“Growth 1,” a hanging installation by Feng Jianda and Li Zhenhua. Sun Yuchen
For Joanna Skoczek, the consul general of the Republic of Poland in Guangzhou, culture is especially important in bilateral relations. “Because when I observe artists from both countries, sometimes they do not speak the same language, but they communicate very well through their art.”
An exhibition themed “Spring Wiosna” was unveiled Saturday in 33 Space near Window of the World. Works by 23 artists from different regions and professions exhibited at the cross-boundary exhibition where the artists explored “similarities” and “differences” among different cultures, to strike a chord or discover another world.
One of the China-Poland International Art Communication Programs launched by the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Guangzhou, 33 Space and Qianhai One’s, the exhibition aims to discuss creative concepts, explorations and practices in the context of contemporary art.
Polish artist Pio Kalinski presented two series of works at the exhibition. One is “Notes From the Other Side: Guangzhou” and the other “Paris.” “Notes From the Other Side: Guangzhou” is a series of works based on his first visit to China in September 2015.
During his visit, he spent two weeks traveling around Guangzhou. He talked to people as he strolled around the city. He went to the countryside to observe passers-by and contemplate architecture. He smelled the wet markets and looked into artists’ workshops.
“Spring” by Xie Wendi. Sun Yuchen
“When I was traveling, I drew these colorful sketches. And these works are a reproduction of my sketch book,” said Kalinski, who later upon returning to Poland used his sketches as inspiration for the works on show.
“We have an interaction here. We have a Pol who came to China, and through his travels, he tried to understand China better. Now he is showing this China not only to Polish people but also to Chinese people,” said Skoczek.
Other artists presented their works in different forms.
Chinese artist Peng Libiao, a graduate from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts, presented a sculpture titled “New Year.” The sculpture is a miniature of an ancestral temple.
“Many families go to pray in the ancestral temple during the Spring Festival. But before the ancestral hall is used for praying, it was used as a place to live. The posters within the miniture are reproductions of the household activities carried out in the ancestral temple before,” said Peng.
On the other side of the ancestral temple there is a video. The video is made up of two clips. One shows a baby bathing and the other shows people gambling. “I put them together to show the everyday activities in the ancestral temple previously,” explained Peng.
Another Chinese artist Zhang Lei, a graduate from the Central Academy of Fine Arts and a university professor now, presented a painting named “Grain Rain” which is one piece from her series called “Drawing the Solar Terms” based on the 24 solar terms of China.
“Notes From the Other Side: Guangzhou” is a series of works based on Polish artist Pio Kalinski’s first visit to China in September 2015. Chen Xiaochun
Based on the changes of the sun’s position in the zodiac throughout the year and practical needs of agriculture in ancient China, the 24 solar terms are an important calendar in China. They indicate different periods during the seasons, the changes in the weather, natural phenomena and more, and are used by farmers as a guide to agriculture production.
On the painting we can see the falling of grain on a cat. “Guyu, which literally translates as ‘Grain Rain,’ is the last solar term in spring. The characters here are written in traditional Chinese. It originally means ‘it rains so much that the grain starts to grow.’ But when I did this painting, I didn’t focus on the literal meaning of the word itself. I wanted to create something more interesting,” said Zhang.
Jia Liwei, owner of 33 Space, told the Shenzhen Daily that the uniqueness of the exhibition lies in its crossing of boundaries.
“Contemporary art encompasses many forms of art ranging from traditional calligraphy and painting to installation, video and audio. For the exhibition this time, we attached more importance to the forms of artistic expression instead of the social status of the artists,” said Jia.
Some of the artists for this exhibition are still students while others might be mature artists. “We hope that artists at different stages from different cultural backgrounds can communicate and share their ideas with each other,” added Jia.
Dates: 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday from now to March 15 (closed Mondays)
Venue: 33 Space, Unit 5, European Impression, Window of the World, 9037 Shennan Boulevard, Nanshan District
Metro: Luobao Line or Shekou Line, Window of the World Station, Exit H1.
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