|Title||Calling for A New Renaissance|
|Period||Jun. 8-Jul. 7, 2016|
|Reception||Jun. 8 (Wed.) 2pm|
Asia Art Center (Taipei I+II)
|Supported by||Linking Publishing, UNITAS|
Calling for A New Renaissance-Gao Xingjian Solo Exhibition
The exhibition includes Gao Xingjian’s brand-new ink paintings, three films by Gao, photographs from his journey to Soul Mountain, books, commentaries, and photographs from international exhibitions and art catalogues.
Gao Xingjian was born in Jiangxi province, China in 1940 and is a renowned author, playwright, painter, photographer, film and stage director. In 2000, he was the first individual of Chinese descent to receive the Noble Prize for Literature, a source of considerable pride in the Chinese speaking world.
Last year, Gao held a number of major exhibitions across Europe. In early 2015, there was A Gao Xingjian Retrospective at the Museum of Ixelles and The Awakening of Consciousness at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts in Belgium, which added six works from the series to its permanent collection. At the end of the year, Gao held a solo exhibition at Kubo-kutxa Fundazioa in Spain. Asia Art Center has handled paintings by Gao Xingjian since 1997 in which time it has become apparent that in addition to his fame as a literary figure, Gao is extremely accomplished in a wide range of cultural forms, including painting. Indeed, the breadth and depth of his interest has resulted in plaudits throughout the art world. It is against this backdrop that Calling for a New Renaissance will address “the interaction of Gao Xingjian’s paintings with other artistic forms.” As such, the wide ranging works that make up this exhibition showcase the artist’s philosophical thinking and his desire to “return to the humanism of the Renaissance.” Indeed, this is the core theme of the exhibition.
Calling for a New Renaissance focuses primarily on the artist’s ink paintings from 2016, but also includes showings of his movies Silhouette / Shadow, After the Flood and Requiem for Beauty, which have only previously been shown publicly at major international events held at the National Palace Museum in Taiwan, the UK and Singapore. Another key element of the exhibition is a collection of documents rarely seen in Taiwan: these include important catalogues from Gao’s many international exhibitions over the years, which highlight the challenges facing any Gao Xingjian museum retrospective, and a collection of the artist’s literary writings and plays published in China in the 1980s. Although from the perspective of today these works represent merely one individual’s point of view, this was rejected by mainstream “avant-garde” thinking in China at that time. One book that is perhaps not as widely known is Six Plays by Gao Xingjian, edited by Taiwanese professor Hu Yao-heng in 1995. Although this work is already out of print, it is included as one of the important documents on show, together with important books and related commentaries by Gao Xingjian published by Linking Publishing Company, UNITAS Publishing and Ming Pao Publications in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In addition, after wandering solo around south west China in the 1980s, Gao not only wrote Soul Mountain, he also took thousands of photographs on his travels and this exhibition includes a selection of these treasures. Other than emphasizing the drive and creativity of Gao Xingjian these works also provide viewers with a different insight into the artist’s distinctive cultural observations, linguistic logic and the ways these inform his philosophy of life.
The exhibition name Calling for a New Renaissance is borrowed from that of Gao’s solo exhibition at Kubo-kutxa Fundazioa in Spain, though this originally came from an article by Gao Xingjian in the Chinese language book Literature and Freedom published in 2014. At a time of globalization in which everything is increasingly market-oriented, Gao asks: “Is it possible in this era to create literature and art that transcends politics, markets and seeks no material gain?” His answer to this question is: “Such art and culture must first and foremost stem from the writer or artist’s personal feelings, that is be entirely derived from an individual’s independent ideas and it must be something that absolutely has to be said.” Pictures and words are both forms of creative language and their interplay is akin to two pathways that follow the same philosophical path. Even in the 1980s, Gao Xingjian’s creative work was marked by a deliberate detachment from ideology and return to humanist thinking. Today, the core values that inform cultural focus have gradually withered to such a point that the call for a new Renaissance has become a matter of some urgency.
At 2:00PM on June 8, the opening reception and the panel discussion “Calling for a New Renaissance” will be held at Asia Art Center Taipei II, with the main speakers including Gao Xingjian, National Taiwan University Professor Hu Yao-heng and National Taiwan University of Arts President Chen Chih-cheng. An art talk will be held at 4:00PM on June 25 titled “Images / Words Coming to Life: The Cinematic Poetry of Gao Xingjian” at Asia Art Center Taipei II, where the speakers will be two former curators at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Austin M. H, Hsu (Executive Editor-in-Chief, Film Appreciation Journal, Taiwan Film Institute) and Sun Sung-jung (Professor, Graduate Institute of Animation and Film Art, Tainan National University of the Arts). The exhibition will be open to the public until July 10.
【Taste of Ink】
2:00pm, June 8, 2016｜Asia Art Center Taipei II｜No.93, Lequn 2nd Rd., Taipei 104, Taiwan
*2016 new creation, ink on canvas, will be on display
5:00pm, June 8, 2016｜Asia Art Center Taipei I｜No.177, Sec. 2, Jianguo S. Rd.,Taipei 106, Taiwan
*Photography, films, literature, documents, ink on paper will be on display
Panel Discussion: Calling for a New Renaissance
2:30pm, June 8, 2016
Asia Art Center Taipei II｜No.93, Lequn 2nd Rd., Taipei 104, Taiwan
Gao Xingjian (Artist)
Hu Yao-heng (Professor, National Taiwan University)
Chen Chih-cheng (President, National Taiwan University of Arts)
Art Talk: Images / Words Coming to Life: The Cinematic Poetry of Gao Xingjian
4:00pm, June 25, 2016
Asia Art Center Taipei I｜No.177, Sec. 2, Jianguo S. Rd.,Taipei 106, Taiwan
Austin M. H, Hsu (Executive Editor-in-Chief, Film Appreciation Journal, Taiwan Film Institute)
Sun Sung-jung (Professor, Graduate Institute of Animation and Film Art, Tainan National University of the Arts)
Gao Xingjian Movie Screening
Screenings every Saturday during the exhibition period: June 11, June 18, July 2, July 9, except on June 25 (Art Talk session).
Asia Art Center Taipei I｜No.177, Sec. 2, Jianguo S. Rd.,Taipei 106, Taiwan
10:30-12:00 La Silhouette sinon l’ombre
14:30-15:00 Après le déluge
15:30-17:30 Le Deuil de la Beauté
Artist: Gao Xingjian
Gao Xingjian was born in Jiangxi Province, China in 1940. He graduated from the Beijing Institute of Foreign Languages with a major in French Literature in 1962. He left China for a life in exile in Paris in 1987. In 2000, he became the first individual of Chinese descent to receive the Noble Prize for Literature. His multifaceted work is extensive; literary theorist, playwright, writer, critic, dramatist, director, distinguished translator of a number of important published works as well as being a renowned painter. Gao Xingjian’s thinking lies in-between Modernist aesthetics and the humanity, and his painting combines Chinese traditional concept and Western abstractionism, lying in-between figurative and abstract. In 2003 Marseille, France gave art events concerning Gao Xingjiang’s creation and titled the year “Year of Gao Xingjian”. His solo exhibitions include: Museum Gao Xingjian: Papier Tusche Film (ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2008) and L’Ombres des mots Gao Xingjian et Günter Grasse (Musée Würth France Erstein Erstein, France, 2009). In 2015 Belgium’s Musée d’Ixelles and The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium gave Gao Xingjian: Retrospective and the The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium collect six monumental works by Gao Xingjian, especially created for the room they are displayed in.