The theme of Guangzhou Triennial heralds the unveiling of a new and contemporary landscape of change within change, as explained by Wang Shaoqiang, Director of Guangdong Museum of Art, Chief curator of The Triennial. “SYMPHONY OF ALL THE CHANGES” focuses on connection and transformation, reflecting the end of an era and a new beginning for the museum as well as the impact of the unexpected public health crisis that has shattered our expectations of a continued trajectory of development resulting from globalisation. The Triennial is not only an opportunity to connect with an international perspective, it also offers a thoughtful and dynamic testament to the evolution and importance of Chinese contemporary art.
With the upcoming relocation of the Guangdong Museum of Art to Bai E Tan Greater Bay Art Centre, the seventh edition of the Guangzhou Triennial represents the conclusion of an important phase in the museum”s history and an opportunity to come together and restart at the beginning of the year, allowing us to connect to our shared history and our community through the practice and work of respected local and international artists. Inspired by ancient Chinese texts, Zhuangzi”s The Way of Heaven and Liu Xie”s Wen Xin Diao Long, the title “SYMPHONY OF ALL THE CHANGES” was chosen after sustained reflection on both local conditions and the wider global context.
The word “change” refers to the evolutionary process of the world in which all things and phenomena come into being, while the phrase “through change” is an expression of our attitude toward the development of art today. Change is the only way to endure and the only way not to become impoverished is to transform ourselves across the past and into the present.
“SYMPHONY OF ALL THE CHANGES” is curated by Chief Curator WANG Shaoqiang (China) with WU Hongliang (China), Philip Dodd (UK), Thomas Eller (Germany), and JIANG Jun (China). In total, the seventh edition of the Guangzhou Triennial features work by 59 participating artists and artist collectives, hailing from China, Japan, Kazakhstan, Poland, Portugal, New Zealand, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States.
It also includes over a dozen commissioned new works, including The Building-1 by HUANG Yishang (China), Dikhen Dural by Małgorzata Mirga-Tas (Poland), Alba Redux (from the GFP Bunny series) by Eduardo Kac (USA), Apple of My Eye by Skuja Braden (Latvia/USA) and Psychic Pusher by Francis Upritchard (New Zealand), Cong by Wang Lijun (China) and Dreamy Lisa Salon by WUTIAOREN (China).
Inspired by themes of connection and transformation and presented in the Guangdong Museum of Art, an Archival Exhibition, also highlights major events in the development of Chinese contemporary art with a selection of historical archives from its collection. The Triennial is also complemented by four parallel exhibitions which take place throughout the city at the OCAT Boxes Art Museum, Yuheng Art Museum, VLAB+ Justart Space, and 21 Space Art Museum. These will activate Guangzhou’s New Year atmosphere, connecting visitors and residents to art and its cultural spirit.
“SYMPHONY OF ALL THE CHANGES” is structured in four parts: Bumps on the Edges (WU Hongliang), In Praise of Slow Art: when all that is solid melts into the air (Philip Dodd), Touch Screen / Me (Thomas Eller), and Immanence (JIANG Jun), each presenting a specific curatorial perspective.
“The fringes of society are typically at the forefront of foreign exchange, the birthplace of ideas and art. In Guangzhou, for example, individual characteristics have been highlighted and incorporated into its diverse cultural terra to a profound extent, that comes at the expense of Guangzhou”s overall image as a proper centre of contemporary art, historically been deemed as ‘marginal’and ‘fragmented’. Such marginalisation is not only reflected in its regional expression but also in its modes of creation, as they pertain to poetry and other art forms.1”