Utopia : Qui Anxiong / Exhibition at the ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Danemark






ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Danemark

Utopia : Qui Anxiong
Exhibition: 6 February > 22 November 2009




COPENHAGEN. A 25 metres long, 42 tons heavy Chinese train carriage stops in ARKEN Museum of Modern Art’s unique exhibition space The Art Axis, ready to take the museum’s visitors on a journey unlike any other. A journey into China’s past, presence and future. Into deliberations of the good life and the good society. Of the dreams we have today – for ourselves and for the world.

    WHAT DO YOU DREAM OF?
    THE BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS!


Qui Anxiong

1033_3029_qui-anxiong_copyrighted

Staring into Amnesia 1 (2008)
Private collection / Courtesy of Boers-Li Gallery and ArtShortCut
© All rights reserved



In the 1960s and ‘70s it ran in north-eastern China. Ordinary Chinese people sat on the hard wooden seats and were transported to and from work, on family visits, tours and holidays. Now it stops in ARKEN’s Art Axis with the purpose of making the museum’s visitors think about the dreams and values that drive them and the world they live in. The train carriage is the principal work of the first exhibition in the museum’s large-scale UTOPIA project . A project that is to raise the issue of the grand shared notion of the perfect society. Whatever happened to it? Does it still exist today? Have the international financial crisis and the American presidential election made it more topical? And if it does not exist, what has taken its place? Individual dreams of the good life, notions of globalisation, small enclaves of communities? The UTOPIA exhibition is the first of three exhibitions of contemporary art shown in ARKEN’s Art Axis in the period 2009-2011 – one per year. Each exhibition presents a significant, international contemporary artist who explores art’s potential with regards to the notions of “the good life.” The first artist is the Chinese Qui Anxiong (b. 1972).


    Hop on board !

Qui Anxiong

1033_3033_qui-anxiong_copyrighted

Staring into Amnesia 5 (2008)
Private collection / Courtesy of Boers-Li Gallery and ArtShortCut
© All rights reserved



Qui Anxiong gave the train carriage an artistic makeover after it had ended its career as a means of public transportation, transforming it into the work Staring into Amnesia (2007). A work of art which invites us on a journey even though the carriage is motionless. A journey into China’s past, presence and future. For when the guests come aboard the train and sit down on the hard seats, they journey through China’s history. Video clips of documentary and propaganda films from China from 1910 until today pass by the windows as fragments of memories alternating with silhouettes of everyday scenes: a girl waiting by a ventilator, two people playing chess, groups of people in processions, riots, struggles or celebration. What has been is juxtaposed with what is. And with the train as metaphor for movement in time, it raises the question of which destinations await us up ahead. Is the next stop Utopia ? What do we hope will come, what do we dream of?


Qui Anxiong

1033_3031_qui-anxiong_copyrighted

Staring into Amnesia 3 (2008)
Private collection / Courtesy of Boers-Li Gallery and ArtShortCut
© All rights reserved

Qui Anxiong

1033_3034_qui-anxiong_copyrighted1

Staring into Amnesia 6 (2008)
Private collection / Courtesy of Boers-Li Gallery and ArtShortCut
© All rights reserved


    Phantasmagorical visions

In addition, the UTOPIA exhibition presents three of Qiu Anxiong’s animated films. Inspired by traditional Chinese calligraphy, the Chinese artist leads us through a mythologised and dreamy version of the religious and political conflicts of modern society.

Temporal and cultural boundaries are crossed. Technology and nature merges: helicopters hover in the air like big birds, and black-clad people fly like planes, crashing the Twin Towers in a drawn version of 9/11.


    Utopia & Dystopia

1033_2801_copyrighted

Portrait of Qiu Anxiong
© All rights reserved



Qiu Anxiong belongs to a new generation of Chinese artists who bridge Chinese culture and history and today’s globalised contemporary art. Cultures arise and perish, and the yearning for the perfect society is closely followed by the utopia’s antithesis: an oppressed, conflicted dystopia. In a poetic and sensual idiom Qiu Anxiong raises the issue of which new utopias may provide the clue for today’s globalised reality.


    © ARKEN Museum of Modern Art
    © Images. Courtesy of Boers-Li Gallery and ArtShortCut


Links





Disclaimer & Copyright

Stampfli & Turci Art Dealers – Espaces Arts & Objets





~ by Stampfli & Turci on February 19, 2009.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: