'Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories' is the first major exhibition in Greece of the Chinese artist Yang Fudong. He creates films, videos and photographs full of psychological tension and melancholy that touch upon subjects related to the rapid transformation of Chinese society in the recent years. Kostis Velonis presents 'Loneliness on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams'; his sculptural work often refers to historical events and art movements and the focus is on political utopias. 'A Clean Slate' is the new work of the international art collective xurban, it constitutes an ongoing research about seas as defined by various manifestations of the global trade and economy. 'The landscape of Being' exhibit new painting by Marios Spiliopoulos.
Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories
curated by Anna Kafetsi
The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, organizes the first major exhibition in Greece of the internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Yang Fudong titled 'Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories'. The exhibition, which will be inaugurated on May 11th and last until September 5th, will include the complete five-part epic cinematic cycle 'Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest' (2003-2007), the recent 6 channel video installation 'East of Que Village' (2007), the monumental ten-channel video installation 'Close to the Sea' (2004), as well as the earlier film 'Liu Lan' (2003).
Yang Fudong was born in Beijing in 1971 and after studying painting at the Academy of Arts in Hangzhou (1991-1995), moved to Shanghai. He is considered as one of the most important Chinese artists with participations in some of the most prominent international exhibitions like Documenta 11 in Kassel and the first Guangzhou Triennial in 2002, the 50th and 52nd Venice Biennale in 2003 and 2007, the Taipei Biennale in 2004. He has also exhibited in major institutions such as Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, the Stedelijk museum in Amsterdam, the Parasol Unit in London, MuHKA in Antwerp, Zengdai museum in Shanghai, Asia Society in New York and Hara museum of Contemporary art in Tokyo. He is represented by Galerie Marian Goodman Paris/ New York and Shanghart Gallery, Shanghai.
Yang Fudong creates films, videos and photographs full of psychological tension and melancholy that touch upon subjects related to the rapid transformation of Chinese society in the recent years through stories of love and individual struggle. His works always involve a vague narrative and his unforgettable images, sometimes artfully photographed in 35mm cinematographic film, allude to Chinese cinema of the 30s - 40s as well as to French Nouvelle Vague. In his elaborately positioned multi-screen video installations that make it impossible for the viewer to watch all strands of the same story that unfold simultaneously, the artist allows for a unique and personal experience of every work.
In his major work, the cycle of 'Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest', Fudong draws inspiration from the 3rd century AD Chinese tale of the seven sages in the bamboo grove, according to which, seven wise men, tired from the intrigues of the imperial court, withdraw to a private space in order to think and create. Similarly, Fudong's seven young intellectuals, symbols of a new ambiguous social class, are depicted to wander, nonchalantly and dreamy, within a marginal space of their own actions and personal pursuits, in a work that summarizes the clash of cultural values in contemporary China, where the old way of living still persists alongside the immense economic, technological and infrastructural advances this country has seen in the last few decades.
Loneliness on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams
Curated by: Daphne Vitali
The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) is organizing the first museum solo exhibition of the renowned young Greek artist Kostis Velonis in Greece. Velonis is considered to be one of the most important Greek artists of his generation. His sculptural work often refers to historical events and art-historical movements and the focus is on political utopias and the failure of ideology. For the majority of his work, Velonis often uses found materials and his artistic practise is characterized by the combination of personal narratives with a re-examination of historical data.
Kostis Velonis was born in 1968 in Athens where he lives and works. He studied Cultural Studies at the London Consortium (Birkbeck College, ICA, AA, Tate Gallery) in 2000 and Visual Arts at the Paris VIII University, (Maitrise, D.E.A). In 2009 he received his Doctorate in architecture from the N.T.U.A University of Athens. He has participated in numerous exhibitions in Greece and abroad. His recent solo shows include: How one can think freely in the shadow of a temple, Kunstverein Hamburg, 2009; Craft Boy, Monitor Gallery, Rome, 2008; ...was einmal über heute gesagt werden wird: Köln Show2, BQ Gallery, European Kunsthalle, Cologne, 2007. Recent group exhibitions include: 2nd Athens Biennial, 2009; Brussels Biennial 1 for Contemporary Art, 2008; 9e Biennale de Lyon, Villeurbanne, 2007; In Present Tense. Young Greek Artists, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2007; The Grand Promenade, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens, 2006. He is represented by Monitor gallery, Rome and Galerie Dana Charkasi, Vienna.
For his exhibition at EMST, entitled "Loneliness on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams", Velonis will be presenting a number of large-scale sculptural works as well as some smaller sculptures that the artist created in 2009 and 2010. This exhibition will reassess the nature of Velonis’ oeuvre, focusing on some recent political works. The sculptures on view take Russian avant-garde, ancient Greek democracy and the working class consciousness as their subject matter, examining how these concepts and visions can be seen today. Through architectural constructions of Russian constructivist artists such as Liubov Popova and Gustav Klutsis, the artist refers to the contradictions that accompany the aims of the Russian avant-garde and the communist politics. His sculptures seek to unfold and question the ideologies behind political structures and to reflect upon ideas such as the utopian ideal, democracy and revolution. The exhibition will also present some works that bring out the artist’s interest for craft making and working class orientation. The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual catalogue (Greek and English), which features texts by Miltos Frangopoulos, Chus Martinez, Daphne Vitali and Florian Waldvogel.
A Clean Slate
xurban_collective Project, 2010
Curated by Daphne Vitali
The National Museum of Contemporary Art (EMST) organizes an exhibition of a new work of the international art collective xurban, from May 11 to June 20, 2010.
The xurban_collective was founded in 2000 and their members work in different cities like Istanbul, Smyrna and New York. They have presented their work in very important museums and exhibitions internationally, like the Venice Bienalle (2001), the Istanbul Bienalle (2003) and the Museum Of Modern Art (MoMA) of New York (2005).
In the EMST exhibition, the artists will present a new audiovisual installation that they created especially for the city of Athens.
"This work, created in 2010 by xurban_collective, constitutes an ongoing research about seas as defined by various manifestations of the global trade and economy, and by the flow of bodies as a possibility for retributive justice. We believe that any statements made within the new global order should adequately represent the "negligibly small" actors in the creation of wealth, including the earth, the sea and all living things.
In A Clean Slate, we regard the sea as the transmitter of a history (i.e. Mediterranean) and of wealth and culture as well as the source of biological richness. It is also the bearer of scourge, of oil spills and chemicals and of invading jellyfish and the disappearing reef. On it, the oil tankers and container ships sail to the effect of millions of tons, accumulating and transferring immense wealth at all costs. Refugee boats also sail across sometimes to catastrophic ends either while at sea or at their destination. On all the charted and monitored waters of the world, these boats are the most invisible. The sea’s horizon metaphorically represents freedom, hope, and a decent life."
The landscape of Being
11/05/2010 - 20/06/2010
Curated By: Tina Pandi
Image: Yang Fudong, Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories
For further information:
Tel: +30 210-9242111-3, Fax: +30 210-9245200 firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Οn Tuesday May 11th, 2010 at 12.00 a press conference will be realized for the two upcoming exhibitions:
ΥANG FUDONG, Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest and Other Stories
KOSTIS VELONIS, Loneliness on Common Ground: How Can Society Do What Each Person Dreams
and for the new work by xurban_collective titled A Clean Slate which is presented in the framework of the series EMST Productions 2010
In the framework of the series "work of the month" the work The Landscape of Being by Marios Spiliopoulos will be presented
The exhibitions will be inagurated on Τuesday May 11th, at 20.00
Artists Kostis Velonis, Güven Incirlioglu of xurban_collective and Marios Spiliopoulos will also be present
National Museum of Contemporary Art
Vas. Georgiou B' 17-19 & Rigillis street, Athens
Tuesday-Sunday: 11.00-19.00, Thursday: 11.00-22.00