Tag Archives | 薛滔

非常日常•贰——薛滔2014年个展

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非常日常•贰
——薛滔2014年个展

策展人:罗菲
主办:TCG诺地卡画廊
开幕酒会时间:2014年7月11日晚8点
展览时间:2014年7月11日至8月30日
地点:昆明市西坝路101号,创库艺术社区,TCG诺地卡画廊
电话:0871-64114692
网址:www.tcgnordica.com
www.xuetaoart.cn

有关薛滔2014年个展“非常日常•贰”:

2001年创库的成立带来了云南首次集中的艺术家群体实验,其中群展“体检”(2002)、“羊来了”(2002)和“影子”(2003)将本土70后艺术家的整体面貌向公众充分展现。随后他们以群体方式出现在上海、北京等地,云南新生代的艺术力量得到迅猛发展。薛滔作为这时期成长起来的实验艺术家、活动策划人,产生了非常重要的推动作用。

薛滔1975年生于云南大理,1994年在大理创办云南首个现代艺术群体“红心社”,2005年在北京创建“候鸟天空”艺术空间,积极推动云南艺术家与各地的联络。2012年他从北京回到昆明,积极推介本地新兴艺术家,为年轻艺术家撰写文章。作为活动组织人、策划人、联络人,他为云南本地艺术家做出了极大的贡献。

薛滔的学艺经历在70后艺术家中具有代表性,他从传统学院艺术起步,学习色彩与造型,采用现代主义理念与方法进行创作,之后进入全球化情境中的当代艺术,用个人化语言表达全球化语境中的艺术关切。薛滔自2000年以来始终采用报纸创作装置作品,其作品具有明确简练的形式和厚重感,为普通的报纸赋予十分特别的陌生效果。薛滔在三个层面展开了形式实验:有关时间的形式,有关能量的形式以及有关语言的形式。

薛滔曾代表中国艺术家受邀参加2007年至2008年在欧洲巡展的“中国电站”艺术展,该展览集中呈现了中国艺术家的新生代力量,获得广泛影响。薛滔也于2008年参加欧洲极负盛誉的法国圣•艾蒂安设计双年展。

薛滔于2007年在上海、北京举办首次个展《非常日常》,时隔七年,他将首次在家乡云南展示他的报纸类装置作品个展《非常日常•贰》,并在曾经举办过“体检”和“羊来了”等云南实验艺术的重要阵地TCG诺地卡画廊举办。这次展览将集中呈现薛滔自2007年以来的14件代表作,这将是云南首个装置艺术的个展,由此见证他在艺术创作上的持续探索。

展览将于2014年7月11日晚上8点在TCG诺地卡画廊开幕,我们诚邀您拔冗参加,欣赏一场装置艺术的盛宴!

相关文章:

《薛滔的形式实验》

《薛滔访谈:当代艺术在云南》

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Extraordinary Daily: Xue Tao Solo Exhibition 2014

Curator: Luo Fei
Host by TCG Nordica Gallery
Opening: 8pm, July 11, 2014
Exhibition Duration: July 11 – Aug 30, 2014
Address: TCG Nordica, Chuangku, Xibalu 101, Kunming, China

The launch of the Loft in 2001 started putting the collective experimentation of Yunnan’s artists on stage for the first time. Among them were the group exhibitions like “Experience” (2002), “Sheep is coming” (2002) and “Shadow” (2003) that showcased to the public the overall outlook of Yunnan’s post-70s local artists. Later on, they made their presence known collectively in Shanghai, Beijing, and other cities. A new generation of Yunnanese artistic forces had witnessed a dynamic development. Xue Tao, being one of the experimental artists and event planners from this period of time, has had a very important role in promoting this development.

Xue was born in 1975 in Dali, Yunnan. He founded Yunnan’s first modern art community – the Red Heart Commune in Dali and later on the Migratory Sky Art Space in Beijing in 2005. He has always been actively promoting interaction between Yunnan’s artists and those from other places. He moved from Beijing back to Kunming in 2012 and devoted his efforts to introduce local emerging artistic talents, and to write articles for the young artists. As an event organizer, planner, and contact person, he has made great contributions to Yunnan’s local artist community.

Xue’s artistic journey was typical among the post-70s artists. He began with the traditional academic arts, picked up the languages of colors and models along the way, and started to make art with modernist ideas and methods. After entering into the contemporary art in the context of globalization, he employs personal language to express his artistic concerns in such a scenario. Xue has been creating installation works with newspapers since 2000. With clean and concise forms and their unique heaviness, his works add to the ordinary newspapers a special effect of unfamiliarity. Xue approaches the form experimentation at three levels, namely the forms concerning time, energy and language.

On behalf of the Chinese artists, Xue was invited to participate in the European Tour of the “Chinese Power Plant” Art Exhibition in 2007 to 2008. This Exhibition highlighted the power of China’s younger generation artists, and it was highly acclaimed. Xue also attended one of Europe’s most prestigious art events – Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne 2008 in France.

Xue held his first solo exhibition – “Extraordinary Daily” in Shanghai, Beijing in 2007. Seven years later, he is to present his newspaper installation solo exhibition “Extraordinary Daily II” in his hometown – Yunnan. The location is exactly where Yunnan’s experimental art projects such as “Experiences” and “Sheep is Coming” were held – TCG Nordica. This Exhibition will focus on 14 representative works of Xue’s since 2007. It’s going to be his first installation art exhibition in Yunnan, testifying the ceaseless exploration in his artistic creation.

The Exhibition will be opened at 8 P.M. on July 11, 2014 at TCG Nordica. We would like to cordially invite you to join us for a feast of installation art!

Related Post: Xue Tao Interview: Contemporary Art in Yunnan

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“菠萝蜜”当代艺术系列对谈第一回:米线峰会

“菠萝蜜”当代艺术系列对谈第一回:米线峰会

文/罗菲

菠萝蜜是世界著名的热带水果,身形巨大,在云南南部十分常见。因其外观呈现尖锐、密集、厚重和怪异的特征,易与榴莲混淆,让人不敢轻易尝试。但菠萝蜜实则清甜可口,香味四溢,能止渴解烦,醒脾益气,还有健体益寿的作用。某种程度上它和当代艺术、先锋艺术给人的感觉十分相似,于是本土策展人艺术家薛滔、和丽斌与罗菲决定采用这个名字来为他们接下来的工作命名。

“菠萝蜜”当代艺术系列对谈由薛滔、和丽斌与罗菲组织发起,他们希望通过聚集艺术家就本土及全球的当代艺术状况展开梳理、思考与交流,并借此推动本土艺术批评、研究和创作,最终带动本土当代艺术的良性发展。

“菠萝蜜”当代艺术系列对谈第一回于2014年7月2日晚8点在书林街的“东街九号”小吃店举行,因此次活动承办方“东街九号”经营地道可口的云南小锅米线,并聚集了本土最活跃的策展人和艺术家,故又被艺术家们称作“米线峰会”。关于本次对谈的目的和背景,活动发起人罗菲这样写道:

“2000年后,实验艺术在云南的发展有两个重要节点,一个是2001年创库艺术社区在西坝路101号的成立,该社区由艺术家和艺术机构自发组织成立,成为中国最早的艺术社区之一。作为昆明的艺术文化中心,它极大促进了本地艺术家们的群体实验,本地艺术家与国际艺术家的协作以及艺术界与公众的交流。另一个是2005年至2006年的“江湖”系列艺术活动,该项目聚集了各地实验艺术家,以极其活跃的方式在各类场所开展艺术现场,融入大量民间娱乐和游戏精神,发展出极具市井气息和庆祝美学的先锋派样式。这两个节点都见证着本土艺术家们在实验精神上的自觉推进,为中国当代艺术的发生、发展提供了独特的考察价值。2014年也将成为云南当代艺术重要的一年,过去发生的“艺术真容易”艺术展、五三艺术节以及即将举办的薛滔个展、和丽斌个展,还有其他即将揭幕的重要活动,都预示着云南当代艺术的中坚力量正在回归实验性,并自觉开启地域性当代艺术的自主叙事。本次对谈将邀请活跃于本地的多位策展人、艺术家就2001年创库后的本土当代艺术状况展开梳理、讨论与碰撞。”

本次对谈邀请到的主要嘉宾有中国著名策展人、批评家管郁达教授,策展人及艺术家和丽斌、薛滔、林善文、雷燕、罗菲及吴若木。他们分别就2001年创库后的云南当代艺术进行了回顾与梳理。

管郁达教授的演讲题目为《艺术区的聚散:迁徙中的艺术家》,以昆明创库艺术区为起点,简要回顾了以云南为焦点的中国当代艺术过去二三十年的状况,并谈到艺术家在云南作为“迁徙的候鸟”和“云飘”等现象。和丽斌以2009年“在云上”户外艺术项目及近期行为艺术在云南艺术学院的教学为例,分享了行为艺术在云南的实践及教学的成果。作为云南最著名的“北漂”艺术家、策展人薛滔,他与大家分享了云南最早的艺术家群体红心社、云南艺术家与昆明合影项目、合订本项目等把艺术与生活融为一体的艺术实践。林善文分享了曾经学生时期为著名艺术家叶永青做助手的经历,以及2003年丽江工作展示节和其他当代艺术展对他产生的重要启发。雷燕回顾了本土女性艺术家群体在创库成立之后与国际艺术家们的协作,以及她们在材料实验方面的推进,自我组织方面的努力。罗菲以“江湖”和“艺术真容易”为例,探讨了云南当代艺术中庆祝美学的可能性。吴若木作为云南最新的艺术群体九坑艺术公社的代表,分享了近期行为艺术的实践与思考。媒体人桑田向大家推介了“人文云南”书画板块,希望能给每一位艺术家和每场艺术活动一个公共平台的网络展示。

在主要嘉宾分享之后,与会艺术家们就什么是实验艺术,当代艺术在云南有何种特质,如何判断行为艺术好与坏,近十五年来云南艺术状况等话题展开了严肃、活泼、深入的交流对谈。参加本次对谈的策展人、艺术家和媒体人有近30人,从晚上8点一直讨论持续到凌晨,在意犹未尽中散去。在短短四个多小时内,大家将本土十五年来的艺术状况进行了回顾和讨论,成果丰硕,现场气氛十分活泼,不少艺术家都表示,希望这样的对谈能成为云南艺术界常态化的聚会,这将对本土当代艺术的创作与历史书写产生极大的推动作用。

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薛滔的形式实验

薛滔作品《同胞》,2011年

薛滔作品《同胞》,2011年

薛滔的形式实验

文/罗菲

2000年后,实验艺术在云南的发展有两个重要节点,一个是2001年创库艺术社区在西坝路101号的成立,该社区由艺术家和艺术机构自发组织成立,成为中国最早的艺术社区之一。作为昆明的艺术文化中心,它极大促进了本地艺术家们的群体实验,本地艺术家与国际艺术家的协作以及艺术界与公众的交流。另一个是2005年至2006年的“江湖”系列艺术活动,该项目聚集了各地实验艺术家,以极其活跃的方式在各类场所开展艺术现场,融入大量民间娱乐和游戏精神,发展出极具市井气息和庆祝美学的先锋派样式。这两个节点都见证着本土艺术家们在实验精神上的自觉推进,为中国当代艺术的发生、发展提供了独特的考察价值。

创库初期是云南艺术家群体实验的首次集中爆发期,其中群展“体检”(2002)、“羊来了”(2002)和“影子”(2003)将本土70后艺术家的整体面貌向公众充分展现。随后他们以群体方式出现在上海、北京等地,云南新生代的艺术力量由此得到迅猛发展。薛滔作为这时期成长起来的实验艺术家、活动组织人,产生了非常重要的推动作用。

薛滔1975年生于云南大理,1994年在大理创办“红心社”艺术家群体,2005年在北京创建“候鸟天空”艺术空间,推动云南艺术家与各地的联络。2012年他从北京回到昆明,积极投入到推介本地新兴艺术家的工作中,为他们策划展览,撰写文章。作为活动组织人、策划人、联络人,他为云南艺术家所作的贡献已广为所知。

这里要来讨论下身为实验艺术家的薛滔。作为艺术家,他自2000年以来始终采用报纸创作装置作品,其作品具有简练明朗的形式和厚重感,为报纸赋予了特别的陌生效果,我想这是艺术家在形式方面努力的结果。因此从形式实验的角度看,薛滔至少在三个层面展开了探索:有关时间的形式,有关能量的形式以及有关语言的形式。

首先看有关时间的形式。报纸作为发布信息,传播思想的媒体在全面进入数字时代的今天已日渐式微。在今天,信息发布与传播变得越来越自由,信息流的发生越加密集,以致难以留下可触摸可嗅到的信息本身:油墨里的文字与图像。报纸作为传统工业社会的三大媒介之一(另外两样是电视和广播),它是唯一使得信息可直观存留于时空中的媒介,这个社会所发生、宣传和思考的一切如确凿证据登记在报。薛滔的创作,正是对这些信息的证据进行重新塑造,将报纸拧成绳状,再根据不同的结构搭建、堆积成不同的物体,如“椅子”、“挂毯”、“核”、“柱”、“帐篷”、“鼎”等。这些物体并不具备实用性,并且随着时间的推移,它们会变得越加脆弱、泛黄、褪色甚至受到损毁。这些作品的物理生命及其刊登的信息将渐渐衰老,这是薛滔作品的时间性特质,是一种有关时间的形式实验。在这种形式面前,观众会产生一种有关“过去”的意识,有关“旧”的意识,有关“消亡”的意识。在数字时代,信息从不老去,也不会被损毁,只会下沉,所以才需要人们不断点赞。在薛滔的实验中,时间的形式在报纸这样有限的媒介上被充分证实其存在,以此唤起观众对物质世界“永远不变”的期盼。

薛滔通过长时间繁重密集的手工劳作,把报纸拧成捆,用铁丝铁架搭建框架,再将拧好的报纸牢牢包裹在结构上面。这种方式克服了观念艺术中那种简单挪用的智力游戏,他秉承了艺术这一古老行业中对双手的颂赞传统。这是艺术家区别于哲学家、科学家等其他角色的根本性体现:用双手制造形式及其意义。这在多位云南实验艺术家身上都有所体现,如和丽斌、张华、孙国娟、雷燕、苏亚碧等,他们注重双手对材料的塑造和双手留下的情感痕迹。薛滔双手对废旧报纸的处理方式也为平凡物赋予了一种恒定的能量,他对报纸的拧与捏,以至他的情感、意志都被双手塑造于作品的体感之中,这即是人们常说的有体温的作品,也是薛滔作品打动人的地方,犹如表现主义绘画留下的笔触。我认为这也是薛滔作品最独特也最有难度的地方:如何始终保留双手的能量在作品上?使那些本来就会变形脆弱的报纸不会因时间而减弱,这比绘画更难,因为绘画作为能量的痕迹已经在那里,而薛滔的装置是要想办法留住最初的那种能量。它有时更像雕塑,给人一种恒定的存在感。我认为他主要是通过对单件作品的结构处理以及空间展示方式上的处理,来唤起视觉上恒定的能量感。犹如极简主义大师封塔纳(Lucio Fontana)在画布上切割的那一刀,半个多世纪过去,仿佛作者刚刚撒手离去,画布始终饱满地绽放在那里。因此,如何用双手为平凡废旧物赋予一种恒定的能量,这是薛滔对能量的形式实验。

薛滔的学艺经历在70后艺术家中也具有代表性,他从传统学院艺术起步,学习色彩与造型,然后用现代主义理念与方法进行创作,之后进入全球化情境中的当代艺术,用个人化语言表达全球化语境中的艺术关切。薛滔的创作,从2000年至今,也呈现出这样一种从现代主义艺术向当代艺术的转向,从做一个《太阳》(2002)到做《一捆》(2008),即从再现/表现能力向个人语言能力的转向,从“像一个物体”到“是一个物体”的转向,从“像一件艺术品”到“是一件艺术品”的转向。由此,薛滔的艺术语言走得越加开放和个人化,以致近期多件作品不再是传统意义上的雕塑或者装置,而是一次次观念行动的结果,如每天撕碎报纸的《如来神掌》(2013)和舂出来的《国情咨文》(2012)。通过对语言的形式实验,薛滔扩展了自己的方法论,材料的可能性,观念和形式的力度,其成果令人赞叹。

薛滔的艺术不止在形式实验上下功夫,在精神性(spirituality)、观念性、社会性和展示方式等层面也值得我们作进一步考察。这里之所以对形式实验稍加阐述,是因为中国当代艺术自上世纪九十年代以来,对现实问题的关注大过对形式问题的关注。并非对现实的介入比形式实验更次要(有时甚至更急迫),但我认为艺术的核心任务仍旧是对形式的更新,形式更新能让艺术对现实的介入变得更加敏感而锋锐。正因为此,薛滔的形式实验十分难能可贵。

薛滔作为2000年后云南重要的策展人和艺术家,从他那里我们可以窥探到中国当代艺术发展的独特境遇,本土当代艺术的活力以及作为艺术家的智慧与信念。

我把薛滔放在“云南当代艺术”的叙事逻辑里来介绍,不是因为他只是一位在云南活跃的艺术家和策展人,更不是因为他的作品有何种典型的云南特色,他的形式实验早已突破这些藩篱,他的作品早已在国内外重要双年展和艺博会上被介绍。正因为他多年在北京生活工作以及在国际上的展览经历,才促使我思考,他和那些有类似经历的艺术家会如何把外界的生存经验、文化碰撞和艺术探索带回到云南本土?他们的本土经验又如何被带入到全球化的当代艺术实践中?我看到,像薛滔这样的艺术家和他的同仁们,通过艺术实验、策划与写作,正在推动一轮地域性当代艺术的自主叙事,这将是中国当代艺术接下来十年甚至更长时间被关注的理由。

2014年6月29日

 

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被定义为艺术的骑车运动

艺术家薛滔被定义为艺术的骑车运动

文/薛滔

可以为五斗米奔忙,不可为五斗米折腰。2014年5月18日我们一行18人又开始了骑车环行滇池的运动,我们为此次活动定义为艺术运动,为参加活动者定义为艺术家。是的,我们事先定义了这个概念,那么事后必然的就与这个概念产生关系。就像美国定义每个在美国领土上出生的人为美国人一样,只要在美国领土出生必然的就是美国人。那么我们定义了这次骑车运动为艺术运动,那么必然的它就是艺术运动。只是美国的定义有宪法和军队保护,而天朝则要求运动者办暂住证暂时居住在自己的祖国。所以我们今天定义了艺术,让每个参与的人定义为艺术家,不需要任何条件,唯一要求是"只要你愿意"。难道我们要花重金去威尼斯或者巴塞尔弄个展位才叫艺术?算了,咱不干那种勾当。

huandian-art03对于滇池,劣五类的水质完全是春城人的耻辱。春城人民一直以自己的城市四季如春而骄傲。一群生活在废水池边的市民,有什么值得沾沾自喜的呢!劣五类的废水既挑战了春城的智商又挑战了春城的勇气,在大美云南的弱智愚弄中,春城以及云南的所有人民将亲自品尝沉默与胆怯带来的恶果。今天在滇池,明天就可以在抚仙湖和洱海,这是天朝系统性的灾难。如果山鬼他们的"过境计划"是对丽江茨满村的"临终关怀",那么我们的"骑车运动"就是对劣五类滇池的"超度"。这里面没有子丑寅卯ABCD,只有在31度的烈日下12小时完成130公里。这是可以随时爆胎的情况,实际上确实有三人在途中爆了胎,这不但挑战了单车的质量也同时挑战了队友的心情。如果没有足够的准备,途中爆胎这种事情实在让人太过崩溃。

在烈日烘烤下的奔波中,让人丧失了看风景的心情,只剩下焦急与疲惫。全程除了意外加入的四人以及开车补给的二人外,计划中的十二辆单车全都在太阳落山之前到达终点。并且在一身疲惫中把冠军的旌旗颁给了实际上的最末一位达到终点者。末位冠军,这是人类历史上的第一次颁奖,在此之前没有任何一次运动把冠军颁给末位。难道我们要遵循弱肉强食的动物法则?做为注重灵性成长的人类,我们关怀并鼓励每一个虽然吃力但却坚持完成行动的队员,所以我们把旌旗颁给末位到达者。在优胜劣汰适者生存的自然法则下,地球上很多动物被人类逼到绝种的边缘,在哺乳动物中只有老鼠族群伴随着人类同样的茁壮繁衍,也许最终人类将只剩下老鼠这类亲戚,这对人类文明无疑是极富想像力的讽刺。

骑行结束后,再没有意外发生,每个人又都陷入为五斗米奔忙的庸碌之中。不过,在体力恢复以后,也许在下月,也许在下下月,我们又会无怨无悔的再次开始定义为艺术的骑车运动,又会开始亢奋的独立思考。艺术!总是一如既往的好了伤疤就忘了痛。

2014-5-20

huandian-art02 huandian-art01

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Xue Tao Interview: Contemporary Art in Yunnan

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artist Xue Tao, photo by Luo Fei

Xue Tao Interview: Contemporary Art in Yunnan

December 27, 2012, Loft Arts Community, Kunming
Luo Fei (abbreviated below as “Luo”): TCG Nordica Gallery Curator
Xue Tao (abbreviated below as “Xue): Artist
He Libin (abbreviated below as “He”): Curator and Director, Dean of Oil Painting Department, School of Art, Yunnan Art Institute

I.Setting Out from Yunnan

Luo Fei: You were one of the first off-canvas artists in Yunnan. You founded the Red Heart Commune in Dali, Yunnan Province, in 1994, and the Migratory Sky Art Space in Beijing in 2005. You have always been promoting interaction between Yunnan artists in the outside world, and have witnessed the beginnings and development of Yunnan artists born in the 70s. Please tell us a bit about what the situation was like when you founded the Red Heart Commune.

Xue Tao: I first entered the studio to learn painting in 1989, in my first year of middle school, and I graduated high school and took the university entrance exams in 1994. Most of my classmates at the studio got married and had kids after graduation, and basically stopped doing art. It wasn’t like today, when you test into the art academy after a few months. Back then, it was normal to keep testing for four to five years. I felt that after working so hard to test into an art program, it would be a shame to give it up. I should persevere in doing what I liked. So I formed a commune together with Lan Qinglun, Duan Yusong and Shi Zhimin. We didn’t know about the 85 New Wave at the time, and had only seen Scar Art in the magazines. We were all young artists in Dali, and we formed this group to help each other to continue with our passion. We had regular events such as exhibitions and exchanges, but we didn’t have a clear creative direction. In 1997 we started getting more members such as Su Yabi and Liu Kun. At the time, the only exhibitions in Kunming were for the Artists Association. We held our first exhibition in 1997. Our second exhibition, in 2000, was held at the Yunnan Art Academy Museum. Chen Changwei and a few others also joined. Later, we went on to hold an exhibition every two years, in a biennial format, which was influenced by the fad for biennial exhibitions at the time.

Luo: You founded the Migratory Sky Art Space in 2005. Is it still there?

Xue: Beginning in 2002, there were a lot more exhibitions in China, especially after the Loft was founded. In 2003, I did the Shadow New Media Exhibition with Xiang Weixing and a few others. You came to help for that one. Then, we held the Cry Sheep Exhibition at the Red Banana Gallery and Nordica. In 2003, we went to Shanghai for the Spring Art Salon, holding the Altitude Sickness Exhibition. Things were taking off in China, and everyone was actively taking part. That’s because after the 85 New Wave and “Post 89,” things had gone silent in the Chinese art scene. From the 90s to 2000, everything was quiet, and then suddenly a new energy burst forth in 2000. Chen Changwei, He Libin, He Jia and I stayed in Shanghai for a long time, interacting with artists from all over. Once our enthusiasm was let out, it couldn’t be pulled back in. Everyone had this impulse, this feeling that something big was about to happen in the Chinese art scene, though we didn’t know what it was.

In 2004, He Jia and I went to Beijing, to the Binhe Neighborhood in Tongxian, which was one of the places artists had gathered after the Yuanmingyuan Artist Village was scattered. At the time, some of the Yuanmingyuan painters had been sent back to their hometowns, some of the ones with money had bought houses in Songzhuang, and others had moved into the Binhe Neighborhood. He Yunchang was there, as were most of the key members of the Kitsch Art scene. But I started wondering what I was doing there. If I wanted the settled neighborhood life, I was already doing fine in Kunming, with a salary and insurance. That’s not what I quit my job in Kunming for. Later, I went to Suojia Village and set up a space, one set up with money from Yunnan artists. It was called Migratory Sky. I wanted to make a platform for Yunnan in Beijing.

Half a year after I set it up, they started demolishing Suojia Village. City officials said they were cleaning up the city’s image, knocking down buildings that weren’t up to code. Suojia Village fit the bill. I had just quit my job and borrowed money to set up this art space, and now, right at the beginning, I was facing a tragedy. When the demolition team came, everyone was asleep, and they made a big commotion as they came. We were surrounded by court officials, police and bulldozers.

云南艺术家在上海

Artists Xue Tao, Shi Zhimin, Chen Changwei, He Jia, He Libin in Shanghai, 2003

Luo: They didn’t notify you beforehand?

Xue: There was a notice, telling us to knock down the buildings ourselves by a certain date. Of course, no one did, because we had just built them. Then, they suddenly showed up and demolished them. The first one they knocked down was Shang Yang’s studio. His wife fainted, and was taken away in an ambulance. He’s a very famous and respected artist in China. All kinds of people lived in that art zone, including Tan Ping, who was the Vice Dean of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. But it didn’t matter. The political atmosphere in Beijing was too thick. When we saw that they would even knock down Shang Yang’s place, we all knew the game was up. Migratory Sky split up after the demotion.

Luo: Were you compensated?

Xue: No. We were lucky we weren’t fined. We had built it right across from the Village Council, on land rented from the village. The land used to be a graveyard, and they couldn’t do anything with it. It was just a bunch of weeds when we got there. The village was of course happy when we came to use it. We brought them income. Migratory Sky held two exhibitions, the first being an open studio exhibition, and the second being the Entertainment First Exhibition. There were about a hundred people at Suojia Village then, with artists from about a dozen countries. There were very few artist studios in the 798 Art Zone at the time, and people were even saying that 798 was slated for demolition.

Luo: You recently wrote a preface for an exhibition on post-70s Yunnan artists, using the term “non-stream” to describe them. You wrote, “Non-stream is a state that is neither mainstream nor non-mainstream, a state outside of the streams. This is an outstanding feature of Yunnan artists.” Is this an awkward predicament, or is it about finding one’s own way?

Xue: It’s a bit of both. It depends on what Yunnan artists want for themselves. If they hope to enter into the mainstream, then it’s an awkward predicament. If they don’t hope to enter into the mainstream, then it means they are finding their own path. But only the artist knows. Everyone else just sees them staying outside of the stream. Regional and cultural factors in Yunnan have kept many people outside of specific trends or streams. In Beijing, it is very clear. You are either mainstream or non-mainstream. If you want to fight the mainstream, you have to either step aside or form your own stream. Yunnan artists are none of the above. They don’t enter into the stream or resist it, and they don’t have any other stance either.

王军行为

Wang Jun Performance “Kunming, I’m gone”, 2006

Luo: Their goals are unclear.

Xue: Right. They’re unclear. If they were clear, then in most cases, they would leave Kunming, at least for a while. That has been the case with the past few generations of influential artists since the 85 New Wave.

Luo: You went to Beijing in 2004 to seek out better development, and watched as the Chinese art market exploded in 2006, and as it fell after the 2008 financial crisis. You have experienced Chinese art as it had no market, then had a flourishing market, and then bottomed out. As an artist, how do you understand the connection between artistic creation and the economic environment?

Xue: This is a headache for me. Yunnan is too quiet. There are no surprises here. I went to Beijing to find surprises. Though there weren’t many galleries in Beijing at the time, I had a premonition that something was about to happen, so I quit my job and went. At the time, Chinese artists were all chasing after the “big face paintings,” painting in the style of Yue Minjun and Fang Lijun, with kitschy colors. It was the same with sculpture, with everyone working in fiberglass and automobile paint. Art made in this way saw certain market returns, and I was sometimes swept up in it too, but I pulled out. I was very conflicted. You need to have a market to survive, but the market is too tempting.

In 2007, the artists were all crazy. Artists in Beijing from 2006 to 2008 were the luckiest artists in the world, because every year, there were two months of exhibition opening banquets every single day, which was heaven for artists who had been surviving on steamed buns up to that point. As long as you were an artist, you would get a lot of invitations. That is because the market was good, and the galleries were all looking for resources, so they were very nice to all the artists. It didn’t matter what kind of art you were making. As long as you were an artist, you were treated with a certain amount of respect. In those days, I basically slept till the afternoon, when I would head out for an exhibition banquet, with the galleries covering late night barbecue, karaoke, bars, the works. The artists had it great. In April and May, then again in September and October, there was food to be had every day of the week, and on weekends for the rest of the year. Sometimes I had no idea whose exhibition it was or who was footing the bill.

Luo: Stuff like this can’t happen in Yunnan. Even though manna isn’t falling from the sky, the sky isn’t going to fall down and crush anyone either. The great ups and downs of the art market didn’t affect most artists here.

Xue: These daily banquets wouldn’t happen anywhere else. There were a lot of foreign artists in Beijing at the time who were jealous of the Chinese artists, who by the age of 30 were renting studios by the acre rather than by the square meter. Their studios were big enough to park a small airplane. Think about it. In another nation’s capital, if an artist had a studio that was several hundred square meters, even a few acres, it would mean he was an important artist. In Beijing it was easy. It didn’t cost much at all. A lot of artists saw their entire destiny change in a single night in 2006 or 2007. When the financial crisis hit in 2008, everyone started shrinking their studios, and it all entered into a slump.

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Xue Tao’s installation “Compatriot” 2011

II. Open Language

Luo: Let’s talk about your artworks. You twist newspaper into ropes or compress it into shapes like blocks and balls. Some of your artworks are quite large. Do you make them yourself, or with assistants?

Xue: I was making them on my own at first, but as the market got better, I started hiring assistants. There’s a couple that helps me a lot. The man is a renovation worker, and welds the frames for me. The woman is in charge of twisting the newspapers.

Luo: Where do you get the newspapers?

Xue: I get them from a newspaper distributor. They recycle the ones that don’t circulate, and I get my newspapers from them. Sometimes I get them from newsstands.

Luo: Do you categorize them once you get them?

Xue: I don’t. I just make selections. It has to be stiff copperplate paper. If it rips when you fold it, I can’t use it. It has to be thin copperplate or coated paper. It has to be easy to crumple, but it can’t tear too easily.

Luo: Looking at your works over the past few years, the first thing one notices about your work is that it’s non-functional. Second, it doesn’t have a direct, easily-understood meaning. Third, your work is anti-formal. These traits are reminiscent of Arte Povera. Where do you get your inspiration?

Xue: An Italian artist once showed me an artwork made from twisted-up newspapers. I thought it was mine, because I had made some with English newspapers, but it was actually the work of an Arte Povera artist in his fifties. When you twist a newspaper up into a rope, it all comes out in that shape. I think, however, that mine is a bit different. My art has gone through roughly three phases. At first, it was the basic feel for the material, and then I treated it as a modeling technique. In the third phase, I treat it as a language. The reason I use newspaper is that it’s cheap, easy to obtain and convenient.

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Xue Tao, “A Bunch of…” 2006

Luo: Your early works mainly imitated forms, such as the sun, flowers, pillars and the like. When we get to your rope works, we see that you have already cast off the modernist framework of form to pursue anti-form, alienation and individualized language. You emphasize a clear form, but do not consciously reveal your conceptual references.

Xue: Right. By 2011, I had entered into a state I was rather satisfied with. Before, I was doing modern art or postmodern art, but now I have truly come to understand contemporary art. At first, you submit to modeling and material, and now modeling and material submit to you. In terms of technique, I also feel increasingly free.

Luo: What is your view on the connection between your artworks and Arte Povera?

Xue: My own creative trajectory has been akin to learning the breadth of art history, but when I really set out to create, I don’t think about any particular schools of art or art history. If you do think about such things, the creative process will not be a joyful one. If, after completing something, you discover that something similar already exists, I think that is normal. It demonstrates that between civilizations and art, there is more potential for human communication. As for the Arte Povera artists, I don’t concern myself much with what they are doing or thinking. I’ve been to Turin and Milan, where Arte Povera began, and I have seen their works, only to discover that we are not quite the same.

Luo: In the narrow sense, Arte Povera is postmodern Italian art from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s. It was an art movement that arose in response to the drastic social changes and political schisms taking place in Italy at the time. Arte Povera artists presented found objects in dramatic ways to criticize consumerism, seek new ways of intervening in the world, and challenge the traditional order and aesthetics. This movement had a profound impact on contemporary art concepts and methods around the world. Let’s return to the previous question. Do you think that Yunnan possesses certain resources or value that it can provide to contemporary artists in today’s globalized context?

Xue: To ask whether or not Yunnan artists can provide more meaningful references is like asking what Chinese artists can provide for the world. I would be hard pressed, using my own abilities, to answer this question, because I think it is unclear whether or not Yunnan can provide contemporary art with a new model, new methods, new concepts or a new condition. This must be answered by history and time. As an individual, I am infinitesimal. I cannot transcend time and space to see the results.

Luo: How do you maintain a flow between your increasingly rich international experience and your inherent Dali experience? For instance, how do you bring your experience of globalization to Dali, and how do you bring your local experience into the contemporary context?

Xue: This is an important question, one many artists must ponder. I think that contemporary art is an extremely open language mode, one which gives artists great freedom. Just to have this language, however, is not the end. What matters is what you say with it. In global contemporary art, I have learned this language mode and method of interaction, allowing me to interact with people from different countries and different language backgrounds. As a Yunnanese born in Dali, or as an Easterner, my interest and understanding of handcrafting and Zen Buddhism is infused into my art. Some people may use contemporary art to express sociological or scientific matters, but I think that my own expression is more religious.

Luo: This calls to mind Mono-ha, because Mono-ha also used everyday objects, while they drew spiritual resources from Zen and Shinto to explore the relationships between something and nothingness, between man and thing, thing and space, man and space, referencing materiality. Arte Povera was more directed towards social criticism.

Xue: My art is none of the above. It may appear similar, but when placed together, they are quite different. Neither Mono-ha nor Arte Povera are as produced as my art. The difference is in this production aspect. The production aspect of Mono-ha is concealed, secondary, with the emphasis placed on materiality itself. My artworks highlight the production process.

Luo: You make the energy of vast amounts of highly repetitive labor come to rest on ordinary materials.

Xue: Right. I am most satisfied and interested in the production process. What people see is not an object, but a production process. There is a massive amount of manual labor within. As I understand Buddhism, Mono-ha and Arte Povera, Mono-ha is about “emptiness” while Arte Povera is about “substance,” while Buddhism is neither emptiness nor substance. What is expressed in the end is the “non-duality of emptiness and substance.” I see Mono-ha as a philosophized understanding of religion. Its understanding of Zen and the Dao is philosophical. Buddhism is neither philosophy nor wisdom. Zen is different. In India, Zen is called “dhyana.” Zen cannot be explained. If it can be explained, then it is something different. It is just like all of these ropes I have made. I can’t explain clearly what they are, but in the end, I am satisfied. It feels right.

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Xue Tao, “State of the Union Message” 2012

III. The State of Art in Yunnan

He Libin: In recent years, the Chinese contemporary art market has been aggressively encroaching on young Yunnan artists. The situation is not as good as it was in 2000, much less the 1980s.

Xue: When the Red Heart Commune first began, a lot of the artists were making installation art. At the time, Shi Zhimin used glass, X-ray plates and acrylic to make his graduate thesis work. He was placed under investigation, and in the end barely got his degree.
hen Changwei and Duan Yisong all worked in installation art. In those days, a lot of people were making experimental artworks. For instance Ning Zhi, who was from the same graduating class as us in 1998, was also making installation art. The young people were basically all working in off-canvas art and conceptual photography, but later on, they all basically stopped.

Luo: After the market picked up, most people shifted to canvas painting. The last time a lot of Yunnan artists were making experimental art together was with Jianghu in 2005 and 2006.

He: When the market began to dominate art in 2006, artists came to see their positions and goals more clearly. Of course, the end of Jianghu in 2006 had nothing to do with the market.

Luo: As post-70s artists, do you think there are any clear shared characteristics among post-70s Yunnan artists?

Xue: A lot of the post-70s artists are multi-talented. For instance, Wu Yiqiang, Shi Jing, He Jia and Zhang Tian all work in painting, performance art and installations.

He: If we’re looking at it based on time, I think that the post-70s generation is in a rather anxious mental state, and this finds expression in their artworks. Post-80s artists find ways to dispel this sense of anxiety. Older artists have a clearer connection to the ideology of the state. They are imprinted by the state.

Luo: I feel that Xue Tao’s creative experience is quite representative of the post-70s artists. This generation got started in the traditional art academies, learning colors and modelling. They then went through the modernist enlightenment, self-awakening and the artist group movement. Then they entered into contemporary art within the patterns of globalization, using individualized language and spirit to express artistic concern within the context of globalization. Among earlier Yunnan artists, very few truly entered into contemporary artistic language, with most artists born in the 50s and 60s absorbing modernism or pacing about between modern and postmodern in a quest for Chinese schemas and the expression of the Chinese experience. Their contributions are mainly connected to the post-Cold War unification of the international economy, the collectivist narrative of modern Chinese society and resistance to the same. Their advancement of contemporary artistic concepts was highly limited, and that is why, after they were successful, the only thing they brought, aside from insight into success, was modernist sentiments left over from the 85 New Wave. They didn’t engage in much exploration of artistic concepts. Some artists are creating contemporary art at the same time they are painting Impressionist or Romanticist landscapes. I can understand that as they satisfy increasing domestic demand, they don’t have to focus so much on export as with contemporary art, but this phenomenon shows that they are lost and conflicted about their individual artistic mission. That is not to say, of course, that one cannot create artworks for the masses; that is another issue altogether.

Xue: The “85” artists basically work within a modernist context. Some artists of the post-60s generation entered into the contemporary, such as He Yunchang. As for the post-80s generation, the question is whether or not they’re interested in art in the first place.

Luo: A lot of post-80s artists have been influenced by the individual icon methodology and success schemes. Artistic concepts have been flattened and fragmented, many of them secondhand in the first place. They need to raise their individual character.

He: You raised the question of whether or not Yunnan could provide contemporary art with new possibilities. At this point, I’m not optimistic. Yunnan has its own culture that is markedly different from that of the Central Plain. In fact, southwestern Chinese art as a whole is different from that of other regions. For instance, it places more emphasis on expressiveness, temporality and spiritual experience. The artworks are more closely connected to nature. Setting out from a regional perspective, it is possible that Yunnan can produce something of value, but the future isn’t so clear.

Xue: Among the art spaces in Yunnan that do true contemporary art, TCG Nordica is one, then there’s Liu Lifen’s Contemporary Yunnan, as well as the Lijiang Studio. These three art spaces all have strong international backgrounds. There are also a few individuals who engage in contemporary art creation and curation, but that’s it. Statistically speaking, it is very small, and the role such small numbers can play is very limited. If we took those away, Yunnan would basically be a desert, with nothing but the modernist influence left behind from the 85 period. Kunming still ranks up there with some of the big contemporary art cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Chongqing, mainly because most cities lack contemporary art spaces that are truly rooted in their localities. Why are there so few? It is because there is no demand. If there was more demand, then there would be more. This shows that China is not prepared to enter into the contemporary art context. It hasn’t prepared at all; it is simply making the preliminary preparations.

宁智装置

Ning Zhi, “The Manifesto”, 2000

Luo: The Chinese language academic scene has dubbed the last century of change as the modern transition, the transformation from a traditional society to a modern civilizational order supported by core modern values (freedom, reason and individual rights) and run according to market economics, democratic government and the ethnic nation-state. Critic Zha Changping describes contemporary China as a mixed modern society, where the premodern, modern, postmodern and alternative modern are mixed together, often interlocking and overlapping. This shows that China is not prepared to enter into the globalized world. It tends to view the world with a nationalist, clan-based worldview rather than universal values. One of the missions of Chinese contemporary art is to take part in promoting China’s modern transition.

Everyone knows that Yunnan is richly endowed geographically, ecologically and culturally. The key is for artists to change their vision and language. Today’s scene has developed into an ecosystem comprised of nature, society and culture, and when we look at this scene, we must keep in mind the pressing rural issues of land and left-behind children, the disparity of wealth and environmental issues. Beyond direct concern for social justice, even in artistic form, we must engage in a transformation of traditional aesthetic taste, of observational methods and concepts. Otherwise, we will always be in a state of cultural dislocation and chaos.

Translated by Jeff Crosby

本文中文原文:http://blog.luofei.org/2013/01/interview-xue-tao-contemporary-art-in-yunnan/

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薛滔访谈:当代艺术在云南

艺术家薛滔

艺术家薛滔,摄影:罗菲

薛滔访谈:当代艺术在云南

时间:2012年12月27日下午
地点:昆明创库
罗菲:TCG诺地卡画廊策展人
薛滔:艺术家
和丽斌:艺术家、策展人、云南艺术学院美术学院油画系主任

一、从云南出发

罗:你是云南最早做非架上艺术的艺术家之一, 1994年在大理创办红心社,2005年在北京创建“候鸟天空”艺术空间,一直推动云南艺术家与外界的联络,见证了云南 70后艺术家的整体起步到发展。请介绍下当时发起红星社的状况。

薛:我1989年进入画室学画画,那时在读初一,1994年高中毕业考大学。我们之前在画室一起学画画的人,大多数毕业后就结婚生子,没搞艺术了。那时不像现在,突击三个月考美术,那时考四五年都很正常。我觉得那么努力考艺术,最后没有坚持下去太可惜了,喜欢的东西应该坚持。兰庆伦、段义松、石志民等,我们组成一个社团。当时还不知道八五新潮 ,只是从杂志上看过伤痕美术 。都是大理的艺术青年,作为一个社团主要是为了帮助大家把这个爱好继续下去,定期做活动、展览、交流,但没有明确创作方向。1997年后成员就多了,苏亚碧、刘琨他们加入进来。当时昆明除了美协的展览,其他展览一个也没有。我们1997年第一次做展览,2000年第二次展览在云南艺术学院美术馆,陈长伟他们加入进来。后来每两年有一次,以双年展的方式,也是受当时双年展模式的影响。

罗:05年做了“候鸟天空”艺术空间,这个还在吗?

薛:2002年后昆明的展览就多了,尤其是有了创库以后。2003年和向卫星他们一起做“影子”新媒体展,当时你也过来帮忙。然后在红香蕉画廊、诺地卡展过“羊来了”。2003年我们去上海参加春季艺术沙龙,做了一个“高原反应”的展览,2004年在上海多伦美术馆做了“紫外线”展览。当时中国有一种萌动,艺术家都在积极活动。因为中国艺术界经历八五思潮,再到“后89” ,之后就黯淡了。1990年代到2000年是沉寂的状态,2000年之后突然有一种力量在爆发。陈长伟、和丽斌、和嘉我们当时在上海停留很长时间,和各地艺术家接触。人的激情一旦打开就收不住了,大家都有一股冲动,感觉到中国艺术界即将发生大事,但不知道是什么。
2004年我与和嘉去了北京,在通县滨河小区,那是圆明园画家村解散之后的一个聚集地。当时圆明园的画家一部分被遣送回原籍,一部分有钱的去宋庄买房,还有一部分搬到通县滨河小区。何云昌当时在那里,艳俗艺术的主要成员都在那里。可我想,我干嘛来这里,如果我为了过小区生活,我在昆明就可以过得很好,有工资,有保险,我辞职来北京不是为了这个。后来就去到索家村弄一个空间,是云南艺术家集资做的一个空间,就是“候鸟天空”,想在北京做一个云南的窗口。
成立半年之后,索家村就开始拆房子了,市领导整顿市容,拆违章建筑,索家村就属于此列。我刚刚辞掉工作,借了钱来做艺术空间,结果才开始就面临悲剧。后来拆迁队来了,大家都还在睡觉,听到轰隆隆来拆房子。法院、法警、城管、警察、大型挖掘机把我们全部围起来。 Continue Reading →

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