Friday, October 17, 2008

First impression of the Biennal

For people living in Shanghai, the Biennal seems more like an entertaining event rather than a serious art exhibition. I do remember two years ago, I went to see the Biennal with my friend
who regarded the festival as a process of making fun. We saw interesting installations and abstract (or may be we shall say, "creative" paintings) without further exloring their inside meaning. When walked outside the gallery, I just felt like watching a relaxing movie.

This year, before the Biennal was opened to the public, I've already heard most of my friends planning to have a look (no matter they are real artists or not). Even some of my relatives kept asking my questions about how much was the price or was it convnient to go there by subway. I felt even more amused when entering the exhibit hall, seeing people of all ages wandering aroung and taking photos with the artists works. But as students of the "Comtenparory Chinese Art and New Media" class, every groups had their own assignment. So I, together with Sally and Valeria decided to search this show according to the list of artists given to us before the class. The gallery is too big, which made it difficult to locate the specific artist and his works. We took
some time exploring from the 1st floor to the 3rd floor and this process gave me the general idea of the Biennal this year. This year's topic is "immigration" which is perfectly suitable for this city. People come, people go. Some spend their whole life here, some just pass it in a hurry. The train outside the gallery caught lots of attention, for it is the symbol of immigration and old days. But if we consider it as a art work, it appears to be less powerful and less imressive. And this is the problem exist in many exhibits, which seem to be interesting but I am afraid the only aim is to amused the public rather than express the own philosophy of the artist.

The work I like best is made by Mieke Van De Voort from Nitherland. The
work's name is "Travellogue". A specific interest in the failure of utopian cities and ideals characterizes Mieke Van de Voort's work. It looks at how the early 20th-century ideal of human migration as a possibility for a dynamic exchange of ideas - poetically portrayed in ultimate metaphors of traveling with transcontinental trains and the construction of a universal language - has resulted a century later in its radical antithesis of anonymous static housing projects placed in urban-cartographic zones where gathering is forbidden and where every citizen has to show proof of identity on demand.

(sorry because of the problem with my camera, I can ont put photos right now. If you are interested in our group's artists, feel free to get some information in Valieria's article. She put a lot of pics and her own insight! I will make up for it as soon as possible.)

No comments: