RMCA / MOMENTUM
REDTORY MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART Guangzhou, China
FUTURE LIFE HANDBOOK
OPENING: 16 December 2017 | 14:30 – 18:30pm
Discussion: 14:30 – 16:30 pm
Performance @ 16:40 – 18:10 pm
Mariana Hahn, Stored-Story Body-Archive
Artists：Aaajiao, Amir Fattal, Law Yuk-mui, Mariana Hahn, Miao Ying, Zijie
Academic Director: Dong Bingfeng
Curator: Rachel Rits-Volloch
Dong Bingfeng, Curator and Research Fellow,
School of Inter-media Art, China Academy of Art, Beijing;
Rachel Rits-Volloch, Founding Director of MOMENTUM;
ARTISTS: Aaajiao, Mariana Hahn, Zijie
MODERATOR: Vivienne Chow, Journalist,
Critic and Founder of Cultural Journalism Campus
EXHIBITION: 17 December 2017 – 7 May 2018
No. 128, Yuancun Si Heng Rd., Tianhe District, Guangzhou
Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art
WORKSHOP | YOUNG ARTISTS PROGRAMME
In collaboration with：MOMENTUM ／ Germany Consulate in Guangzhou
Future Life Handbook. We would all like to have one of these – a guide on how to keep going in troubling times. As information moves faster and faster, in our race to keep up with it, we are often too busy with the now to look to the future. As the struggle continues between preserving history and rewriting it to fit a new script, it is also becoming ever harder to tell the difference between real and fake news. And, if both our past and our present are continuously reimagined, how are we to forecast our futures? Universal to all of us living in these mediated times, the ubiquity of such issues brings us much closer together. Artists ‘speaking’ through the autonomous voices of visual languages, translate the world to us in different, unbounded ways. This exhibition brings together the work of six young artists and two curators from China and Berlin. It is designed as a dialogue, as an exchange and elaboration of different perspectives that reflect upon our current moment through a study of the past and a view towards the future.
Berlin: a city of only 3.5 million people has become known internationally as the ‘Art Capital of Europe.’ For almost 30 years it has attracted artists from around the world who, feeding on and into its creative energy, have made it their adoptive home. Berlin is a city where everyone always seems to be from elsewhere; it is still rebuilding and repopulating itself 70 years after the disaster of World War II; it seems to be a place perpetually atoning for its painful and violent history and it is now re-inventing itself through culture.
Guangzhou: a city with a population of over 14 million in the heart of the Pearl River Delta, has historically been a fount of new and radical ideas about art and culture as well as China’s southern gateway to the rest of the world. As it has developed over the past 40 years it has become not only an economic and cultural powerhouse emblematic of change in China but also has turned its face again outwards.
In bringing to RMCA three young Berlin-based artists from different countries with three Chinese artists we are again opening that gateway to let the voices of today’s generation speak about the issues common to our experience, despite the diversity of our backgrounds.
The Redtory Museum of Contemporary Art (RMCA) is a private, non-profit Contemporary Art Museum that initiates and organizes exhibitions of art, architecture, design, film, photography and video from both China and overseas. With a growing collection of contemporary art, it also promotes academic research, organizes artists’ residencies and public programs for schools, universities and adult education, and facilitates exchanges of art, artists and exhibitions internationally.
RMCA is comprised of a group of buildings located at the heart of the Guangzhou Redtory Art and Design Factory District. This former industrial area, situated by the Zhujiang River in the centre of the city, has been repurposed for cultural and leisure use and covers 170,000 square metres with over 100 different structures.
Made up of factories, sheds, offices and warehouses designed by Russian architects at the beginning of the 1950s, the planning, architecture and still extant machinery expresses the industrial idealism of the 20th century. The outer surface of the main museum building (Hall 1) has since been clad in rough corten steel to emphasise its monumentality and historical significance.
The exhibition spaces of RMCA cover a total area of over 4,000 m2 spread across six separate buildings. Halls 1 & 2 are over seven meters high, while the other spaces are more intimate. A workshop space for the Young Artists Programme has just been converted to supplement this. These resources give flexibility for planning many different kinds of exhibitions, performances and events.
It is only since the end of the 1970s that contemporary art has become established in China. First, in the mid-1980s, it was characterized by ‘The New Wave’ then, in the 1990s and after, by ‘New Cynicism’ and ‘Experimental Art,’ but the challenges facing art today demand a radically different approach.
Global flows of capital, and the burgeoning of transnational networks and social media have brought together, and transformed, art’s cultural and political context. A new generation of artists in China, and elsewhere, is facing, and digesting, the effects of this transformation.
This has made an impact on how art is made and thought about. Increasingly, art works adopt the form and discipline of archives as they confront memory and the past from different contemporary points of view, and even the conventions and boundaries of the art exhibition itself are gradually being eroded as art and life interpenetrate in new, unexpected ways.
For the art of today, museums take on the role more of workshops or laboratories as the concerns of artists, curators, designers, architects, intellectuals and the public begin to converge. The aim of the RMCA Young Artists Programme is to provide through exhibitions, residencies and its public activities an ever-broadening platform for this process to take place.