Somewhere Only We Know

Curated by Qiu Zhijie and Zhang Ziqian

2016.10.21 – 2017.1.06

The exhibition stems from the iconic story of The Peach Blossom Spring written by Tao Yuanming (365-427 AD) during the Eastern Jin dynasty (317-420 AD). In this prose, people living in the fabled Peach Blossom land beg a lost fisherman who has strayed into their village, not to tell others about their existence to the outside world. “Somewhere Only We Know” is a reflection on history based on the collective memory and experience; it is also an attempt to emphasis, through the language of art, the inexplicable boundary between “utopia” and “reality”.

Artist Qiu Zhijie, Zhang Ziqian and young artists from the Central Academy of Fine Art interpret themes using various media including live performance, painting, sculpture, installation and video to transmit subtle messages about the utopian Peach Blossom land connecting with the visual, auditory and olfactory senses of the audience. Some works express a gentle warning; some are infused with dark humor and some even suggest mystical awakening.

This exhibition originates from the project also entitled “Somewhere Only We Know” at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Summer 2016 sponsored by the KWM artcenter. It was the first time in Chinese contemporary art history where Chinese artists made a live performance onsite resonating directly with the work of a Western master artist, in this case Robert Rauschenberg. The opening performance of the KWM artcenter entitled “Having Gone a Distance” is the first contemporary art performance at the economic heart of Beijing, The Central Business District. In this exhibition, established artists and young artists cooperate as teachers and students to explore both ancient and present themes of economic exigencies and utopian purity, with media combining Chinese and Western traditions. This exhibition exemplifies KWM artcenter’s mission to be the supporter and incubator of intergenerational and cross-cultural creativity.

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