Leung Mee Ping
Pascale Marthine Tayou
The sculpture project of the Expo Boulevard. French curator Ami Barak has invited 20 artists of international repute to showcase their sculptures along the Expo Boulevard. As different as the works are, all of them deal with the urban situation, while also relating to tradition and posing the all important question of how we will face the future. The premise of the exhibition aims to elucidate to an audience the ways in which artists' negotiate and challenge current and prospective realities.
Curated by Ami Barak
The participating artists: Mircea Cantor, Chen Changwei, Wim Delvoye, Dan Graham, Subodh Gupta, Huang Zhiyang, Peter Kogler, Leung Mee Ping, Li Songhua, Liu Jianhua, Julian Opie, Tomas Saraceno, Shen Yuan, Sui Jianguo, Pascale Marthine Tayou, Xavier Veilhan, Wang Guangyi, Xiang Jing, Zhan Wang and Zhang Huan.
ART FOR THE WORLD [THE EXPO] is one of the major art projects of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The Sculpture-Exhibition is centrally located within the Expo site, on all three levels of the Expo Boulevard and will remain after the end of the World Expo. The exhibition preview will be held in mid April, while the exhibition itself will take place from May 1st to October 31th. The inaugural event will be attended by the 11 Chinese and 9 international invited artists, the curator Ami Barak, the producers JGM Galerie and the project’s sponsors. The World Expo in Shanghai in 2010 is the event that marks the beginning of the 21st century. The Expo is designed as an organic link between the human being and the city, welcoming the challenge of present and future generations in a world where the majority of the world’s population increasingly congregates in metropolises.
French curator Ami Barak has invited 20 artists of international repute to showcase their sculptures along the Expo Boulevard. As different as the works are, all of them deal with the urban situation, while also relating to tradition and posing the all important question of how we will face the future. The premise of the exhibition aims to elucidate to an audience the ways in which artists’ negotiate and challenge current and prospective realities.
The monumental sculptures hold up mirrors of perception for exhibition visitors, inviting their participation and encouraging the development of new perspectives on the works as well as new discoveries of different aspects of the site. The art works will turn the 1045m long and 140m wide Expo Boulevard into an eventful passageway that promises to inspire fresh aesthetic insights.
The Expo Boulevard is the main alley that will link the national pavilions and is anticipated to be the most visited spot on the Expo site. Around 70 million visitors will make their way around the sculptures as they amble between the pavilions. The French JGM Galerie won the international pitch to liven the Expo Boulevard with art and to produce the exhibition. Thanks to the main sponsor Martell and the support of Tomson and Erdos, ART FOR THE WORLD [THE EXPO] will be one of the most ambitious and lasting art events of the Expo.
9 of the 20 works have been commissioned by the World Expo Bureau or donated by sponsors. While the pavilions will disappear from the scene at the end of the year, some sculptures such as the “Dream Stone” by Sui Jianguo, the 9 meter high steal needle by Liu Jianhua or the panda bear couple “He He, Xie Xie” by Zhang Huan will overlook the Huangpu River in the future and remain as a permanent landmark of the Expo in Shanghai.
The City of Forking Paths
The World Expo in Shanghai in 2010 is the event that will mark the beginning of the 21st century. It is designed as an organic link between the human being and the city, i.e. the challenge of present and future generations in a world where the majority of the population congregates in huge metropolises. In this context of the unveiling of a whole ensemble of works of art along the Expo Boulevard, the magnificent avenue of the World Expo is to be interpreted as a series of symbolic and metaphoric signs, paving the way and aiming to provide us with information on our current day needs, desires and dreams.
The theme is those constants linked to the ideas of happiness, of a fair social order and the sharing of wealth, altruism, harmony and love: nothing should stand in the way of what is human and natural. The main thread linking all the different works of sculpture is a web of correspondences and solidarities, composing the order of things in the given time and place. The works constitute strong models, building up loud echoes in a system of behaviors that do not distinguish between mind and matter — sculpture is the artistic genre that best brings this to the fore, since it belongs to a universal order. This is visible in the display itself. The works are different but all of them deal with the urban context, relating to tradition and how to face the future and give the audience a better feeling about the artists' way to face this reality.
Since the event is prestigious, it goes without saying that the choice of artists and works meets certain standards: artists with an international reputation were invited and artworks chosen for their formal, symbolic and visual impact. There cannot be half-measures in this context, the ambition has to go all the way and rise up to the challenge. Twenty monumental sculptures are shown, made by the leading protagonists of the international and Chinese contemporary art scene. They fit the scale of the site, which is large and impressive. Each one of them deals with a series of philosophical and aesthetic questions meant to give impetus to the new century. The artists invited come from all over the world: Western and Eastern Europe, the Americas, both North and South, and of course from Asia, but in a global world their art is open minded and uses ingredients in the same vein.
The subtitle proposed is based on a novel by the Argentinean writer J.L. Borges, “The Garden of Forking Paths” and is a transposition into the complex and multifaceted contemporary metropolises in the form of milestones leading to the ramps of the modern Tower of Babel.
Organizer: JGM Galerie Paris - Shanghai
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Image: Mircea Cantor, Arch of Triumph, 2008 / Oak, 24 carat gold / 640 x 130 x 416 cm
Courtesy Mircea Cantor & Yvon Lambert, Paris / New York
Opening from May 1st
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