• Date
      2014.07.26 - 2014.08.24
    • Artist
      Xu Zhe, Zhao Junyuan, Tao Yi, Li Mu
    • Curator
      Cong Zhou, Alessandro Rolandi, Telescope
  • Links
  • Images

2014 OCAT Xi'an Summer Projects

Part 1: Organised Play: A Zuzhi Group Project
With the help of volunteers from the local community, the fun, inspirational interactive project Organised Play explored prevailing attitudes towards art today. Taking a cue from the legendary German social action artist Josef Beuys, the four members of Zuzhi Group discussed and extended Beuys' idea that “anyone can be an artist” to a logical conclusion. Can anyone make art? Ahead of the exhibition, each of the four Zuzhi Group members conducted an experimental workshop. The results of all the participants' endeavour are on display at OCAT as part of the Summer Projects. Visitors are welcome to come and decide for themselves.
Organised Play follows on from the successful work previously done by Zuzhi Group in collaboration with similar groups of volunteers for the project Funny Art in Guangzhou, 2012, which was shown again in Why Not Sneeze? in Shanghai 2013.
1. Xu Zhe Workshop: Maybe It’s a Game
In a similar manner to that adopted by fellow Zuzhi Group member Li Mu, Xu Zhe’s project began from his book from the Why Not Sneeze? series. Xu Zhe’s book is titled Acrobatics. He invited a group of students from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts to collaborate with him in creating an artwork for the exhibition. Xu Zhe also aimed to uncover in the work of a special theme relevant to the city of Xi’an. Did he succeed? To find out, come and take a look.
2. Zhao Junyuan Workshop: We Are Not Afraid of Red, Yellow, Blue
In the process of his collaboration with a dozen young volunteers, Zhao Junyao described various examples of contemporary art practice to participants in his workshop. Equally, in the process of maintaining constant communication with the group, the artist and participants inspired each other to create a diverse range of interesting and unusual works.
3. Tao Yi Workshop: Visual Tools
For his workshop, painter Tao Yi chose to focus on the kind of discipline that is not usually requisite in art. Inviting a dozen participants from all walks of life, Tao Yi set a goal of recreating a conceptual painting work in the manner of renowned French artist Daniel Buren. Daniel Buren is known for creating a range of seemingly simplistic paintings in only one or two colours, and in the form of precise regular stripes. Tao Yi gave his group a challenge of achieving a task without assistance from any kind of manufactured measuring tool or straight edge. Instead, ahead of the painting process, each participant was set to work producing their own individual measuring tool, a 30 cm-long ruler. How did they get on using their home-made rulers?
4. Li Mu Workshop: You Are An Artist
Li Mu worked with an art lover for two weeks. Together they discussed ideas about what art is and how it should be made. You Are An Artist took the core of Li Mu’s book of the same title, produced as part of the series of four volumes Why Not Sneeze? By each of the Zuzhi Group members. Together with his volunteer, Li Mu followed the examples of his book to create a series of artworks that are the result of a process of mutual influence between the artist and the volunteer.
Part 2: Curatorial Call Selected Projects

1.   Never Arriving
Curator: Cong Zhou (Beijing)
What happens to the notion of "local" in the face of globalisation? Through the work of three young independent artists, Beijing-based curator Cong Zhou explores an attitude common to the artists found in their resistance to a universal standard for creative expression and curatorial practice. Each of the artists produces works using different visual forms, such as installation, painting and moving images and reflects a rather different notion of an artwork as an object or commodity, which is matched by their various approaches to exploring artistic expression as a system of values and of communication.
2. Social Sensibility R&D Department
Curator: Alessandro Rolandi (Italy)
Social Sensibility R&D Department is an experimental research project aimed at exploring the ways in which artists can interact within the context of a normal office working environment. The project was initiated with the goal of establishing a long-term creative interaction within a specific workplace, in this instance, Bernard Controls, a French factory based in Beijing. This project has been incorporated as an internal R&D unit of Bernard Controls since 2011. Through video installation and image displays, the exhibition of Social Sensibility projects represents a survey of all activities to date. The exhibition demonstrates how the various artist projects have created a different mindscape for the employees and also opened up a space of interpersonal communication at Bernard Controls.
At the time of the exhibition opening, Alessandro Rolandi invited the general manager of Bernard Controls to join selected artists in a roundtable discussion on the potential for contemporary art as a creative growth strategy within the production manifesto of a corporation.

3. Reservoir: Wu Xiaowu Solo Exhibition
produced by Telescope (artist studio) (Beijing)

Beijing-based young artist Wu Xiaowu [b.1985, Hunan] studied "local" traditional Chinese painting and the "global" medium of photography at Tianjin Art Academy. His current work is born of those two perspectives. Wu Xiaowu's project comprises painting, sculptures and an installation, each of which explores the theme of "local" culture in the context of the global world, and of the relationship between traditional arts and contemporary practice. Similar to his recent project at Telescope, the installation takes the form of a "fake" mountain range resembling the formations common to the traditional ink-painting mountains, made by hand using local soil. The subtle addition of contemporary elements serves as a reminder of how nature is seen today. Other elements of the project, the stone artifacts, the paintings of stone, and the relationship between them, are there to represent Wu Xiaowu's philosophical perspective of life. For OCAT Xi'an, Wu Xiaowu will infuse this ensemble with a specific relevance to the local historic context.


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