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"Trace and Presence": A Dialogue Between Art and Chongqing

By SHIHAN YANGICHONGQING|Jul 08,2022

On July 3, 2022, the “Trace and Presence” — Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition opened at YUELAI Art Museum. Ten artists were invited to the exhibition, and more than 160 works, including paintings and devices, were exhibited, breaking fresh ground in a comprehensive contemporary art exhibition.

The exhibition, which lasts until September 4, 2022, will present to visitors the problems confronted by and views on the art of contemporary Chinese artists through the exhibits at YUELAI Art Museum.

Exhibits at “Trace and Presence” — Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Wang Jumeng, Director of YUELAI Art Museum, said that “Trace and Presence” embraced artists’ reflections on the complex environment in contemporary times. In addition, it also engages visitors in such reflections and recollection. Though the COVID-19 pandemic has had multiple impacts on artistic creation, art display, and art exchanges, artists have never stopped expressing and exploring contemporary art.

Exhibits at “Trace and Presence” — Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Yu Ke, Executive Director of YUELAI Art Museum, said that the exhibition was a dialogue between art and Chongqing. He hopes that visitors can understand how the artists reflect on the pandemic and the current situation and that they can communicate with the artists based on their own experiences. As a young force among all art museums in China, YUELAI will continue to press ahead.

The curator He Guiyan, professor of the School of Arts and Humanities, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, shared the exhibition’s ideas. Contemporary art is diversified and all-inclusive as an important cultural exchange and export medium connecting people worldwide. The first keyword of this exhibition is “trace.” Each artist has their own paths, methods, traces, and development tracks of creation, as well as the imprint and spirit of the times. The second keyword is “presence.” Contemporary art must evolve with the times and realities and reflect and raise new questions. This exhibition brings visitors closer to the diversity and all-inclusiveness of the development of contemporary art in China.

Exhibits at “Trace and Presence” — Contemporary Art Invitational Exhibition. (Photo provided to iChongqing)

Li Zhanyang, a representative of the artists participating in the exhibition, shared his thoughts that “Trace and Presence” bring contemporary art to public life and domain, nourishing people with culture and art. In conclusion, it is a massive cultural event. Artworks are the “traces” of artists, and participation in empowering exhibitions is the “presence” of artists. Li hopes that all artists can create more and better traces and that this exhibition can be popular among the general public.

Ten representative young and middle-aged artists are invited to this exhibition to present diverse artworks created based on their different experiences and aesthetic interests. They will emphasize with “traces” that contemporary art should follow its own laws governing development, and contemporary artists should defend their artistic positions. The exhibition involves not only the continuous advancement of art such as languages, styles, and schemas but also artistic positions and cultural identities. It conveys the idea that artists should always grow with the realities, the times, and the local culture during their creation. They should also respond to the cultural reality and people’s needs for enriching their intellectual and cultural lives in this age with unique artistic concepts and visual wisdom.

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