第77期 宋庄的生态艺术与艺术生态的焦虑(2012)

第77期 宋庄的生态艺术与艺术生态的焦虑(2012年)

学术主持:张海涛

主题:沉波 陈友桐 关矢 于伯公 刘港顺 李日韦 谭海山 张巍

新作:方少华 姜怡翔 彭涛

Issue No. 77(2012)

Theme: The An Xiety of the Ecological Art and the Artistic Ecology of Song Zhuang

Academic Host: Zhang Haitao

A.T: Chen Bo, Chen Youtong, Guan Shi, Yu Bogong, Liu Gangshun, Li Riwei, Tan Haishan, Zhang Wei

A.N: Fang Shaohua, Jiang Yi Xiang, Peng Tao

77

宋庄的生态艺术与艺术生态的焦虑

学术主持:张海涛

前几天晓东约我主持策划一期《美术文献》杂志的“宋庄”主题。她问我什么特征能代表宋庄艺术。我想了又想,认为任何艺术样式与形态的局部特征都代表不了宋庄特点,而宋庄目前在中国相对完整的群落生态现象和宋庄生态艺术的关系,却可以成为宋庄可以探讨的话题 。我们游走于国内其他几个重要的艺术城市,如广州、成都、上海、杭州,发现在这些城市的艺术机构都叹息自己的城市缺少有活力的艺术生态。宋庄的艺术生态建构让我这个老住户有种参与的动力和责任,因为文化群落是平衡城市物质与文明的一个亮点。近几年在宋庄美术馆的工作中才发现宋庄的生态艺术和生态构想其实也让我们存有很多的焦虑,如:宋庄未来创意文化产业建设中现代化进程对宋庄自然文化可能带来冲击;艺术家、美术机构生存保障问题及艺术家创作形态的独立性等等。

 

一、国内外艺术思潮与艺术生态的关系

生态(Eco-)一词源于古希腊字,意思是指家(House)或者我们的环境。生态指生物在一定的自然环境下生存和发展的状态,也指生物的生理特性和生活习性,以及它们之间和它与环境之间环环相扣的关系。如今,生态学已经渗透到各个领域,“生态”一词涉及的范畴也越来越广,人们常常用“生态”来定义许多美好的事物。自然界的“生态”所追求的是物种多样性,以此来维持生态系统的平衡发展。生态在当代艺术中出现是近两年的事,它也指艺术家之间和他与所生存的艺术群落环境的良性生态链,这个良性的生态的多元性也滋生和促进了艺术本体现象的发展。

 

艺术史上很多艺术思潮的形成都与群落生态密切相关。如:早期法国巴黎郊区蒙马特高地便聚集了如梵高、毕加索、莫蒂里安尼等大师,这时艺术家聚居的村落艺术与巴黎的左岸齐名成为了法国乃至世界的艺术发源中心。在这样的氛围中形成了表现主义和立体主义等艺术思潮;另一个波希米亚式的艺术村落是美国纽约市西区格林威治村,住在这里的多半是作家、艺术家,如亨利·詹姆斯、艾伦·波、尤金·奥尼尔……都在这里写下他们的名著。格林威治村代表着美国社会的另外一种生活方式,是美国反文化的各种激进思想和文艺潮流的发生地。在社会思想上,格林威治村也无时不反映着美国社会的发展变革。从19世纪的妇女争取选举权,到20世纪60年代的反战,70年代的性解放运动,妇女解放运动,同性恋争取权益运动,格林威治村都是波涛汹涌,掀起不断的文艺浪潮。还有美国另一个艺术村落东村在20世纪40和50年代,开始崛起为一个具有波希米亚风格的地区,渐渐成了一个发展完善的艺术家街区。自那时起,这一地区相继成为50年代“垮掉的一代”、60年代的嬉皮士、70年代晚期到80年代的朋克一族的聚集地。东村曾到处充斥着通俗艺术、反战示威、地下电影、性解放运动、另类报刊以及摇滚乐。

 

西方早期的著名艺术村落和中国北京的圆明园画家村、东村、树村、霍营、宋庄早期及798周边等艺术群落一样具有波希米亚特征,这里的艺术村也出现了多个艺术现象。如政治波普、玩世现实主义、艳俗艺术等独立的文化思潮;而中国的“东村”则开启了行为艺术的身体感受新倾向。

 

以上文化现象也会带给我们些思考:什么时期和环境才会出现这样的村落,为什么在这些村落会有新的艺术现象发生?而这些村落在城市化、信息化时代又会向哪些形态转变?为什么有些村落会消失?这里我们将提到村落的艺术聚集边缘化,不受主流意识形态、商业化的干扰及新的信息暗流才会使新的思潮发生;而也正是这一特点又会使其消失。一个新生事物和土壤的出现必然刺激并会备受关注,而这样也会遭受保守势力的干预;另外现代化、商业化最终进入村落也加速了艺术村落的消失,因此在未来野生的波希米亚式村落逐步会减少而转化成废旧厂房改造的时尚艺术街区,而顺应时代的发展,生态艺术和艺术生态也逐渐资本化、团队化、运营化、时尚化,如798艺术区、美国现代城等艺术区。波希米亚式的文化村落应大力保护。例如日、韩的城市化严重,很多艺术区在城市街区里由民间机构发起,这个机构根据作品质量选择艺术家入住,有的政府提供场地和部分资金,另外部分资金由民间机构自己解决。这些艺术区和国际联系多,活力时尚,我们也可以很好地借鉴。

 

中国当代艺术的发展也与各个历史时期的地缘特征有关,这些具有不同文化针对性的艺术环境,形成了早期萌动的艺术生态和艺术潮流,个体发展与群体的传帮带有关。1979年的《星星美展》标志了改革开放的起步阶段,人们内心压抑的团体释放,充满着感性和自发式的萌动;85新潮是地方艺术家群体式的反叛行动,伴随着地方和外来讯息的相互传递,各个地方的各种文艺团组,在有限信息的冲击下,自然形成激情的艺术运动。其特点是以地方为基点的各自发挥,而后形成全国性的星火燎原之势;89大展则将地方各种民间艺术团队和个人进行了一次集结,使大家了解了北京的文化积淀;90年代初个体经营有了发展,人们开始摆脱体制束缚,北京圆明园艺术群落成为各地艺术群体和个人留宿的会所,自我放逐和乌托邦式的生活方式愈演愈烈,抉择于理想和现实、体制内外之间。1994年由于社会的原因,聚集在圆明园的外地艺术家又一次流落到宋庄。由当时一位艺术家张惠平的学生介绍而偶然入住,艺术家方力钧、刘炜、岳敏君、杨少斌、王音和批评家栗宪庭陆续迁移宋庄。宋庄早期与圆明园画家村的感觉一样,只是部分艺术家可以购买低价院落而为此欣慰。

二、宋庄的生态艺术的内容和特征

所谓“生态艺术”,应该包涵自然生态、社会生态和文化生态三组相关的内容和探讨话语。在此三组逻辑关系中,社会生态受文化生态的意识制约,进而影响并改变自然生态。倘使人类不去改变文化生态观和相关的社会生态观,仅仅依赖科技的外在进步和法制的完善,对其赖以生存的自然环境就不可能有所改变。

 

我们谈宋庄的生态建构,多数人认为与艺术无关,其实不然。在宋庄的艺术本体的发展中,近几年的艺术形态被外界关注的很少,这也与北京的艺术群落生态变化密不可分。从北京艺术生态的历史发现,宋庄在1994~2003年的发展中靠的是艺术家自发性、边缘生存和乌托邦的感觉,这个阶段的艺术形态以玩世、艳俗、政治波普及自由的艺术形态为主体,是由于圆明园及宋庄艺术群落是这几个艺术形态的源起地,也曾经影响全国的艺术样式,很多传统写实绘画的艺术家为了迎合市场,也选择了这种风格;也有从圆明园过来的艺术家依然保持了这种样式。这个阶段没有政府团体介入,宋庄那时艺术的草根性更多地被国外、国内各界关注。2004年至2008年,798艺术区崛起,从艺术上和生态上也影响了宋庄艺术的发展。798艺术的展示权和商业话语权吸引了很多精英艺术家流出宋庄。新鲜的798血液和思想吸引了很多艺术家追随。加上地理位置和时尚氛围的优势,798的艺术显得很有朝气;然而,宋庄不少的艺术家更多地表现出沉寂的一面。2009~2012年金融危机对798的冲击及其周边艺术区城市化进程拆迁、画廊倒闭,很多艺术家为了寻求生存的稳定性;再加上宋庄艺术园区在栗宪庭先生的努力争取下,生存环境的好转,使很多精英艺术家回流宋庄。到目前宋庄约有6000位艺术家入住,加上从事艺术的工作人员及家属达到15000人之多,艺术家以小堡村为中心辐射居住在十几个自然村,俗话说“林子大了,什么鸟都有”,这时的宋庄必然庞杂,把很多好“鸟”也给遮蔽了。

 

宋庄目前的艺术处在多元的发展期。从形态上说宋庄的艺术类型和媒介也更加多元化、沉稳化。当然,精英艺术依然潜隐在其中,这些年宋庄的艺术更多地关注生存、生态特征:重视情感、良知、心性、公益、朴素纪实和社群的现象。这些特征都与宋庄相对完整的生态及艺术家对于宋庄的情感分不开,也和其他地区的艺术现象有不同之处:关注作为人本身的永恒价值转换。在宋庄让我记忆深刻的生态艺术现象大致有这么几个方向,这些现象打破当代艺术中点子化、概念空洞的观念表达:

一、栗宪庭老师近年主持和邀请的艺术生态现象田野调查展,这些展览更多是对现实直接有效的介入,关注情感、良知和公益性;

2006年 宋庄美术馆开馆展、“天与地——现实主义的记忆”纪实摄影展

2007年 4月30日至今五届“中国纪录片交流周”在宋庄举办、“吕楠摄影作品展”、“生活在宋庄——艺术家田野调查作品展”

2009年 “群落!群落!”展

2010年 “垃圾围城——王久良之观察”、“烈日西藏——西藏当代艺术展”

2011年 “经书”毛同强个展、“红色考古”包泡个展、“八零后艺术档案”

……

二、是我策划的展览,关注人和自然、人造自然的关系,信息化社会生态对人造情感和东方自然思想的当代化转换;

2007年 首届主题文献展 ——权充IV·暧昧Ⅲ·潜默

2008年 当代嗅觉艺术展——嗅觉·感觉  、08年“生活在宋庄(四)——宋庄及周边艺术群落田野调查展”、

2009年 第五届宋庄艺术节·青年策展人邀请展——“未来索引:自然·不自然”

2010年 第一届798多媒体艺术节——人造“风景”新媒体艺术主题展 、2010年 自然?——龙德轩当代艺术展

2010年 自动!全自动!——卓凡人工装置展 、2010年 微/生/物——陈友桐个展、2010年不确定的可能性——798及周边艺术群落青年作品展 、2010年“烈日西藏——西藏当代艺术展”

2011年 参与策划“虚实同源——2011北京新媒体艺术年展”(包括“人造情感”新媒体艺术主题展)、“八零后艺术档案”

2012年 文化·沙漠——库布其当代艺术展

……

三、廖文老师通过东方类手工方式对艺术家心性和修为的表现,也反映艺术家的积极生活状态;

2008年 3月15日 第二届“生活在宋庄——艺术家田野调查作品展”女性版、2008“心斋”展

2010年 “心纠手结——类手工方式营造心境”展

2012年 “女红绣事”展

四、王林在宋庄艺术节策划的“底层人文”展,对社会生态中的弱势阶层的关注;

2007年11月8日第三届“中国宋庄第三届艺术节”开幕,主题为“艺术链接”,王林策划“底层人文”开展

五、邱志杰在第二届宋庄艺术节期间策划的新民间运动展是对文化生态中民间艺术的群体性当代化转换和借鉴。

2006年10月6日邱志杰策划的“新民间运动”展开幕。

回首西方大国崛起的几个因素中,除了经济市场化、体制制度、素质教育之外与殖民侵略、科技人工化发展有着至关重要关系,这样的革命带来了很多积极的文化,然而也带来了利润垄断、利益民主、伦理关系、世界格局的不平衡,生态环境、文化沙漠化的危机也越来越严重,不是国家经济强大了世界就会良性发展,重复利润和机器的冰冷使人类不会长久,人的文化出了问题,人类所在的生存环境都会发生变化,精神空了人也就没了。栗宪庭老师和我近几年一起做的展览,更多是从人类学、社会学和生态学视角关注群体生态并且积极植入社会发展。展览里群体生态现象的意义重于每个艺术家的作品意义,把艺术作品个体纳入大的艺术群体生态之中,让整个群体生态“活”起来,给这个群体中的个体建立一个实际生存的平台。这样的展览重要的不是艺术,也不是精英小众的生态圈,而是把群体艺术的时空差异作为背景。栗老师常说:“让艺术圈的这潭死水流动起来,大浪淘沙需要在这潭活水中才能淘出金子。”我们做的事先是把艺术的浪花掀起来。当然这个群体中艺术家的作品选择需和这个生态有紧密的联系,每个个体也体现群体的特征。

 

三、宋庄群落艺术生态的焦虑

宋庄与其他的艺术区还有一个不同的地方是它的历史历时18年,宋庄二代也开始成长,大家已经把这里当做“家”的状态。然而宋庄的艺术生态还需要建构和完善,这里艺术生态链考查和组成包括:

  1. 艺术群体形成的时间、地点、缘由;
  2. 艺术家生存状况、收入情况;
  3. 形成艺术群落社会背景;
  4. 艺术群落的近些年艺术家人数变化及当下生存状况;
  5. 艺术群落硬件配套服务设施,如美术馆、图书馆、网站、画廊、画材店等;
  6. 艺术群落艺术家艺术类型和样式及全国的影响力;
  7. 艺术群落的未来建构,对其他产业的带动;
  8. 艺术基金、艺术服务机构市场流通、艺术及展览定位;
  9. 包括艺术批评家和策展人的生存机制等;
  10. 艺术税收制度、中国艺术品收藏机制、国外艺术家驻地计划、艺术普及项目等。

 

宋庄大多数艺术家面临最大的两个问题依然是“生存与艺术的困惑”,多数艺术家靠打短工或兼职为生,生活没有保障。2008年前后的宋庄房屋诉讼案、目前病重的艺术家周一斌医疗保障问题和宋庄二代子女上学问题也暴露出外来艺术家生存的不确定性。我也了解到日韩和西方很多艺术家也从事其他职业,国内每年有上百万艺术类考生投入到艺术工作中,艺术成为职业在国内目前非常困难。国内缺少直接的平价市场流通手段和艺术基金的扶持,我们只能鼓励艺术家从事其他职业养活自己的艺术。中国目前大的环境是文化搭台经济唱戏,一切为经济服务:1.满足国民的物质欲望;2.争取国际经济话语权。文化在经济面前很脆弱,798周边有些艺术区在2009年被拆就是证明。宋庄的未来也可能会受到城市化拆迁、商业利益和艺术意识形态化的冲击,建议政府在保留宋庄自然村落基础上发展产业、保证艺术家创作的自由度。“宋庄的生态和艺术生态”的建构目的也就是为了实现艺术家生存空间的打造与艺术公共化发展,我们希望做出实际而具体的努力,为以后宋庄的生态艺术和艺术生态的良性发展做出一点事情。

2012年3月5日于宋庄美术馆

 

 

THE ANXIETY OF THE ECOLOGICAL ART AND THE ARTISTIC ECOLOGY OF

SONG ZHUANG

 

ACADEMIC HOST: ZHANG HAITAO

 

While inviting me to mastermind a special on Song Zhuang for the Fine Arts Literature, Xiaodong asked me about the representative quality of the Song Zhuang Art. Turning over and over, I failed to reckon any local feature of artistic patterns and forms as the representative characteristic of Song Zhuang, whereas the relationship between the relatively intact communal ecological phenomenon of Song Zhuang in China and the ecological art of Song Zhuang has the potential of becoming a worthy topic about Song Zhuang. Wandering around the other important cities of art in China, e.g. Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hangzhou, we came to discover the art institutions of those cities shared a regret of lacking vigorous artistic ecology. The structure of the artistic ecology of Song Zhuang infused me a long-term resident with the impetus and responsibility of participation, because of cultural communities being the highlight of balancing the urban material and civilization. It wasn’t until recent years of working in the Art Museum of Song Zhuang that we came to the discovery that the ecological art and conception had also brought us a great deal of anxieties: for example, the potential impact of modernization on the natural culture of Song Zhuang in the future innovative culture enterprise; the survival and the protection of artists and artistic institutions and the independence of artists’ creative form, etc.

 

1. The relationship between the artistic ideological trends and the artistic ecology within and without China

The word “eco-” originates from ancient Greek, meaning house or our environment. Ecology refers to the status of organisms living and developing under a certain natural environment, as well as the physiological properties and living habits, the relationship among organisms, and the interlocked relationship between organisms and the environment. The ecology has by now penetrated into various fields, with an increasingly widening scope of the word “ecology”, which is often used to define many wonderful things. The “ecology” of nature pursues the diversity of species in order to keep the balanced development of the ecological system. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that emerged in the contemporary art the concept of ecology, which also refers to the benign ecological chain among artists and between artists and the artistic communal environment in which they live. The benign diversity of ecology will also breed and promote the development of the ontology of art.

The formation of many artistic ideological trends in the art history were intimately connected with the communal ecology. For instances: Van Gogh, Picasso and Modigliani assembled to reside in Montmartre on the outskirts of Paris at the turn of last century, the colony of those artists together with Rive Gauche became the cradle of art for France, or even the world. It was under such atmosphere that expressionism and cubism began to take shape; another Bohemian village of art was the Greenwich Village in the West of New York City, where most of its inhabitants were artists, like Henry James, Edgar Allan Poe and Eugene O’Neill … whose masterpiece were accomplished during their residence in the Village. The Greenwich Village represented another lifestyle of the American society, the birthplace of various radical thoughts and artistic trends of anti-culture, as well as the reflection of the development and reform of the American society. From the woman suffrage at the beginning of the last century, anti-war of the 1960s, sexual and women liberation movements of the 1970s, to the equal rights for homosexuals, the Greenwich Village has always led the roaring tides of unceasing artistic waves. Another art community-East Village began its rise as a Bohemian colony during the 40s and 50s of the last century, gradually evolving into a perfected art colony. Since then, it has become the host for the “fallen generation” of the 50s, hippies of the 60s, and punks of the late 70s to the 80s. The East Village used to be rife with pop art, anti-war demonstrations, underground movies, sexual liberation movement, alternative publication and rock and roll.

Those famed Western art communities shared a Bohemian quality with the Chinese art communities, like the Painters Village of the Summer Palace, East Village, Tree Village, Huo Camp, Song Zhuang in its early days and the art communities surrounding 798, which also promoted a great deal of artistic phenomena, e.g. independent cultural trends like Political Pop, Cynical Realism and Vulgar Art; and the East Village in China has initiated the new tendency of physical perception of the behavioral art.

The aforementioned cultural phenomena also made us think: In what era and circumstance would emerge such villages? Why is it that new artistic phenomena was bred in those villages? And How would they transform in this era of urbanization and commercialization? Here we’ll talk about communities’ marginalization of the art aggregation, freedom from the mainstream consciousness and commercialization as well as the new information undercurrent, all of which are what give birth to the new ideological trends and also what make them disappear. The emergence of something new is inevitably stimulating and eye-catching, resulting in the intervention from conservative authorities; on the other hand, the eventual penetration of modernization and commercialization into communities also speed up the disappearance of art communities. Therefore, the Bohemian communities will diminish and transform into stylish art blocks remodeled from the deserted plants, and in order to comply with the development, ecological art and artistic ecology will also gradually embrace capitalization, team operation and fashion, like 798, the Modern City of US, etc. The Bohemian cultural communities should be vigorously protected. For instances, because of the severe urbanization in Japan and South Korea, a lot of art districts were initiated in the urban blocks by NGOs, who decide on the residence of artists according to the quality of their works. In some cases, the governments provide places and partial funds, while NGOs taking care of the rest. We can learn a great deal from these art districts, which enjoy many international connection, energy and fashion.

The development of Chinese contemporary art is also connected with geographic features of various historical periods, and the artistic environment with different cultural pertinence formed the budding artistic ecology and artistic trends, the individual development closely associated with the collective mentoring activities. The Stars Art Exhibition of 1979 signified the initial stage of the Open and Reform, the collective outburst of inner oppression filled with emotional and spontaneous stirring; the New Wave 85’ was a collective rebellion by local artists, accompanied with information exchange between the local and the outside, resulting in a passionate art movement of various art groups from various places under the impact of limited information. What’s special about it was that it evolved from the spark of local performances as a foundation to the national spread; the 89 Great Exhibition was an assembly of various folk art groups and individuals to help people understand the cultural deposition of Beijing; the individual operation had made some advances in the early 90s while people starting to break free from the constraints of the system, the art community of the Summer Palace became the club of residence for art groups and people from all over the country, with the ever-growing self-exile and utopian life style and choice between ideals and reality as well as within and without the system. Due to some societal reasons, artists from out of town who assembled at the Summer Palace were again exiled to Song Zhuang. By sheer chance and under the introduction of a student of Zhang Huiping an artist, Fang Lijun, Liu Wei, Yue Minjun, Yang Shaobin, Wang Yin and the critic Li Xianting moved to Song Zhuang in succession. At the beginning, Song Zhuang was very much like the Painters Village of the Summer Palace, just a low-priced compound affordable to some artists.

 

2. The contents and features of Song Zhuang’s ecological art

The “ecological art” should consist of contents and discussions related to the natural ecology, social ecology and cultural ecology. Among the logical relationship of the three groups, the social ecology is bounded by the cultural ecology, thus affecting and changing the natural ecology. If human beings rely only on the exterior advances of technology and perfection of the law without changing the views of cultural ecology and the related social ecology, no change will come to the natural environment upon which our existence depend.

Most people would consider it irrelevant to art when we talk about the ecological structure of Song Zhuang, actually it’s not the case. During the development of the art ontology of Song Zhuang, few artistic forms of recent years succeeded in attracting the attention from the outside, which is closely connected with the change of art community ecology in Beijing. Studying the history of artistic ecology in Beijing, we could find that the development of Song Zhuang from 1994 to 2003 was based on the spontaneity, marginal existence and utopian feelings of artists, with Cynical, Vulgar Art, Political Pop and free artistic forms as the mainstay. As the birthplaces of these artistic forms, the art communities from the Summer Palace and Song Zhuang had influenced the art forms all over the country, resulting in a lot of traditional realistic painters opting for this style in order to meet the demands of the market while some of the artists from the Summer Palace maintaining the form. Since there’s no official input during this stage, the grass-root quality of Song Zhuang’s art attracted the attention both within and without China. From 2004 to 2008, the rise of 798 influenced the development of Song Zhuang’s art artistically and ecologically. The public display right and business right of the 798 art lured many elite artists to move out of Song Zhuang. The fresh blood and thoughts of 798 had attracted a great deal of artists to follow. With the advantage in geographic position and fashionable atmosphere, the 798 art appeared to be on the up side of vitality, whereas artists in Song Zhuang seemed more silent and still. The impact of the financial crisis from 2009 to 2012 on 798, the removal and shutdown of galleries in the surrounding art districts due to urbanization and the pursuit of stability of many artists had made a lot of elite artists return to Song Zhuang, plus the improvement of the living condition through Li Xianting’s great effort wouldn’t hurt. Until now, Song Zhuang has approximately 6000 artists as residents, with the art staff and family members, the population exceeds 15,000, with artists scattered in more than a dozen natural villages with Xiaobao Village as the center. Big often leads to complication, and Song Zhuang was no exception when a great deal of talents stays shrouded.

Currently, the art of Song Zhuang is in a diversified stage of development. From the aspect of form, the artistic types and media of Song Zhuang is more diverse and steady. With elite art hidden inside, Song Zhuang’s art in recent years has put more focus on the existence and ecological features: attaching great significance to the emotions, conscience, disposition, public welfare, plain documentary and community phenomenon. These features cannot be separated from the relatively intact ecology of Song Zhuang and the artists’ emotions for Song Zhuang, and it differs from the artistic phenomena of other districts in the focus on the eternal shift of value as human itself. What impressed me most of Song Zhuang’s ecological art phenomena that broke the hollow conceptual expression of the contemporary art can be roughly summarized in the following events:

1. In recent years, Li Xianting hosted and invited several field exploration exhibitions of artistic ecology phenomena, which were more of a direct and effective intervention of the reality, focusing on emotions, conscience and public welfare.

The Opening Exhibition of Song Zhuang Art Museum in 2006, “Heaven and Earth – the Memory of Realism” Documentary Photography Exhibition

Since April 30, 2007, 5 “Chinese Documentaries Exchange Weeks” had been held in Song Zhuang, “Photography Exhibition of Lv Nan’s Works” in 2007 and “Living in Song Zhuang – the Exhibition of Field Exploration Works by Artists” in 2007

The “Community! Community!” Exhibition in 2009

“The Dump Siege – the Observation of Wang Jiuliang” in 2010, “Tibet under the Scorching Sun -Tibet Contemporary Art Exhibition” in 2010, “Scriptures”- the Solo Exhibition of Mao Tongqiang in 2011 and “The Red Archaeology”- the Solo Exhibition of  Bao Pao in 2011

“The Art Archives of the 80s Generation” in 2011

……

2. The exhibitions that I masterminded put focus on the relationship among human beings, nature and artificial nature, the contemporary transformation of artificial feelings and oriental natural thoughts by the informationized social ecology.

2007  The First Exhibition of Art Document – Substitute IV Ambiguity III Tranquility

2008  The Contemporary Art Exhibition of Sense of Smell – Sense of Smell – Feelings, “Living in Song Zhuang IV – Field Exploration Exhibition of Song Zhuang and Surrounding Art Communities”

2009  The 5th Song Zhuang Art Festival -Young Curators Invitational Exhibition – “Future Index: Natural – Unnatural”

2010  The First 798 Multi-media Art Festival – Artificial “Landscape” New Media Art Exhibition, 2010 Nature? – The Contemporary Art Exhibition of Longdexuan

2010  Automation! Full Automation! – Artificial Device Exhibition of Zhuo Fan, Micro/Living/Thing 2010 – Chen Youtong Solo Exhibition, The Uncertain Possibility 2010 – Young Artists Exhibition of 798 and Surrounding Art Communities, “Tibet under the Scorching Sun -Tibet Contemporary Art Exhibition” 2010

2011  Participation in the planning of “False as True – 2011 Beijing New Media Art Annual Exhibition” (including “Artificial Feelings” New Media Art Exhibition), “The Art Archives of the 80s Generation”

2012  Culture – Desert – Kubuqi Contemporary Art Exhibition

……

3. Liao Wen’s expression of artists’ disposition and accomplishments through oriental quasi-handicraft also reflects the positive living conditions of artists.

The 2nd “Living in Song Zhuang – Field Exploration Exhibition of Artists” Female version on March 15, 2008, 2008 “Inner Fast” Exhibition

2010 “Entanglement of Hands and Hearts – The Building of Mood through Quasi-Handicraft” and 2012 “Needlework Embroidery” Exhibition

4. The “Underdog Humanism” Exhibition planned by Wang Lin during the Song Zhuang Art Festival put focus on the weak and vulnerable in the social ecology

The 3rd “Song Zhuang Art Festival” opened on November 8, 2007, under the theme of “artistic link”, with the “Underdog Humanism” Exhibition planned by Wang Lin opening

5. The New Civil Movement Exhibition planned by Qiu Zhijie during the 2nd Song Zhuang Art Festival was the contemporary transformation and reference of the group characteristic of folk art in the cultural ecology

The New Civil Movement Exhibition planned by Qiu Zhijie opened on October 6, 2006

In retrospect, the key factors leading to the rise of western powers consisted not only of marketization of economy, systems and quality education, but also colony and invasion as well as the development of the artificialization of technology. Such revolution brought a great deal of positive cultures as well as the imbalance of the monopoly of profits, democracy of interests, ethics and global pattern, increasingly deteriorating crisis of ecological environment and cultural desert. The prosper of economy doesn’t necessarily lead to the positive development of the world, the repeated profit and cold machines won’t perpetuate human being. When something goes wrong with the human culture, our living conditions are bound to change, and without the spirit there is no human race. The exhibitions staged by Li Xianting and me were more focused on the community ecology from the perspectives of anthropology, sociology and ecology while actively implanting the social development. The significance of the community ecology phenomenon in the exhibition outweighed the meaning of each artist’s works, “livening” the whole community ecology and providing a platform of actual existence for the individuals of this community through incorporating the individual artworks into the bigger artistic community ecology. What’s important about such exhibitions is not the art, nor the ecological circle of the elite few, but setting the difference of space and time in community art as the background. Mr. LI always mentioned about “stirring up the still water of the art circle, and the gold will emerge after the ferocious waves.” What we did was stirring up the waves of art. Of course, artists’ choice of works in this community must be closely connected with this ecology, with every individual reflecting the features of the group.

 

3. The anxiety of the communal artistic ecology of Song Zhuang

There’s yet another difference between Song Zhuang and other art districts, that is it enjoys a history of 18 years with the second generation growing, so that it is treated as a “home”. Still the artistic ecology of Song Zhuang needs further construction and perfection, the observation and components of the artistic ecological chain include:

1. The time place and reason for the formation of art communities; 2. The living conditions and incomes of artists; 3. The social background of the formation of art communities; 4. The change in numbers of artists in art communities in recent years and their current living conditions; 5. The hardware equipment and service facilities of the art communities, e.g. art museums, libraries, websites, galleries, painting materials shops, etc.; 6. The artistic types and forms of artists in art communities and their national influence; 7. The future structure of art communities and the momentum they bring to other industries; 8. Art funds, market circulation of art services institutions and orientation of art and exhibitions; 9. The survival mechanism for art critics and curators; 10. Tax system for art, collection mechanism of Chinese artworks, the station program for foreign artists, the project of popularization of art, etc.

The biggest problems confronting most artists in Song Zhuang still remain to be “the confusion of survival and art”, since most of them make a living on temporary employment or part-time jobs, without insurance of livelihood. The uncertainty of survival for artists from out of town were exposed through the lawsuit of Song Zhuang estate around 2008, the medical insurance issue for the now seriously ill artist Zhou Yibin and the education problems for the second generation of Song Zhuang. I know about the participation of a lot of Western, Japanese and South Korean artists in other professions, and the fact that every year millions of art graduates join the army of artists, as well as the difficulty of turning art in to a profession in China now. Lacking the means of circulation of a direct bargain market and the support from art funds, we could only encourage artists to engage in other professions to provide for their own art. The big picture in China now is that culture serving economy as a sidekick in order to: 1. satisfy the national thirst for material, 2. strive for international business right. So fragile as culture stands up against the economy, proved by the removal of some art districts surrounding 798 in 2009. The future of Song Zhuang will probably fall subject to the impact from the removal of urbanization, commercial interests and ideologized art, so we suggested that the government permit Song Zhuang to reserve the natural villages to develop industries and ensure the freedom of artistic creation. The aim of constructing “the Song Zhuang ecology and artistic ecology” is for the accomplishment of building a survival space for artists and development of popularization of art, and we hope that real and specific efforts will make some contribution to the benign development of Song Zhuang’s ecological art and artistic ecology in the future.

Written on March 5, 2012 in Song Zhuang Art Museum

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