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2024.3.30 - 2024.5.15

JIANGHU : THE DISCRETE CENTER

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In martial arts novels, "Jianghu (江湖)" is the stage where heroes and villains engage in intrigue—a realm far removed from the courtly formalities and a vivid battleground for human nature. From its inception, "Jianghu (江湖)" symbolises the isolation of individual lives from one another. The phrase "Better to drift apart than to cling together half-heartedly (相濡 以沫,不如相忘于江湖 ),” as echoed by the characters in martial arts tales, captures both a poetic allure and profound depth. Yet, it also reflects the unavoidable separation driven by material pressures, religious norms, and familial or national conflicts. The clash between individual insignificance and collective power demands inner strength and unwavering faith. In essence, this encapsulates the subtle essence of "disperse." Is proximity or distance a matter of personal preference, or does it lay the groundwork for peaceful coexistence?


The "Jianghu (江湖)," far removed from the corridors of power, is intertwined with nature; the gathering of primitive tribes bolsters their survival in the face of environmental challenges. The transition from nomadic to settled life brought scattered individuals together. However, modern urbanisation has estranged individuals from their innate freedom, independence, and solitude. "Disperse" also underscores the separation between humanity and nature. From stark divides to the contemporary trend of "reconnecting with nature," it seems to follow a cyclical pattern dictated by destiny. Humanity, as the offspring of nature, neither conquers nor seamlessly integrates with its surroundings. The rejection or deliberate distance from centralisation prompts a balancing act between personal and collective time.

Is it a choice to immerse oneself in urban life or to seek the freedom of navigating between nature and the city? Is self-exile the beginning, journey, or end of life's odyssey? Reflecting on the globalisation led by neoliberalism and urbanisation, the dispersion of centralisation embodies an attitude—the multi-centralisation of urban geography in cities like Hangzhou (Shenzhen) reflects a dispersed reorganisation of urban spaces. Within dispersion lies the discovery of new meanings after the deconstruction and reconstitution of the central con- cept. Can our current lifestyle and production methods truly detach from nature, or does the notion of an "imagined nature" signify an "imagined future"?


Regardless of acknowledgment, we find ourselves living within an irretrievable natural order. This reality urges us to adopt a critical and constructive approach, always remaining vigilant about the "imagined future." This exhibition aims to present a perspective that juxtaposes the center with the periphery, exploring how individual autonomy shapes the coexistence of the center and periphery. Artists will reflect on themes such as Jianghu (江湖)//court, nature//non-nature, center//non-center, and aggregation//dispersion, sharing stories from their personal perspectives entrenched in the center while immersed in the Jianghu (江湖). Through various mediums like images, videos, paintings, spaces, and installations, they'll delve into the relationship between themselves as artists and their surroundings.


Additionally, the basement will be presenting a special screening "Go with the Flow" , curat- ed by guest curator Baiqi Chen.


May each individual find their own "Jianghu (江湖)."

Curator: Rongwei Li

Artists
 

Andrej Auch
Lei Gao
Langqing Liu
Nicola Samorì
Muxi Zhuo
Francesco De Biasi
Xinyu Han
Guoqiang Liu
Yiyi Wang

 
Chujing Fan
Yanan Jin
Enrico Minguzzi
Xingyun Wang

 
Weixuan Guo
Gergory Kitterle
Tao Peng
Shibin Yang

 
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Exhibition views

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selected works

Selected works

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