The concept of “theater” is a term that comes from architecture, and originally referred to a building for conducting religious rituals, performances, and meetings. Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) referred to the “theater” when conceptualizing the “theater effect” to describe Paris as a representative condition of human civilization. He extended the concept of “theater” to “the city was dramatized itself, becoming a large theater, where the public became both viewers and performers, unconsciously alienated by throwing away their self-consciousness, as if they lived elsewhere.” In this description, the relationship of oneself has been taken to be both active and passive. Theater has become the background of creating infinite possibilities of alternative roles. In these context and interpretation, theater can truly be a “relationship” of contradictions.
“Thirty Lights year – Theater of Chinese Art “ is looking to interpret some of the visual language systems and characteristics grown from Chinese ink paintings in relation to the theater of art. The artworks will create visual bilateral relations in which opposition intrudes into the confirmation – blurring the same narrative contained within the field of theater. So the artists are the audience, and in the meantime they are also the brilliant performers of this drama. When fiction is also real, and the West is also the East, everything will be dissolved in the domain of theater with its natural interpretive – to recognize and re-locate the controls and anti-controls.
In this exhibition, the participating artists’ age ranges from early middle-age up to nearly seventy years old. The latter age group is considered to be the most successful and composed of seasoned artists in the current fabric of Chinese art. They all have achieved their own high points in artistic creation, and have built up their own artistic styles and insights. For this particular event in Venice, they will all collaborate on a new creative form using new media art, while also exhibiting their individual works to exemplify their self-expressing artistic precipitations, and their temperamental reactions to the Chinese cultural context. Included in this exhibition will be paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, and other multi-media works.
The two curators will direct a cultural theater of the East meeting the West. They are presenting new forms in Chinese contemporary art with fictional languages in the domain of theater to examine its distillation in relationship to time and place, old and new, and East and West. Here, a “light-year” is no longer a quantifiable term used to define the differences from the East to the West, but rather a signal to our universe that proclaims all our current attempts to blur the lines of time zones and geographic distances within our internet and cloud computing era. These artists will interact with each other to explore these new conditions of our current global culture.
- Xu Qinsong, 600x240cm, Chinese ink painting, 2011, Photo by Cai Hu
- Wang Junyi, 2006, Jade, 10.5x9x3.1cm, photo by Sun Jianming