SUNDAY 6 MAY
10:00am – 11:10am
MAIN AUDITORIUM – HEART OF HAWICK
NOW: A dialogue on female Chinese contemporary artists is a collaborative programme aimed at reinvigorating discussion around the role of female contemporary artists in the art ecology of present day China. Through a series of exhibitions, commissions and events, NOW explores how the diversity of current female artistic practice transcends notions of gender difference to offer hybrid perspectives on their socio-political environment. The transformative impacts of societal change have opened new, transcultural, possibilities for female artists working today.
Striking, beguiling, sometimes disturbing yet always rewarding, the selection provides evidence that cultural difference is often much less than we might presume. The programme addresses notions of modernity, tradition and technique; incorporating performance, moving portrait and photographic techniques, new media art and experimental digital SFX, documentary and archive footage.
* Curated and introduced by Bren O’Callaghan, Senior Producer at HOME Visual Art and independent curator.
Miss Melissa and Mr Fish at 2:31p.m.
Peng Yun / 7m 47s / 2013 / China / Scottish Premiere
An artful tableaux of exotic flowers and a muscular dead fish combines feminine symbolism with masculine presence. A woman’s slender hand enters the frame, at first stroking, massaging, teasing the still-fresh catch, a passive and startlingly sexual encounter that soon becomes aggressive, active, urgent – and destructive. Created as a response to unresolved pain about which the artist could affect no change, no betterment or swift resolution, the work becomes a shocking exchange between male and female energies, acquiescence and forcible harm.
Post commentary, monetary likes, Morgan Freeman’s advice on reality
Miao Ying / 10m 46s / 2016 / China / Scottish Premiere
Douyu is a Chinese live streaming video platform that allows live commentary from observers which rewards those transmitting with paid microdonations. As income streams become more lucrative, hosts compete for attention; here ranging from a cosplayer in student uniform singing baby-girl karaoke to killing, roasting and eating rats, blended with disarmingly appropriate narration from Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman on “What is Reality” from Through the Wormhole, on Discovery Science. Miao Ying believes that despite China’s infamous online restrictions, the nation has rapidly advanced to the point at which the ‘Chinternet’ is now inextricably fused across lifestyle, consciousness, finance and cultural norms.
Ma Qiusha / 3m 33s / 2013 / China / Scottish Premiere
A chromatic contrast between red and white echos the flush of puberty at the intersection of innocence and experience in Ma Qiusha’s Rainbow. Initially we only catch glimpses of disconnected phenomena: young girls dressed in white playing ring-a-ring o’ roses; a row of glasses and a red juice slowly but constantly poured from above, a spattering of bejewelled ruby-dew. As the video progresses, the relation between the two images becomes clear: moving in circle the girls trample tomatoes underneath the blades of their ice skates; the juice so produced dribbles into glassed rotating at the same speed and in the same direction as the girls.
Hu Xiaoyuan / 2m 9s / 2015 / China / Scottish Premiere
Bang features two people and balloons enclosed inside a flesh-coloured translucent slip as they roll from the left side of view to the right. The struggling, shoving and turning are accompanied by the rub of the balloons in this anxious caterpillar-crawl.
Hu Xiaoyuan’s artistic style is dominated by delicate, analytical, and implicit contradictions. Bang features two people and balloons enclosed inside a flesh-coloured translucent slip as they roll from the left side of view to the right. The two people display a heightened anxiety in their movements, driven by fear of popping the balloons or injuring the other or themselves during this caterpillar-crawl. The struggling, ripping, shoving, and turning are accompanied by the rub and screech of balloon on balloon motion, forever threatening to burst, filling the screen with tension and discomfort.
Hannah and The Crystal Ball
Chi Jang Yin / 3m 16s / 2010 / China / Scottish Premiere
The Kodak Company commissioned the artist to shoot a single roll of film, with all editing in-camera. The commonplace becomes magical, shadows adopt architectural form, sunlight refracts through glassware and spilt fluid.
Chinese-born media artist Chi Jang Yin is known for her observational documentary, which comments on the effect of individuals intertwining with political and social infrastructure. Her video art often imbues her background in photography and performance art. For Hannah and The Crystal Ball, the Kodak Company commissioned a series of filmmakers to shoot a single roll of film, with all editing in-camera. No one was allowed to see the films prior to screening. The commonplace becomes magical, shadows adopt architectural form, sunlight refracts through glassware and spilt fluid.
Solar spectrum: Ballet of the Night I
Yao Qingmei / 8m 1s / 2016 / China / Scottish Premiere
In Solar Spectrum: Ballet of the Night I, the choreography featured in the work is inspired by classical dance positions of the Royal Ballet, which combine together with gestures used by tourists to take photographs. The ballet dancer both observes and records through a dance, a portrait of Louis XIV displayed in the Louvre Museum. The image captures the moving dancer as she films the space on video, but also depicts at the same time the video taken from the camera controlled by the dancer, contrasting these two different perspectives together.
HIVE-10468723, HIVE-10774896, HIVE-12006950, HIVE-12467538, HIVE-14499801, HIVE-18600423
Wang NewOne / 7m 25s / 2015 / China / Scottish Premiere
The artist uses 3D modelling to create distinctive and unsettling digital close-ups of humanoid faces with futuristic bod-mods and styles. Through this practice, Wang NewOne re-thinks the ontological existence of humanity within both the real and online worlds.
Wang NewOne was born in Shanghai, where she also currently lives and works. Although she graduated in traditional Chinese painting, her passion for online gaming and animation led her to explore the world of 3D modelling through the program Daz 3D and to creating her own digital art. Eschewing the rough, pixel-heavy style of the 90s for a more streamlined look, Wang’s work is very anthropocentric, generally featuring close-ups of humanoid faces, with futuristic bod-mods and styles. Through this practice, the artist re-thinks the ontological existence of humanity within both the real and online worlds.
NOW is a collaborative programme aimed at reinvigorating discussion around the role of female contemporary artists in the art ecology of present day China. Through a series of exhibitions, commissions and events, NOW explores how the diversity of current female artistic practice transcends notions of gender difference to offer hybrid perspectives on their socio-political environment. The transformative impacts of societal change have opened new, transcultural, possibilities for female artists working today.
Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing