Guest curated by Beijing curator Dong Bingfeng, 60-min Cinema: People’s Parkopened at TheCube Project Space on April 27 and runs through June 16. The exhibition presents four videos by artists Yang Fudong, Cao Fei, Yang Jun and Zhao Liang under the theme of dislocation in Chinese public life.
In many towns and cities around China after 1949, public spaces were established under the name People’s Park, which was similar to the creation of many Zhongshan Parks in Taiwan under the Nationalist Government. These public spaces did not evolve organically over the course of history, but rather were established to serve the political function of spreading propaganda and strengthening nationalistic beliefs. Starting from contemporary art and theories of the sociology of space, curator Dong Bingfeng explores People’s Park’s relationships with Chinese social realities to discuss how they form new social relations.
First presented in 2012 at The Chinese Art Centre in Manchester, UK, then toured to Taipei, the exhibition includes four continuous-loop videos totalling approximately 60 minutes. Zhao Liang’s City Scene exposes weighty social realities in today’s China; Cao Fei’s People’s Limbo offers both humor and serious critique in a world blending imagination with contemporary political and economic crises; Yang Jun’s Paris Syndrome documents the gradual disappearance of the individual as contemporary China continues to collectivize and urbanize; and in Yang Fudong’s Yejiang/The Nightman Cometh, four men and women dressed in traditional costumes or Shanghai fashions of the early Republican period search for something on a snowy night. The production of space narrated in these artworks not only recalls the rapid urbanization and social change faced in China today, but also attempts to combine traditional forms of space with those that may potentially form in the future.
Dong Bingfeng is also the guest editor of ACT magazine’s April issue, he gives a talk titled The Shape of Time: Issues in the Last Century of Chinese Art at TheCube Project Space on the day of the exhibition opening, followed by a panel discussion led by Professors Sing Song-yong, Chiang Po-shin and Gong Jow-jiun of Tainan National University of the Arts. On May 8, Dong will give another speech, Activism and Contemporary Chinese Moving Image at the Department of New Media Art of Taipei National University of the Arts.