“You Won’t be Young Forever” is outcome of field research, studio visits and ongoing discussion of the exhibition curator Biljana Ciric looking at the youngest generation of artists and their practice in China. While this exhibition doesn’t want to limit the artistic presentation to artists born after certain year, rather proposes to look loosely at generation born from mid 80’s to early 90’s and their works. This ongoing curatorial project tempts to support and expose youngest generation of artists at the very early stage of the practice and support their experimentation.
Reason for doing the exhibition at this specific moment reflects the current art system in China where young artists start their practice with gallery exhibitions and time and space for experimentation is extremely limited by the system. At the same time less and less artists organized exhibitions could be seen around the country that was strongest force for artists presenting their most radical experiments.
“We all share the dream of being forever young, but only a small fraction of us are able to pass through life unscathed by the weight of time. In fact, we grow older faster than we even realize. It is not necessarily about a specic age, or turning point, but a frame of mind, a search for rhythms and how we are able to adapt to them as they become recognizable.
Very few of us are brave enough to stay young, to embrace life in full with an open mind and open heart. What we hope to hold onto from our youth is that which we feel we have lost yet still cherish, like the sense of fearlessness and daring that allowed us to face anything directly, without hesitation. In this place we live now, China, people become older much faster; they never had the opportunity to be bold, yet already they are old. The same goes for artists.
With these ideas in mind, this self-initiated curatorial project invites artists who not yet recognized by the wider art world system, or those who don’t care to be part of that system, to represent and debate their practice in a public setting, thereby creating a space to take risks from both artistic and curatorial perspectives.”
The exhibition thus serves as the host for these experiments and debates, mirroring the individual and shared concerns of the artists presented as well as the curatorial interests in engaging with these practices. At its core, there is the hope that such an encounter may produce a transformation, rather than simply a shock or surprise. This exhibition is not bound to only showing artists of a certain age, but rather proposes to look loosely at the generation of artists born between the mid-1980s to the early ’90s. is grouping also includes a number of artists who studied in China and artists who returned to China after studying abroad.
This attempt towards research-as-exhibition started in 2009 under the title Mommy Project, which presented the young generation of artists at that time, whom today are actively part of the art system.
However, this project doesn’t intend to have follow a fixed time frame of occurring every two, three, or five years, but instead happens whenever there is a sense of urgency to open up discussion between different contributors. It is also intended to respond to specific moments in the current art system in China, especially as most of the discussion is presently centered around the development of infrastructure, rather than the work of art itself—suggesting this is a ripe moment to convene a new conversation. The exhibition hopes to provide a modest contribution to the thinking around artistic and curatorial encounters, focused on individual artist’s works and our shared concerns, addressing the practice of art not as a game to be won, but a lifelong game to play.
No. 235 Guan Fu road, near Wu Zhen Road Bridge