设计互联 | 海上世界文化艺术中心
/ Gu Ling, translated by Fiona He
Last year, the Pearl River Delta was given a new name, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area. All kinds of real estate projects designed marketing strategies on the notion of the “Bay Area”. In English, the term was first used to describe the one in San Francisco and its surrounding satellite cities, which later became popular lingua franca. The economy of this Bay Area, as a critical economic model, is a highlight in today financial domain. It also aspires to become a landmark among the world’s first-class coastal cities.
With the thriving economy in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area, the development of contemporary visual arts and culture is on the rise with exuberant vitality. The unique and diverse cultures and customs in Southern China have provided the creative individuals with a multitude of artistic impetus and exhibition platforms. Among them, there are seasoned art educators who have worked in this field over the years, as well as the new forces that push for innovation. This artistic ecology is nurtured by many local institutions, and among them, their collaboration in cultivating more exuberant artistic force, openness to a wider audience, and stimulation for more open dialogues and exchanges improve the overall cultural environment by providing support for the creative forces.
During last year’s Art Basel Hong Kong, four art institutions in Guangzhou and Shenzhen launched a day-trip, the “Guangdong Art Trip” in order to provide an opportunity for the art community to experience visual culture in the cities of Guangzhou and Shenzhen, where exchanges of ideas and conversations with other art professionals could take place face to face.
This year, the participating institutions have increased to eight, and this two-days-one-night trip is planned for March 24 to 25. For this year’s edition, our program has become more diverse, which includes professional art exhibition guide, transportation, food and beverages as well as helping you make hotel reservations.
The first stop on the trip will bring you to Mirrored Gardens, located in the Quadrant Land in Panyu, Guangzhou. As you will see, its poetic environment definitely lives up to its lyrical name. Mirrored Gardens is an organic art space that continues to grow. Upon the invitation of the space owners, Sou Fujimoto designed the buildings in the order of exhibition space, kitchen, to the functional spaces of project rooms and offices. In Fujimoto’s design, he incorporated local materials such as oyster shells, thatch, shipping containers and etc., into this enclave. Over the years, the team at Mirrored Gardens has further built and embellished the details until the opening of Wang Yin’s recent solo exhibition “Friendship”, where this architectural ensemble revealed its wonder in full. The fish swimming in the pond and the vegetation grown in-between the garden, the citrus-scented tea from one’s glass or the hot wine, together bring warmth and pleasure to this place. For this exhibition, the galleries have only used natural lighting to illuminate the spaces. As the sceneries outside of the window and the architectural space on the inside resonate the light represented in Wang Yin’s paintings and the light where he first painted them come into a cross-spatial yet eternal dialogue. Apparently, the position where each painting is placed was determined from observing and testing the luminosity of the surroundings based on different times of the day and other factors. This is why there is only one painting in one of the galleries. Besides the geographical location of the space, the reason for choosing Mirrored Gardens as our first stop is to tailor to the best daytime lighting for viewing these works of art.
After having lunch at Mirrored Gardens, we will arrive at Guangdong Times Museum at Huangbian Station within an hour’s drive. From a distance, the museum which situates itself on the top floor of the Rose Garden community looks like a landed UFO. The designer is Rem Koolhaas (in collaboration with Alain Fouraux), the renowned Dutch architect and founder of OMA. Under Hou Hanru’s introduction, Koolhaas was able to see the diverse and pioneering artistic practices in Guangdong since the end of last century. In turn, active artist groups in Guangdong, such as the Big Tail Elephants Working Group, the Yangjiang Group have got the chance to present their works at the museum. As an art museum founded by a commercial real estate company, Times Museum, nevertheless, takes a path of distinctive and independent research on contemporary art, and shows commitment to the developing of education programs for the public local community. During our trip, not only will we visit “The Invisible Hand”, Omer Fast’s first solo exhibition in China, and his representative works over the last decade, but also Banyan Commune at the museum’s entrance, where Thai artist Henry Tan’s residency project is currently exhibited.
Before you enjoy a mouthwatering Cantonese meal at dinner, there is one more place to visit. Video Bureau houses the archives of video art, and by far it has collected more than 1300 video artworks by 73 artists. This organization will continue to grow at a rate of adding 12 artists’ archives per annum. Chen Tong, the founder of Libreria Borges is one of its founders. The video artworks are archived according to the artists, and visitors are able to browse through the archives, view any work at the viewing stations equipped with DVD players or using the high-definition video-on-demand system developed internally on a self-served basis. New archival materials by artists Zheng Guogu and Duan Yingmei are made available for the month of March. Due to the time constraints of this trip, we hope for those who are interested in video art would make appointments for your next visit.
It’s not recommended to stay up late, although the hosts from Guangdong would often talk into the wee hours of the morning. We will have to bear an early departure on the next morning from the Guangzhou Garden Hotel for Shekou, Shenzhen. Shekou, is a name remnant of the time of Shekou Industrial Zone. Located on the most beautiful port of the western seacoast of Shenzhen, it has been an experimental site for China’s Economic Reforms. At Nanhai E-Cool Creative Park, an area renovated from the former Sanyo factory, is where art collector Frank F. Yang had founded the Frank F. Yang Art and Education Foundation in 2015, an institution that aims to revitalize the contemporary ecology in Shenzhen. Its diverse venues as their exhibition spaces take on approaches different from the typical white cube. You Space at Nanhai E-Cool is where the foundation hosts its annual exhibition, “Situation” by Greek artist Apostolos Georgiou. The artist has received international attention on the 2017 Kassel Documenta. The exhibition space integrates the qualities of the office, living space, and art museum space, and looking at these humoristic imageries would certainly stimulate people’s empathy to these “situations” from their rich layers and intrigues.
We will follow along the shaded pedestrian walk on Xinghua St. from You Space and pass through the bustling food court of Sea World to reach Design Society | The Sea World Culture and Arts Center. This enormous park is the neighbor of the landmark Nuwa sculpture that includes large areas of public space and glass walls. Its architect Fumihiko Maki has provided the building its openness by constructing a semi-exterior space. The use of fluid lines welcomes its visitors to explore freely in this design focused new cultures and living space. Design Society, established by China Merchants Shekou with the Victoria and Albert Museum presents the world’s first semi-permanent exhibition center and its large-scale exhibition, “Values of Design”, displaying more than 250 pieces of design from its collection. By exploring the relationship between design and values, the exhibition puts together the history of design and society over the last five hundred years. At the same time, the Design Society team has also curated the international exhibition “Minding the Digital” to address issues of digital design. Its 60 works of cutting-edge art and design explores the impact of digitization on our everyday life today and humanity in the future. If time allows, before we head over for lunch at the new-media themed EXTRA TIME café where one can hear the sound of the ocean waves, the retrospective exhibition of Fumihiko Maki’s architectural designs is also on view at the Park View Gallery, as well as the pop-up shop by Maywa Denki at the Design Society Store is also worth visiting.
One has to visit OCT if one were to visit art in Shenzhen. At the foot of the Yanhan Mountain, this first branding success of Shenzhen’s creative cultural park was first build on sandy ground thirty years ago. The renovations on its former factory architecture project the co-existence of Shenzhen’s urban history and its current development. This is the site where many earlier editions of the Urban and Architectural Bi-City Biennale (UABB), Shenzhen Sculptural Biennale and other large-scale international exhibitions took place. It is also the starting point of OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) that has then extended to other parts of the country. Our itinerary includes a visit to the OCT Art & Design Gallery for the group exhibition “Reconstructing Utopia –Architecture and Art Exhibition”, which brings together 53 sets of Chinese architectural and artistic practices, reflecting on rapid urbanization, the exploitation of artificial intelligence, as well as the monopoly on big data technology. And the dual solo show at OCAT Shenzhen, “The Enormous Space” presenting artist Cui Jie’s unfinished installation “Maison Fueter” in reference to Le Courbusier and her new paintings, and Lee Kit’s solo, “I didn’t know that I was dead”. Lee Kit adopted overlapping projections and diluted colors to manipulate the light and dimensions of the space, in addition to his indispensable sonic aspect in his practice, he’s generated a personal dimension where one may become fully immersed.
As the last stop before Hong Kong, Hive Center for Contemporary Art (Shenzhen) will mark a wonderful ending for this trip. Situated in the OCT art district, Hive Shenzhen is exhibiting Watching the Clouds Go By: Liang Quan’s Creative Style and it’s Changes. Born in 1948, Liang Quan currently lives and works in Shenzhen, he is among the first group of Chinese contemporary artists who studied abroad after the Cultural Revolution, also one of the first Chinese artists to work on abstraction. The show will present Liang’s representative works over the last 40 years, including his works of the early years (1970 ’s), works from the period of “heavy color” (1985-2000), the period of “emptiness” (2000-2015) to the recent pieces, together to present a comprehensive view of his aesthetics and artistic practice.
With all the talks aside, we hope by now you delightly intend to make reservations for this trip. And before you do so, please allow us bring to your attention with the following tips:
- Accommodation is not subsidized by the organizers. Hotel reservations can be made by the organizers at the Guangzhou Garden Hotel at a discounted room charge marked in the application form.
- The organizers will provide transportation for the entirety of this trip (including airport pick-up in Guangzhou). The departures of this trip are in Hong Kong and Guangzhou and ends at the Hong Kong Exhibition Center.
- The organizers will provide the lunches and one dinner over the two-days trip, should you have any dietary request, please remark in your application.
- Once the organizers have successfully received your application, you will receive a confirmation letter. Should you have to cancel your reservation, please notify us before NOON, on March 21st, in order to leave seats for other visitors.
Well, since availability is limited, please visit http://cantonarttrip.org/ for further information and fill out the application form. Your applications should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We look forward to welcome you!
2018 Guangdong Art Trip