The Up&Coming Sector will annually present a curated group exhibition, dedicated to young Chinese talents whose artistic development are worth following. In our current information society, emerging artists of today are the first generation to be fully immersed in a globalised and contextualised art world which can often determine the flexibility of their paths at an unprecedented speed and rate of exposure, thus, making their observation more thrilling, but their support and guidance all the more crucial.
After a very well received group show for GWBJ 2019 that was curated by award-winning curator Lu Mingjun, the Up&Coming Sector 2020 will continue to work with young and talented curators to contextualize relevant young national artists within a group exhibition.
In the 2020 “Up&Coming Sector” group presentation, artists will delve into realms of the sacred and themystical, exploring the roots of knowledge production and value systems. Mythology, ritual, agnosticism, animism and many other approaches and topics will come together in the exhibition space and represent multiple cosmologies, forming a site of contemplation, reverence and revelation.
Historically, the relationship between art and spirituality is an intimate one. The participating artists will communicate across histories and geographies: for instance, some of the featured work will resemble the process of creating a world, some will scrutinize the enchanting and magical capability of digital images, and some will fictionalize or re-invent certain traditions or belief systems. The exhibition extends the long-standing discussion of the artist’s role as mediator or as prophet; more importantly, it re-examines the “priestly function” of an artist to “mobilize structures of beauty and meaning” and explores possible new bonds between us humans and our immediate surroundings, as well as with the natural and super natural worlds.
Today, our everyday behaviors are shaped by digital and data economies that push pragmatism to an extreme. Inter-personal relationships are molded by social media and social credit systems, propaganda and information control become the most efficient way to gather people, and some of the most widely celebrated events in a year are Singles’ Day and Black Friday. This exhibition will respond to this contem- porary context. While hegemonic powers are dominating and homogenizing cultures and sensibilities, the exhibition hopes to accentuate the values of hybridity and diversity, reinterpret the power of the unknown, and perhaps even propose alternative ethics, social structures, and notions of kinship. *
*The exhibition title, artists lineup, and official press release to be finalised closer to the exhibition opening date.
Hanlu Zhang is a writer and curator born and living in Shanghai. She received her MA in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. In 2015, she co-curated “Nightmare of Exhibition Part II: the Two-way Theater” at the Power Station of Art, Shanghai after winning “Emerging Curator Program”. She has curated exhibitions at No Longer Empty and 49B Studios in New York, Yang Art Museum and 798 Photo Gallery in Beijing, Para Site Art Space in Hong Kong, among other spaces. She also worked in the curatorial team for Cosmopolis, a biennial platform initiated by Centre Pompidou since 2018. Hanlu received a second prize in “International Award for Art Criticism” in 2014 and her writing can be found on LEAP, ArtReview Asia, Flash Art, and art-agenda. She is editor at ARTFORUM.com.cn. And she is a member of Theater 44.