A group exhibition currently on display at Kulturforum in Berlin and featuring Lu Yang, Cao Fei, Fang Di and Zhang Peili creates new dialogues between Chinese media artists.
Micro Era: Media Art from China is an exhibition and active collaboration which highlights and expands on topics driving the work of some of today’s most prominent Chinese contemporary artists.
Running until 26 January 2020, the exhibition is curated by Anna-Catharina Gebbers with co-curators Victor Wang and Yang Beichen, curatorial advisor: Pi Li. The show follows on from a 2001 exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof - Living In Time: 29 Contemporary Artists From China, which looked at how Chinese contemporary artists have responded to political, economic and technological changes in China in the past decades.
For Micro Era, Artists Cao Fei and Lu Yang were asked to invite two other artists to form dialogues about contemporary China, working with the curatorial team. The invited artists were Fang Di and Zhang Peili; the resulting dialogue incorporates video pieces and installations spanning from the 1980s to the present. The works in the exhibition examine the relationships between technology, mind and body. The works also link different modern techniques for communication and building narrative, referencing documentary and classical filmmaking, devices used in Japanese Anime, and the visual languages linked to mass production/consumption and the internet. In doing so, they question the (Western) notion that digital and online communication is a democratising force. The exhibition challenges the over-simplified idea that quick access to communication, and the contact with different cultures it enables, is a basis for freedom and enlightenment.
Cao Fei, Asia One, detail (still) 2018
Micro Era: Media Art from China was organised as a special exhibition of the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Gesellschaft für Deutsch-Chinesischen kulturellen Austausch e.V. (GeKA e.V. 德中文化交流基金会) to commemorate 25 years of the Berlin-Beijing city partnership, funded by the Lotto Stiftung Berlin. It is accompanied by a book, published by Kerber Verlag and with prefaces by Michael Müller, Governing Mayor of Berlin, Yu Zhang, and Udo Kittelmann, as well as text contributions by Anna-Catharina Gebbers, Pi Li, Victor Wang and Yang Beichen.
Micro Era: Media Art from China is at Kulturforum, Gemäldegalerie, Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin, DE until 26 January 2020.
Top image: Lu Yang, Delusional Mandala, 2015.