Off the Wall
Exhibition Opening: 20:00pm, July 16, 2010
Duration: July 16-23, 2010
Address: Loft•Jin Ding 1919, Jin Ding Shan north road no.24, Kunming
Curator: 943 Studio
Host by: Loft•Jin Ding 1919 943 Studio
Artists: Rong Jie, Wang Han, He Libin, Shi Zhijie, Song Ziping, Lei Yan, Liu Lifen, Zhang Yongzheng, Zhou Mengtai, Chen Lingjie, Chen Kai, Tao Jin, Luo Fei, Sha Yurong, Nathalie Bissig（Switzerland）, Marianne Csaky(Hungary）, Alyshia Boddenberg(Australia), Joo Yeon Woo (Korean-USA)，Ly Tran Quynh Giang (Vietnam)，Hang Thuy Nguyen (Vietnam), Letizia Werth（Austria）, Simon Torssell Lerin(Sweden), Bettina Hystad(Norway), Kris Ariel (USA)
To Play Earnestly
3rd Anniversary of 943 Studio
It was in Wang Han’s studio in Beijing June, 2007, when Wang Han, Liu Lifen and He Jing started thinking about forming a group. The group would included artists and designers from different fields, with the intent to promote and encourage each other while keeping individual independence in creation and anticipation of more collaboration among different fields.
During the following 3 years, through a series of activities and projects, the vision gradually became more clear: To promote the experimental feature of art and the interaction between art and public through art collaboration among different fields and different geographical zones based on the geographical culture and living experience. The name of the group eventually became 943 Studio.
In 2008, Asian Art Network’s financial support of the Yunnan-Vietnam Female Art Exchange Program enabled the Studio to initiate the 943 Studio International Artist-in-Residence Program. Through inviting international artists to work in Kunming and communicate with local artists, the group seeks to provide new approaches and improvement to local art as well as the visiting artists and the possibility of collaboration among different fields and different geographical zones. Through lectures, workshops, open studios, and exhibitions, the Artist-in-Residence program has built up a platform for deeper and broader communication with the public, the students, and among the artists themselves. So far, 15 artists from different countries have taken part in this Artist-in-Residence Program. Since March 2010, the program cooperates with the Zurich Municipal Government, Loft Jin Ding 1919 art community, and Dong Xi Gallery in Norway.
The 943 Creative Fair is a market of original design and performance initiated by 943 Studio. The participants include artists, designers, animators, illustrators, handicraft artisans, musicians, and amateur artists. There have been four Creative Fairs since 2007 October. It has become an important focus for local artistic creation and communication. Its vision of encouraging creativity and the creative spirit in all aspects of live and to play earnestly can be seen in the both the works of the participating artists as well as in the process of selecting these artists.
“Art Salon” is arranged at non-preset times to facilitate meeting among the members. At times it is also open to the public and artists passing through Kunming, and provides a place to share art, or just free-chat and enjoying a cup of tea. Up to now, there have been 17 artists and designers from inside and outside China who have come to share their art works and their experiences with us at the “Art Salon”.
934 Studio’s vision is to let art engage with the public in a positive and friendly way, and to bring art into everyday life. Sometimes we refer to this activity or creation as “playing”. But this is a kind of “playing”, all members of the studio agree, that should be done earnestly.
Three years have passed. When we look back, we find our initial idea has grown and developed immensely through organizing a number of events. It has provided an environment for the members to improve each other, and has facilitated communication between art and the public…. Supported by those who love art, 943 Studio keeps growing, in its own way, in this city.
Liu Lifen, Wang Han
June 23, 2010
What is “Wall”? What is “Off the Wall”?
by He Libin
To celebrate 943 Studio’s 3rd anniversary in July 2010, we would like to invite our friends to share and take part in the new possibilities of experimental exhibition.
The title of the exhibition, discussed and agreed on by the members of the studio, is ”Off the Wall”. But what is “the wall” and what is “off the wall”? I consider it to be a metaphor with many layers. First of all, contemporary art in Yunnan has been dominated by frame-works; generations of local artists have been influenced by its aesthetics and approach to viewing art. This has contributed to forming a kind of one dimensional, mono-angular reading art. With this exhibition, we want to break this hegemony of “the Wall”. Therefore, none of art works in this exhibition are based on the wall. All exhibits, including videos, installations, images and performances, are multi-dimensional and multi-angular. This is a challenge both from a curatorial point of view and from the point of view of the individual artists, through which we hope to achieve a break through both in creative process and presentation.
Secondly, in relation to the media and the audience, Yunnan artists have previously been like the biblical prophet: “honored everywhere except in his hometown”. The prophet’s dilemma has been a “wall” restricting the Yunnan artists in relation to the audience and thus in turn restricting the creative process. However, with increasing international communication and frequent exchanges, this “wall” does not exist anymore, and the artists don’t need to leave their native place to create their works; provided they are earnest, dedicated, and willing to explore the environment in which they are and their own individual experience, they can dig where they stand.
Furthermore, “off the wall” points to a kind of self-confidence of the artists of 943 Studio. They don’t need to anxiously look around their shoulder. Instead, they focus on establishing a platform from which they can continue to develop, attracting artists outside Kunming to experience the distinct Yunnan lifestyle, the particularities of the local art, and the restless, wandering approach to life and creativity. This was also one of the reasons for establishing up the International Artist in Residence Program together with Jin Ding Loft 1919. Through the program, started in 2009, we have been able not only to get to know a number of artists different cultures, but also contributed to creating free, fresh, and open climate for contemporary art in Kunming.
The participant artists of the exhibition are include the members of 943 Studio, artists that have collaborated with the studio in the past 3 years, 9 of the foreign artists that have been involved in the International Artist-in-Residence Program since it began, and young Yunnan local artists. The exhibited works include, among others, paintings, installations, photographs, videos, performance and sound art, all framed within the idea of “off the wall”. With this exhibition, hope to break new ground in presenting and promoting the contemporary art.
June 11, 2010 in Kunming