Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai presented an exhibition
entitled "ReFlection of Minds" from September 12, 2010 to October 8,
2010. According to the curators' statement, there is a new way to
enjoy beauty in response to the conflicted and yet elevated
spirituality of today's young people. In modern times, the information
boom has created an emphasis on serious, somber world issues. The
current generation's entire lives have been bombarded with grievous
news, and as young adults now look at the world with an honest, albeit
pessimistic eye. In response to this new mindset, the exhibition's
curators, Ding Yi and Wang Weiwei, sought to unveil "hidden,
camouflaged beauty in things" and pair this aesthetic with the
"freshness and curiosity of daily life." Walking through the exhibit,
"pretty" is clearly camouflaged. The space appeared dark and somber,
as did the artwork. Hu Xiaoxiao's installation "Black Dwarf" sought to
mold the shapeless: light, a metaphor to the inability to define
freedom without it becoming a jail. This speaks to the restricting
effects of people's efforts to define and prove themselves. This idea
of removing importance from the self carries throughout the
exhibition. In fact, there are no clear faces depicted in any of the
artwork. I believe this is a bold statement of the detachment of
individuality and personal importance in the world today. We are all
free in this world, but trapped by modern society. What frees us
ultimately confines us.

Meredith Rankin

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