08th May-28th July, 2019
As a curator assistant
IOMA ( IMS of Modern Artland )
798 Art Area, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Rd, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China
During the Summer of 2019, I worked as part of the curation team in Beijing IOMA (IMS of Modern Artland). EXTRA, a solo show of Lawrence Malstaf, was the first project I worked with.
My works mainly focused on doing recearch, writing interpretations, proof reading, translating and public activities designing.
More about Lawrence Malstaf
I first analyzed the artist's works and summerized according to the theme and venue of the whole exhibition. This writing approach is very similar to writing my own artist statement.
With a title of “Extra”, this exhibition endows visitors with an identity as part of the artwork. This mode enhances a sense of “ANWESEN”, and concretises the abstract human feeling in space. The exhibition inherits the theatrical scenes of Lawrence Malstaf’s style, establishing a site that focuses people’s attention by interlacing images, installations, manuscripts, and materials.
“Extra” means a temporary identity switch when participants entering the work as an “actor”. Meanwhile, “actor” also be normally used as human’s self-definition under the contemporary social situation and mental states. Despite the industrial appearance, the core of Lawrence’s works is poetic. Thus, the identity of “Extra” is a placebo, providing a provisional shelter for participants. Whether considering it as an immediate amusement or an attentive demonstration, everyone could take their personal story into the artwork, and complete the scenario in their own version. In this way, the diversity of the work is realized in the process of “re-creating”.
In the context of present gallery, mechanical mode of visual transmission has long failed to meet people’s mental demands. Visitors act not only as the interpreters of cultural activities, but the constructors of collective memory. The interactive mode of this exhibition highlights the significance of the audience when constructing the meaning of an artwork, which promotes the hybridization of different social ideologies and art in the background of times. The fixed existence pattern of gallery has been converted because of the concept of “Extra”. From a philosophical perspective, owing to the relative meaning of matter, when different visitor come to the artwork with diverse identity and personal understanding, the existence of the gallery and the work itself differ for the visitors. As a result, the meaning of “extra” forms.
How to transfer concepts between two languages? How to answer audiences' questions?
How to react in front of lens?
Leading a tour as a translater and channel presenter was a big challenge. It required a good understanding of artist's works, art history and most significantly, both Chinese and English.
Although I knew I couldn't perform very extraordinary, all I tried to do was use the best of my previous experiences of making presentations in MFA course.
It does is the moment that I know what do I desire to learn more in the following semester is find out as many as possible examples or cases of expressing one concept in two languages.
“People are always afraid of those environments that looked hard to breathe in, but they don't know they can get another kind of peace and sence of security after trying to accept and adapt.”
The whole case not only offered me a complete platform to put what I leaned into practices, also made me gain more when chatting with the artist and other staff, which contribute to my future way of thinking and creating.