranteed, that people still express their dissatisfaction with reality. Where is the criticality of art? Political art? There, everyday life, like contemporary art, is more textual and theoretical, and any kind of “barbarous”, “self-deprecating”, “boring” or “scientific” art has become part of the vain and elegant life. It provides protection against pleasure and nothingness, and provides protection from ethical evaluation. So, what is the goal of life? What is the appeal of art?

During his stay in Zurich, in addition to visiting Italy, Norway, Sweden and other places, Luo Fei purposefully visited the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp in Krakow, Poland. With the confusion of “no poetry after Auschwitz”, Luo Fei walked in the “rural hell” that looked beautiful and rational. There, everything is beyond the imagination of man. Where has “humanity” been hidden or enlarged since the Enlightenment? What is the value of Hannah Arendt’s reflection on “the banality of evil”?

To Luo Fei, the artist resides in the project as a temporary life that constantly meets people and returns to himself. In a strange way, he does not set an expected goal. He just keeps accumulating and adjusting himself. Keep open, keep communicating, keep thinking, and keep sharing.

The talk will be on Sep 14th, 7pm at TCG Nordica.
It will be in Chinese.
Sign up for free by sending “lecture914 + number of participator” to gallery@tcgnordica.com
Welcome!

Speaker: Luo Fei

Special Guests: Li Ji, He Libin, Xue Tao

Zurich city

Luo Fei and Daniel Morgenthaler, talk "Art From Zurich Makes Me Want To Sleep" at Helmhaus Zurich

Luo Fei and Daniel Morgenthaler, talk “Art From Zurich Makes Me Want To Sleep” at Helmhaus Zurich (photo by Tanja Kalt)

]]>
Invisible Planet – An Art Exhibition on Environment Issues http://en.tcgnordica.com/2018/invisible-planet-project/ Fri, 15 Jun 2018 10:26:46 +0000 http://en.tcgnordica.com/?p=7862

Invisible Planet – An Art Exhibition on Environment Issues

From thematic concerns, cultural metaphors, to poetic expressions, lifestyles and other aspects, artists living in Yunnan are calling people to respond to, think and concern themselves about the increasingly serious environmental problems. Because behind our ways of production and living, that we are so accustomed to, we are modelling the unique Planet we all share together.

Curators: Luo Fei, Wang Bei
Artists: Alfred Vaagsvold(Norway), He Libin, Jia Yi, Li Ji, Lei Yan. Liu Yifan, Martin Haarr(Norway) Su Jiashou,Vera Regina van de Nieuwenhof(Netherland), Paper, Xue Tao, Xiang Weixin, Xiong Wangxing, Ying Borui, Yan Wan, Zi Bai, Zhu Lanjing, Zhang Jingxi, Zhang Hua

Opening: 2017-11-4, 20:00
Duration: 2017-11-4——2017-11-26,11:00-21:00, Sundays off
Opening performances by He Libin and the Paper Group
Host: TCG Nordica
Address: ChuangKu Loft, Xi Ba Road 101#, Kunming
Tel: 0871-64114691
www.tcgnordic.com

//Lectures//

Lecture I: Art Expression and Ecological Ethics
Guests: Li Ji, Xue Tao, Luo Fei
Language: Chinese
19:30–21:00, Nov 8th, 2017

Li Ji’s painting: The Last Nature

Lecture II: Crossing borders, traversing cultures
Speaker: Vera Regina van de Nieuwenhof (Netherland)
Language: English and Chinese
19:30–21:00, Nov 14th, 2017

Vera Regina van de Nieuwenhof on her bike trip

//English Corners//
2017-11-1, 19:30-20:30
Topic: Pollution
Pollution is an increasing problem in our world. How can we solve it? What is our responsibility as a group and as individuals?

2017-11-15, 19:30-20:30
Topic: Meat Production and Consumption
In today’s society we eat more and more meat. This can be bad both for our health and for the planet. Should we change our eating habits?

2017-11-22, 19:30-20:30
Topic: Economical Growth vs the Planet
As the world becomes richer, the planet becomes sicker. How can we continue to grow economicaly and at the same time take care of our planet?

Zhang Hua, “Reconstruction”

Invisible Planet

By Luo Fei

1
According to encyclopedic dictionary, the term “the environment” consists not only of such substantial factors as air, water, soil, plants, animals and micro-organisms but also concepts, systems, codes of conduct and other nonquantifiable elements. There are both natural and social components to it, including abstract concepts as well as living life forms. Strictly speaking, it often refers to the sum of all environmental elements relative to mankind as the subject.

The environment which human beings depend on to live, especially in terms of natural ecology, has undergone unprecedented changes since the Industrial Revolution two hundred years ago. The globalization that started in the eighties of last century has made the Earth a community of people closely connected – a global village. While humans enjoy the fruits of industrial civilization and globalization, together with other living bodies on this planet they are also suffering from environmental pressure and threats due to the exponential growth in population and consumption, such as global warming, a sharp drop of biodiversity, nuclear pollution, and land desertification and so on. In 2002, Paul Crutzen, a Dutch Nobel Prize-winning atmospheric chemist, presented the concept of “Anthropocene”, a new geologic time scale characterized by the drastic effect of human activities on the Earth, mostly the carbon dioxide emissions which have surpassed any other generation. This means that geologists thousands of years in the future will be able to draw a clear line of human activity according to the traces of rocks and sediments. Just like people nowadays can determine the touches of the Jurassic dinosaurs and the Cambrian explosion. Edward O. Wilson, a leading biologist at Harvard University, says: “we (human beings) are the first species to become a geophysical force (in the history of life on Earth).” As contributors to the Earth ecosystem, humans are being transformed while they are giving the planet a make-over.

In this context, since the 1970s, eco-environmental issues have begun to attract attention and discussion in Western arts and cultural studies. People have realized that there is a need for ecological criticism and that art can’t be appreciated as it should be when bypassing the fields people live in and their cultural connotation. Through ecological and ethical criticisms artists, curators, and critics are reexamining ever increasing desertification, and reviewing the contradiction among natural deterioration, the sharp decrease of animals, and human invasions. As a result, a series of important exhibitions and works that lead avant-garde art movements were born, such as Arte Povera, Earth-Art, and Ecological Art. The visual narratives and reflections on the environment by the artists have become something we simply cannot ignore today. It has also become another ethical perspective for us to interpret in the arts today.

Alfred Vaagsvold, Tsunami project, Sweden 2008

2
At its fundamental level, artists’ concern for environmental issues, as subject-oriented judgement, is to use artistic media to arouse people’s attention on the sensory and cognitive levels to present environmental issues. Examples are wildlife themed photographs by Liu Yifan, Xiong Wangxing and others that present the alienation and injury that human action afflicts on animals. Xiang Weixing, by digital post-processing, put wild animals into the living environment of cities, presenting a sense of expectation as well as absurdity. Lei Yan made birds out of paper to reflect the end of the animals when they hit a glass wall in the cement jungle. Su Jiashou‘s oil paintings showcase the tension of flying birds in the air and plastic waste on the ground. Yan Wan’s paintings are about the potential impact of industrial pollution on people’s mental state.

At a cultural level, the environmental problems are treated, like diseases, as metaphors by artists to develop their deeper critique for reality. In this regard, chemical suits were used by Yin Borui to highlight the sense of isolation. Jia Yi‘s paintings show the isolation of people who wrap themselves like trees. Zi Bai’s pictures show mountains of human waste reminiscent of the “Junk Republic” on the Pacific Ocean. Not only is it threatening the aquatic organisms, but through the food chain, it will come back to human beings. As a symbolic image, this work also points to the inner hunger of men, universal and ever unsatisfied. The “Tsunami” project by Norwegian artist Alfred Vaagsvold was an earth art program which lasted for multiple years. It was implemented in different locations throughout Norway, both in churches, villages, cities and on coasts. Thousands of pieces of used clothing formed dramatic scenes one after another. Like sites of invasion and conquerings by “others” (humans or aliens). Or it can likewise be seen as the threat of excessive consumption and overproduction.

Excessive production and consumption have inspired artists to reuse discarded daily items and develop a powerful voice of materials. The installation “Shake”, by Xue Tao, was made of waste newspapers to present a collapsing yet stable form. This work has a lot to do with the inner shock of the artist from the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. The opposite of poverty and roughness is the standardized luxury. In this consumer era, people embrace glistening, eye-catching and streamlined things. In the paintings by Zhang Jinxi, human beings themselves become the polished glass products, delicate and fragile. The pictures appear to be nostalgic, while the nothingness that characterized the spirit of the consumption era could not be more obvious. Through his lens, Norwegian artist Martin Haarr recorded the odd calm left by human activities in nature. The animals’ feeding bags piled up in the fields are like a giant insect. The waste of human life stuck in the rock crevices are very much like scattered human organs.

photo by Martin Haarr

As a strategy of postmodern art, artists employ the images from established art history to describe current issues. “The Last Nature” Series I and II by Li Ji are parodies of Goya’s “The Third of May 1808” and Jean-François Millet’s “The Angelus” respectively. They are to show how humans at the top of the food chain domesticate and slaughters animals on a massive scale. Zhu Lanjing put “A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains”, a classic painting by Wang Ximeng of China’s Northern Song Dynasty, in the context of cities, making the quiet and ethereal painting into one of hustle and bustle.

Artists also express their innermost expectation by creating ideal environments. In his performance art “Nest”, He Libin built up a huge birds nest with withered branches and stayed in there. It is just like Friedrich Hölderlin famously put it: “Poetically Man Dwells”. Zhang Hua used the architectural waste like stones and steel bars to “reconstruct” landscape and courtyard-like paintings, to offset the wretchedness of reality with fragmented poems.

As a conceptual form, environmental protection encourages people to change their lifestyles, to pay attention to the sustainable management and development of resources on Earth. Recently, the Dutch artist Vera Regina van de Nieuwenhof spent a year and a half riding from Amsterdam to Tokyo. She passed by Kunming, then later returned and settled here. She made a cyclist installation with the inner tubes of bicycles to appeal to people to travel green and to rediscover their inner power.

3
From thematic concerns, cultural metaphors, to poetic expressions, lifestyles and other aspects, artists living in Yunnan are calling people to respond to, think and concern themselves about the increasingly serious environmental problems. Because behind our ways of production and living, that we are so accustomed to, we are modelling the unique Planet we all share together.

October 2017

Translated by Xiao Diming
Proofread by Liya Norling Åslund

Painting by Ying Borui

]]>