April 29th to July 30th, 2023
1F-2F Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum
Ticket Price：20 yuan
Group visitors (Above 10 visitors) with reservation to visit at the appointed time.
As suggested in the published introductory text of the Trans-Southeast Asia Triennial, “trans” as a concept inclines towards opening up knowledge production and geographical boundaries in search for the wisdom to co-habit with the world. In 2019, the curator conducted a long-term study in the Southeast Asian region and concluded that it was a challenge itself to determine which issues were relevant and relatively meaningful to the audience in the complex regional ecosystem. As one of the research exhibition series of the first Trans-Southeast Asia Triennial, this project chose Mekong River as the focal point, and went further upstream along the water (e.g. the Lancang River), which highlights the Mekong-Lancang River under the “trans” theme as an alternative route connecting with Southeast Asia to the Greater Bay Area in south China. Being an important trans-boundary water system in Asia, the Mekong River originates in Zadoi County of Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai province, China, and stretches across China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam until reaching the South China Sea in Ho Chi Minh City. It does more than just linking these territories geographically. It also carries with it multiple shared social issues that can be showcased and explored in realms of economy, culture, ethnicity and religions.
The artworks were created in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic back in 2021. Some are exhibited the way they were organically generated and some are reconstructed or/and reorganised for display, which is an exhibition approach the project tries to explore. At the time, travel restrictions created a lot of challenges on the ground, so the participating artists had to travel in two groups along the Lancang River and Mekong River respectively whilst working on their own creations. It is our great pleasure to have invited on board a number of Thai artists who either live or used to live in the north of the country and their Chinese counterparts who live and work in Yunnan (more specifically, in Kunming and Xishuangbanna) for this project. In these two separate trips – one in the upstream basin and one in the downstream one, they came up with their own artistic response based on local inspirations. They lived and walked along the Mekong/Lancang River, improvising discussions and creations about the river’s localness. In the meantime, they produced “works” that can go on display, such as videos, images, and texts, with which we try to achieve a kind of co-existence of documents and artworks in the exhibition space. Working within the current exhibition operation model, we are also looking to do role-switching in this project in three ways: switching the institution to sponsor, curator to documents keeper, and artists to residents on the move.
Each river has its complex ecosystem with different natural and cultural resources. Historically, rivers and their adjacent land have been the natural choice for dense human habitation. In the case of trans-boundary rivers, the riparian countries tend to change the rivers’ “shared” property to “private” in order to promote economic development within their own territory. Over-dependence on and over-development of the rivers are hugely detrimental to natural resources and have impacted local ways of life, art and culture. In “The River We Share”, we hope to achieve this mobile-but-not-gathered creative collaboration with diverse artistic outputs about the concept of “river” by artists upstream and downstream in a special period of time like this.
This exhibition is long overdue. Our sincere gratitude goes to the Art Museum of Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts for its organisation and the Inside-Out Art Museum for its support to make the exhibition possible from its initial planning in 2021 to the completion and display of the artworks today. Coordination of Thai artist Chumpon Apisuk and Chinese artist He Libin for the project (in addition to their own art creations) is also much appreciated. Our thanks also goes to the Museum Of Something (MOS) in Thailand for documenting and organising the artworks about the Mekong river. Sadly, in 2023, forever we lost Jittima Pholsawek, an outstanding artist who had organised and participated in Mekong-related art projects for more than 10 years. I would like to conclude by quoting what Jittima wrote about the Mekong River in the project introduction in 2019, “Ever since the colonial period, in complicated geopolitical relationship and history, people living in this region have been subjected to pressures of military and commercial interests and as a result have suffered greatly because of the needs of politics and domination. Each basin-wide development plan initiated by individual riparian countries has ripped this river into pieces. It is our aspiration to promote interactions between the peoples of Mekong’s riparian countries and to tell story of the river through artworks.”
Lin Shuchuan (b. 1986, Hunan province, China) is a curator and documentary filmmaker who currently serves as Deputy Director at the Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Arts (AMNUA), China. Since 2012, he has been focusing on the living and creative states of young artists in Asia through exhibitions, documents and documentaries. He masterminded or delivered the “Polyphony: Chinese Art Ecological Survey” series in Jiangsu-Zhejiang-Shanghai region, Beijing, the Pearl River Delta, Yunnan- Guizhou-Sichuan region, and Southeast Asia. He initiated the “Curatorial Research Project” to study the ontology of curating in 2017 and a public art project “24-hour Art Museum” in 2018. He has also curated several solo artist programs and group exhibitions in Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Changsha, London and Paris.
April 29th to July 30th, 2023
Beijing Inside-Out Art Foundation Zhao Wenliang & Yang Yushu Art Centre, No.50 Xingshikou Road, Haidian District, Beijing
Regular Ticket: 20 RMB per person
Concession: 10 RMB per person
Concessions applied to the following audience members:
Students and teachers, with student ID and teacher ID.
Chinese, English, Italian
We provide barrier-free access. Please make an appointment by telephone in advance. Tel: (010) 62730230