The “Shan-Shui” (mountain and water) spirit mirrors the ultimate harmony between man and nature that Chinese people have been after for thousands of years. Symbolizing the spiritual dwelling that is brimming with poetic vision and ideal, it could be traced back to the utopian land that was depicted as Peach Blossom Spring; has always been rooted in the traditional and modern delineation of landscape; and can be perceived in the attempts to reflect on and probe into the society in the contemporary context.
When the past, the present and the future meet, our perception, experience and imagination inevitably and intricately intertwine. In the context of contemporary China, the nation’s dramatic development has led to not only material prosperity but also drastically growing desires. Under such a backdrop, what kind of Shan-Shui practice is happening? what kind of Shan-Shui society would artists envision as a model for the future?
Consists of two parts, curated by Wong Shun-kit, “Humanistic Nature and Society (Shan-Shui) – An Insight into the Future”, once as the Collateral Event of the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, looks into the future Shan-Shui society, while “Humanistic Nature and Society (Shan-Shui) – A People’s Biography” focuses more on the contemporary practice of Shan-Shui.
- Wang Jiuliang, Beijing Besieged by Waste 12, 2009. Courtesy of the artists and Shanghai Himalayas Museum
- Yang Yongliang, Artificial wonderland, 2014. Courtesy of the artists and Shanghai Himalayas Museum