Talk: Post-pandemic Curating

Bing SU 苏冰

Biography

Bing SU: Chinese famous disciplinary curator, artist

Bing SU aims to take the multidimensional view of this period by inviting the artists, designers, art patitioners and institutions from different regions, and also, researching their artworks during different period of the pandemic. He hopes to use the impulse of Culture, Art and Creativity to let people ease their anxiety. In order to achieve that, he also interviewed artists all over the world and generated the CC Project as an online communicating platform of Artworld to scope artistic impacts and changes of the pandemic.

苏冰,知名跨界策展人、艺术家

苏冰在疫情期间通过发现和邀请不同时期、不同地域的艺术家、设计师、创意工作者及机构组织在疫情前后的创作,侧面来重新审视这个历史的时刻,也希望通过文化艺术和创意的力量,可以让人们停止内心些许的恐慌。同时苏冰还采访了国内外的艺术家,并通过CC计划开设艺术家之间的线上交流平台,深入探索疫情对艺术领域带来的影响和转变。

Event Overview

There are three parts of this event:

  1. Video of a conversation with the curator Bing SU 访谈策展人苏冰
  2. Video transcription in English and Chinese 视频内容文字版(中英文)
  3. Call for discussion on topics of art in the post-pandemic era 后疫情时代的艺术话题讨论

 

Interview

Host: Nerissa YUAN (袁嘉苡)

Guest: Bing SU (苏冰)

The names abbreviated to “Nerissa” (Nerissa YUAN) and “SU” (Bing SU)

主持人:袁嘉苡 Nerissa YUAN

嘉    宾:苏   冰 Bing SU

(之后姓名分别缩写为“袁”、“苏”,英文版为“Nerissa”、“SU”)

 

Nerissa: Hi, Bing SU, it’s so nice to have you as our guest today.

Bing SU: Hi, Nerissa YUAN, thanks R-Lab for inviting me to join today’s online interview.

袁嘉苡:您好,苏冰老师,很荣幸今天能邀请到您来参加我们的线上访谈。

苏冰:你好,袁嘉苡同学,感谢你以及R-Lab组织邀请我进行访谈。

Nerissa: Our pleasure! Okay, now we are going to start our interview. As we all know, the outbreak of Covid-19 has had a huge influence on our lives and our work, accompanied by a multitude of changes. Could you, therefore, tell us about the ways you have arranged your work and life during this period?

SU: Due to the outbreak in January 2020 in China, and we spent three months controlling the spread of the pandemic until April, it was really a tough time for which had a significant impact on everyone’s daily life. I remember clearly when we were able to get back to normal life (and work) gradually at the end of March (2020). I am based in Shanghai and the pandemic situation there was relatively optimistic, both my team and I were trying our best to do our work at home remotely. Then in April of last year (2020), we had basically resumed our normal lives and we curated an Art exhibition in Shenzhen. The exhibition was one of the earliest art exhibitions in China after the outbreak and it was clear that it had influenced the work we curated. What’s more, I think all the art institutions and curating companies were impacted during the pandemic and started to recover in April (2020).

袁:能邀请到您我们深感荣幸。好的,那我们现在就开始进行采访了。众所周知,疫情的爆发为我们的生活、工作等等都带来了非常大的影响,并伴随有许多转变。那么我想请问一下苏冰老师,在疫情期间,您是如何安排您的工作和生活的呢?

苏:因为疫情国内是在2020年的一月初爆发的,当时这个爆发在国内的情况是从1月份一直到4月份,这段时间确实是比较严峻的,然后对大家的生活和工作确实有很大的影响。我记得很清楚,到3月底的时候,我们才开始恢复(到之前的生活),但也是逐渐恢复。在上海(疫情情况)还算好,我们的团队,包括我自己,都是在尽量采取在家里办公、远程办公这样一个方式。然后到去年的4月份,(国内生活和工作)就开始逐渐走向正常状态。所以去年四月份我们就在深圳办了一场艺术展,那确实(开始得)是非常早的。所以确实(生活和工作)是受到影响的,应该说去年,很多,不仅仅是我,所有的国内做艺术类的策展公司也好,机构也好,那段时间都受到了影响,到4月份才逐渐恢复。

 

Nerissa: Now it seems that we are gradually getting the pandemic under control in China, our lives and work are almost back to normal, so could you tell us a little about the differences you have found in your life or work after the pandemic? Are they different from the period before or during the pandemic?

SU: Basically, in China, our lives are almost back to normal, so there are less exhibitions themed around the pandemic and everyone is focusing on what’s happening now instead of looking back. There was a variety of exhibitions about the pandemic covered throughout 2020, but our present situation is much safer and controllable, so our artistic themes are more about vaccination and our status quo.

袁:疫情也有好转了,我们的生活还有工作都恢复到差不多正常,那么我想问一下,您现在的生活状态还有工作的内容会跟(国内)疫情爆发前,或者疫情爆发期间有什么不同吗?

苏:现在国内基本上都正常了,一些展览和疫情(主题)接轨的就少了,大家不太会去讨论这个话题。像去年,整个2020年,相关这样话题的内容还是比较多,但今年就(少了),因为现在国内控制得比较好,相关于这方面的话题或创作就会少很多。但是现在就会面临一个新的话题,就是打疫苗这个话题(笑)。

 

Nerissa: You have been visiting the art studios of different artists since 2014, have you noticed any changes during the pandemic in what they are creating? Could you tell us about the most impressive change among them from your perspective?

SU: Do you mean the differences that have emerged since I started visiting art studios? I think all arts-practitioners in China were badly affected by the pandemic, as a result, they started to have some new perspectives of our society and on the whole world. Some of these changes in perception are reflected in their lives and even in the art they create. I have a lasting memory from June of last year (2020) when we had an exhibition in Chengdu on a national tour in Xu Liaoyuan Art Museum. At that time, because of the pandemic, many artists, their work, income and living conditions were impacted so significantly that some of them were seeking part-time jobs. Obviously, their work would be affected by these circumstances.

袁:(笑)我们有注意到您从2014年开始就一直有艺术家工作室的探班计划,您有观察到他们在疫情期间一些工作上的变化或者转变吗?从您的角度来说,您印象最深刻的那种转变是什么?

苏:你是说这个工作室探班计划在疫情期间(的转变)是吗?我觉得这次疫情对国内很多做艺术的工作者、艺术家来说,确实影响蛮大的。也让大家对自己的创作,包括对社会、对这个世界的认知有了一些新的感受。有些(转变)都会体现到他/她自己的生活状态,甚至创作内容中。那么去年我印象很深刻(的一件事)是在6月份,我做展览做到成都的时候,在成都许燎源美术馆,我们当时有一个全国的巡展。(那时)成都很多年轻艺术家确实因为疫情,他/她的生活、经济来源,包括工作都受到影响,甚至有些人在考虑找一些兼职的工作。这些确实也会影响到他们的一些创作,这是事实。

 

Nerissa: The CC Plan ( an artistic project raised during the pandemic, the CC is about Communication and Connection) you have created during the pandemic really inspired those of us who would like to engage in the future of the Art world.  We have noticed that the keywords of the “CC plan” are “minority”, “deep”, “thematic” and “in any way”, could you talk about that? What are your intentions with this plan? And why did you pivot to create this plan during the pandemic?

SU: That’s really a good question. In fact, after the outbreak of the pandemic last year, we have started a project called “Post-Pandemic Era” at home.  I think we have published more than a dozen blogs through our official account on WeChat.  There were nearly 100 artists and their artworks which were created during the pandemic and published in form of interviews and articles that divided into different but related themes like the contents of our blogs, and the blogs were published according to different relative stages.  We are pleased that all those blogs received a great reception.

The CC plan is a section of the Post-Pandemic Project formed as a dialogue column. We decided to organize artists, art critics and art lovers through online conversations because meeting up during that period was not prohibited.  So, the CC plan was an independent section of the Post-Pandemic Era project’s program.

Speaking of which, I have just remembered that after publishing blogs online, we launched another part of the “CC Plan” when the lockdown was lifted in China. We launched a call for artworks together with the organisation of Shanghai Design Week, about a thousand artworks were collected and we selected works from this to join our exhibition held at the Shanghai No.10 Subway Station.

(PS: the number of the artworks published by blogs during pandemic is also 100)

袁:是的,然后您在疫情期间所打造的CC计划对我们这些未来想要从事艺术行业的人有非常大的启发和思考。我们有留意到您的CC计划是以小众、深度、主题式、沟通、任何方式为关键词来沟通进行的,想请问一下您打造这个计划的初衷和目的,以及什么样的转变使您想要打造这个计划?

苏:这个是一个很好的话题。实际上去年疫情一爆发以后,当时我们在家里就开始提出了一个叫作后疫情时代(的项目),当时我们应该是持续做了十几期,通过公众号、微信推出了大概十几期,我不知道这个你们有没有关注?包括我们做了十几期的采访、推文,然后每一期都有相关的主题,同时收集了很多,将近有100多位艺术家的作品,(他们)在疫情期间创作的作品,然后我们分阶段做了一些推送,反响特别好。CC计划是后疫情时代(项目)其中的一个对话栏目,因为大家(当时)不能够聚集,那么我们可以通过线上的方式,组织一些艺术家、评论家、艺术爱好者(进行)对话。所以这个(CC计划)是在我们后疫情时代这个大的艺术计划里面的独立项目。

说到这个“后疫情时代”,当时我们邀请、发现了大概有100位左右的艺术家的作品进行了推送,后来我们又跟上海设计周这个组织发起了一个征集活动,征集了大概有1000多件作品,最后我们挑选了100件作品在上海10号线地铁(站)进行了展出。

 

Nerissa: That is incredible. I am wondering, then, if there were any difficulties you needed to overcome during the project?

SU: There were a few problems. For example, when we were going to contact the Chinese artists abroad, a few of them refused. I can understand that they didn’t want to participate or talk about the pandemic because they’re in a foreign country at that time.  We were still very lucky that most of the artists invited took part and made a positive contribution. Another difficulty was that also suffered different problems which emerged from relying on online communications.  This meant that our conversations did not always go smoothly. These were the two main points that caused us problems.

袁:那想请问一下在这个项目的进行过程中,有没有遇到什么困难是您要去克服的?

苏:遇到过一些。比如当时我们想去联络一些在国外的华人艺术家,个别艺术家可能会抗拒,这我也能够理解,(因为)他们可能不太想参与到这样一个话题(中),或者说不太想讨论这样一个话题,因为他们在异国他乡,所以(这种情况)我们也碰到过,但是大部分艺术家都还是积极参与的,这是一部分(困难)。还有一部分困难在于,毕竟还是在远程沟通,就会存在沟通并不是那么顺畅(的情况),因为不能够面对面(沟通)。主要是这两方面。

 

Nerissa: You mentioned the “Post-Pandemic Era” project.  Before our interview, we had noticed that the blogs you have posted on the WeChat account were named “Post-SARS Era” previously, then the name was changed to the “Post-Pandemic Era”.  Can you tell us the reason for doing that?

SU: This was because when the pandemic first broke out, we really didn’t expect it would be so severe.  Consequently, I just made an analogy.  If SARS was mild for all of us, then the pandemic affects everyone. My original thought was that after a period, the pandemic might have been controlled and eradicated.  We did not expect it to last so long, and that this time it would be so hard for the whole world to overcome. As we know, SARS subsided within half a year, so at first, the name used was “Post-SARS”, and this was intended to make sure that people would never forget the impact of SARS, and I had realized that this time it would have a profound impact on the whole world, whether it would be economic, cultural or artistic aspects. I did not expect the pandemic to exist for such a long time, however. Later, my colleagues and friends suggested that the word “Post-Pandemic” fits our situation more, so the name was changed.

袁:我刚刚有听您提到“后疫情时代”(这个项目),我们有注意到您的公众号在前几期的推文当中是将名字取名为“后非典时代”,第十期的时候改名为“后疫情时代”,想问下是因为什么(原因)会有一个名称上的转变?

苏:因为刚爆发的时候(我们)并没有想到这一次的疫情会这么严重,当时真的没想到,我就是打了个比喻,如果说当年的非典对我们所有人来说是一次感冒的话,那么这次疫情对大家来说更严重,像一场住院。我(本来)想,经过一段时间,这个疫情可能就退却了,解决掉了,但事实上(我们)没有想到它的周期这么长,这一次人类面对这个问题是那么的艰巨。因为我们知道,非典其实在半年时间(内),它就自然消退了,所以最早我提出来的(推文标题)是“后非典”,让我们不要忘记非典给我们带来的所有影响,而且我当时也意识到这一次一定会给全球,无论是经济还是文化、艺术方方面面都会带来很深远的影响,但是没有想到(疫情)周期那么长。(所以)后来很多朋友、同事反映,他们觉得应该提“后疫情时代”(作为标题)更好,后来就改过来了。我觉得“后疫情时代”更恰当。

 

Nerissa: Yes, I agree with you. I’d like to ask whether there are any artists that impressed you during the process of your call for artworks? Would you like to tell us about these artists or their artworks?

SU: Sure. You have reminded me of two artists. The one which especially impressed is her name is Shuai Wang from Henan province. She produced hundreds of black-and-white illustrations throughout the pandemic, this series of illustrations is called “Stories and Living Beings during the Pandemic”. After the completion, we helped her to publish it, the response was great, with tens of thousands of hits and a lot of attention, including media reports about her across China. She used hundreds of illustrations to describe her feelings, her friends’, and the conditions of people during the whole pandemic.

There is another artist who is an internet celebrity in China, named Jingyi ZHU. I interviewed him during the pandemic, and, he has produced some artwork in that time.

No one suspected that there were problems of health which affected his work and even his whole life hugely. These two artists are the ones who really impressed me.

In addition, something regrettable happened during the pandemic last year (2020). Some of our art colleagues have left the industry for different reasons, physical or circumstantial, some of them were good friends.  I always feel sad when talking about these things.  Therefore, I think the pandemic really is forcing us to re-recognize and rethink different aspects of the whole world, whether as artists or as arts-practitioners.

袁:那想请问一下在“后疫情时代”这个项目当中,在艺术征集的过程中,您有印象非常深刻的艺术家或者他们的艺术作品可以介绍(给我们)吗?

苏:这个我倒是可以推荐一两位,到时候可以把资料都发给你们。尤其(印象深刻的)是一位来自河南的80后女性艺术家,叫王帅。她在整个疫情期间一共创作了几百幅的黑白插画,创作了一个系列叫作“疫情故事和众生相”。这一个系列做完以后,我们也帮她做了推送,反响特别好,有上万的点击量和关注,包括全国很多媒体对这个艺术家(进行)报道。她是通过几百张的插画描述了整个疫情期间她的感受以及她身边朋友的感受,以及人们的一些状态。同时她在疫情期间组织了几百个在家(创作)的艺术爱好者,主要是女性(艺术家)为主,组了一个社群。因为这次疫情也会对很多人的心理上造成一些影响,有些人长时间不出门,他/她会有孤独症,有些人找不到一个(情绪宣泄的)出口,那么她组织这样一个叫作“画画那点事”的社群(互助艺术家),这个社群到现在还在,还非常活跃。我觉得她这两个方面:一个方面是自己的创作,另外一方面是她组织的这个社群, 对大家在疫情期间起了很好的作用,甚至是说艺术起到了治愈的效果。所以这个艺术家我是重点推荐的。

另外还有一位艺术家是国内的网红艺术家,叫朱敬一。在疫情期间我对他进行了采访,他也做了创作,但是没有想到疫情后期他自己生病了,他生了一场大病。这个是我们都没有想到的,和疫情(新冠)没有关系,是他自己生了一场大病。但是因为这场大病,包括这次疫情,对他的整个人生,包括创作,也都起了很大的影响。所以我是觉得去年的这个疫情,这两位艺术家的情况是比较突出的。

另外,去年疫情中间也发生了一些事情,我可以讲一讲,有一些我们艺术的同行,可能因为身体的原因,也因为特殊的情况,离开了这个世界,(其中)也有我几个特别好的朋友,这个事情说起来也是非常得令人感伤。所以我觉得整个疫情让艺术家也好,和从事这些工作的工作人员也好,对这个世界,对各个方面都有了重新的认知和思考。

 

Nerissa: You have conducted a lot of interviews with both foreign and domestic artists, like the Italian artist Salvo Pastorello. Have you found any differences among those artists in different regions during the pandemic, such as the difference of their artworks or their creative mindset, especially the differences between those Artists from Europe and from China?

SU: You have asked a great question.  All the interviewed Artists who are from countries outside China had visited China before. They said they had a great affection for China and really wanted to visit China again soon.  They were very when I interviewed them, and they told me that it reminded them that they still had friends in China who were taking care of them.  This is the first point. Another point is that they were happy to have the chance to express themselves and talk about their art.

袁:是的,我们也注意到您不仅访谈了中国的艺术家,然后也访谈了一些外国的艺术家,比如说意大利的沙沃·帕斯特雷洛(Salvo Pastorello)。我想请问一下您,他们在疫情期间的创作的作品以及他们对疫情的一种心态与中国的艺术家有什么区别呢?

苏:你这个话题挺好的,因为是这样的,我采访的几个(外国)艺术家都是来过中国的,他们对中国有很深厚的感情,然后他们特别渴望回到中国(笑),特别想回来。当我对他们做采访的时候,他们特别开心,就是感觉到中国的朋友还在关心他们,这是一个(方面),另外一方面他们觉得通过疫情他们也能够有一个发声的平台,这让他们也是开心的。但实际上我又感觉国外这几位我访谈的艺术家要比国内艺术家的情绪要糟糕得很多,他们的这个情绪比国内艺术家悲观。为什么呢?因为国内在4、5月份以后就基本上都开始恢复了,无论是交通、交流、工作、生活都逐渐地恢复,但是国外还不是那么稳定。而且这几位艺术家可能原来也是在中国待过,所以他们对中国有感情,但现在又回不来,然后在中国、在国外的一些展览计划都被打乱。所以我能感受到,第一,他们非常渴望能够回到正常生活和创作的轨道;第二,就是这次的疫情对他们的创作是有打击的,整个创作热情我感觉到是有所下降,因为不能和人去交流了。

 

Nerissa: Since we are here, I would like to know whether you have noticed the different policies for artists adopted in different countries during the pandemic?

SU: As far as I know, some those artists in America, France and Germany have already got some state support but there are still people in other countries who have not received any yet. For instance, the Italian artist Pastorello, he said that “The Government doesn’t care about us.”, and “I didn’t get support”.

袁:那我想请问一下,因为中外的政府是对艺术家有采取不同的政策,您对这些方面有了解过吗?

苏:这个话题有所了解,据我了解,当然不是很精准,我知道在美国的艺术家,在法国的艺术家,在德国的艺术家,好像这几个国家的艺术家都拿到了一些补贴。但是好像有些国家(的艺术家)就没拿到,比如我采访的那个艺术家,帕斯特雷沃,意大利的艺术家,他说“政府不关心我们”(笑),“我没拿到补贴”,可能各个国家的政策不一样。

 

Nerissa: Then I would like to ask about your thoughts on the recovery of the artworld.  In your three articles of “Post-Pandemic2020—New Fields”, you have focused on the post-pandemic development of some rural regions in China.   With this in mind, we would like to ask you to discuss the future development of the art market?

SU: I prefer to focus this on China which I am more familiar with. The art market in China has undergone tremendous changes in the past few years with several distinctive features. The first one is that as a result of the rapid development of the Internet, more people have joined the arts industry, which has created more possibilities for the spread of information about art to take place a lot faster.  This is especially the case in China’s first-tier cities. Similarly, we found more information about exhibitions or news all over the world.

The second aspect is, in China, Art is becoming more and more trans-industry and inter-disciplinary. Today in China, there are different exhibitions held not only in the museums or galleries but also in some public commercial spaces, such as shopping centres and plazas which is a characteristic feature of the spread of exhibitions in China.

The third aspect is that Art in China today is more “down-to-earth”. Art does not just appear in galleries, it has gone into our daily lives, appearing in streets and communities, even rural areas. Although, I have to say, that Japan is best at moving Art into the countryside—like the “Echigo-Tsumari Art Field” held every three years.  However, many villages that have their own features are also integrating Art with their distinctive cultures to achieve rural revitalisation. This is also a trend now in China. Now we’re in a digital era, this digital tendency is promoting not just the development of digital and multimedia art but also the cohesive collaboration of Art and Technology.

Meanwhile, the digital continues to influence the art world of the future. The “poping art” (the artistic style popular with the young people) raised by young artists is a major direction of digitisation.  This phenomenon is controversial.  My own position is that it is a positive development, while some art practitioners do not think so as they have traditional perspectives, and they hold dismissive attitudes toward its impact on the art market.

袁:是的,国家政策对艺术家的收入来源其实是有一定影响的,这方面我们也是有感受到。然后我们就想请问一下您对于艺术经济以后复苏(情况)的看法,因为我们有注意到在《2020后疫情时代——新田野》的三篇文章当中,您有聚焦到中国疫情后乡村的一些发展,我们想请问一下您对(整个)艺术(行业)以后的发展有什么看法?

苏:我觉得国内这几年,我不说全世界,我就说中国,中国这几年整个的艺术市场的变化巨大,有几个鲜明的特征。第一个,因为互联网和移动互联网让更多的人加入到了艺术的这个行业,也让更多的艺术类的资讯和信息,尤其在国内的一线城市,得到了非常快速和好的普及,我们可以看到很多国际的展览,国际的艺术资讯,这是一方面。第二个方面就是在国内,艺术越来越破圈和跨界,(这种现象)特别得明显,这个是中国的特色。今天在中国,不仅在美术馆和画廊可以看到展览,同时你会在各个商场,以及很多的公共空间看到展览,尤其是商业的公共空间、商业中心,有很多的展览,这个是国外也没有的,这是中国的一个特色。第三点就是艺术正在降维,艺术不仅仅是在美术馆,它走进了公共空间,走进了商业中心,走进了日常的生活,走进了街区、社区,甚至还走进了乡村。当然了,艺术走进乡村做得最好的可能是日本,(比如)“越后妻有大地艺术祭”,但是现在随着国内的乡村振兴,很多有特色的乡村也在让艺术和文创,和乡村振兴融合,很多艺术家都到乡村去创作,所以这个(特征)也是特别明显的。第四点我是觉得因为数字化时代,尤其最近(的)数字艺术、多媒体艺术,艺术和科技的融合在未来对国内的艺术发展也有极大的影响,而在这其中,同时还有年轻人的潮流艺术也是国内现在的一个主要方向。所以这是我目前(在)大框架(下)简单地讲讲我个人的想法,总体我觉得是乐观的,但是很多传统的艺术工作者对艺术市场(的态度)是不乐观的。

 

Nerissa: What do you think could be the negative aspects?

SU: Their lacking optimism reflects various aspects.  As I’ve said before, the domestic art market is experiencing a rapid change in the economy, technology and culture.  I would call this a kind of “iteration”.  During this “iteration”, it is unavoidable that those arts-practitioners holding a conservative view that they cannot keep up with the times. For instance, there are lots of young artists who use social media platforms to post their artworks, such as WeChat, Facebook or Instagram, but those traditional artists won’t do that. What’s more, there is an increasing number of artists born in the 1990s, who have been abroad studying art and come back to China to work as arts practitioners.

I was always joking that the art market was like a piece of cheese.  Previously there were few people sharing the cheese but now there probably thousands of people, which is tenfold number of before, as a result, the competition inside must be much more intense.

袁:他们的不乐观主要是体现在哪里?

苏:他们的不乐观体现在几个方面,因为这几年,我前面也说了,国内整个的艺术市场,包括经济、文化各个方面变化特别大,这个叫迭代吧,迭代得特别快,而在这种迭代特别快的过程之中,很多的传统思维,很多(艺术家)还是抱有着原有的那种对艺术理解的传统思维的那些创作者会跟不上,会适应不了。比如说现在很多年轻艺术家都要用社交(平台),微信,Facebook这些,那么对很多(有)传统思维的艺术家,可能他在这些思维上会跟不上。第二,因为现在有越来越多的90后的年轻艺术家,他们都在国外读过书,在国外受过艺术类的教育,回国以后从事艺术类的工作,这些人群现在是(在)扩大。所以我开玩笑说,这个艺术品市场,我们把它叫作这块奶酪,这块奶酪也不是很大(笑),原来可能就几百个人在吃这块奶酪,而今天,可能是几千个人,十倍以上的数量,那么这个竞争也加大了。再加上这几年,整个欧洲的经济市场也不是特别理想,因为在过去有一段时间,很多国外的收藏家购买中国艺术家的作品,这几年(数量)也都会下降,这个(情况)对传统思维的这些艺术工作者来说,(让)他们确实对(艺术)市场并不是那么乐观,这个也是正常的。

 

Nerissa: You have talked about an “iteration” caused by digitalisation, and we are currently using the digital technique to conduct activities like art exhibiting, so could you tell us what you think about the combination of Art and Technology?

SU: I see this combination as two-sided. It has both benefits and drawbacks. The benefit of it is that it could allow art to have more potential to be created using new methods, and its ability to spread art offers more possibilities for art to be accessed by more people.  In addition, it also makes it easier to engage art in our daily life, watching live events or broadcasts, for instance, this feature is enhanced with the application of 5G.

We now have more ways of interacting online and can access more exhibitions and art events, like the exhibition of “teamLab” in Japan was held in China in that way.  This is my point; the technology helps people access art and feel its charm in a more convenient way for people who are not on the site to engage the live events remotely.

However, the technologising of our world leads us to lack humanistic care.  When we’re going to some exhibitions of new-media art and multimedia art, our focus would be more about the visual stuffs rather than the resonance of humanity. This is also a significant phenomenon of our current situation.

Totally, the benefit is greater than the drawback.  According to the development of art history, from the classicism to the impressionism, the invention of the camera, computer, telephone or smartphone, step by step, every artistic revolution or campaign has an aspect of technological promotion. Therefore, if we take a long-term view of our situation, it seems technology will have a positive tendency, but it is inevitable that there would be drawbacks when we move forward and develop.

袁:您刚刚有提到,我们现在已经进入了一个互联网时代,所有的事物都在快速地迭代,我们也有运用互联网技术来进行我们的艺术策展之类的活动,想请问一下您对于科技与艺术结合的观点和看法。

苏:科技和艺术的结合我觉得是双刃剑,有利有弊。利就是它(科技)确实在推进艺术的创新,也让更多的人走近艺术、了解艺术,并且介入到艺术生活中,它起到了便利的作用,比如说我们现在很多展览的开幕可以用到直播的方式,我们不一定要去现场,就能够感受到现场(的氛围),甚至未来随着5G技术的提高,我们(可以)更加身临其境,通过多媒体的方式、交互的方式,更能够感触(艺术展览),包括像日本的teamLab这样的艺术在国内展出。这就是我觉得有利的(方面),科技帮助人们更深切地了解艺术,感受到艺术的魅力,方便了大家,比如不在一线城市的很多人,他/她可以通过远程去了解到这些东西。

但是不利的一面也会存在,当过于得科技化之后,大部分作品的人文关怀度少了很多。有时候你去看一些新媒体展、多媒体展,你会看得眼花缭乱,更多的是一种感官的刺激,而缺少了一些人文关怀,我觉得这个也是蛮凸显的一个情况。

总体来说它(艺术和科技的结合)是往好的方面发展的,因为我们从人类艺术史的发展(来看),从古典艺术到印象派,照相机的诞生,电脑的诞生,到手机,智能手机诞生,其实一步一步到现在,我们会发现,每一次艺术的运动,或者说大的革命、大的转变,其实背后都是因为技术在推动着它(艺术)。所以我是觉得,从长远的角度看是好事,它(科技)一定是起到了推动的作用,在这个迭代的过程之中,当然也有不如意的地方,这也是正常的。

 

Nerissa: That’s true, sometimes we miss the importance of humanistic care.

SU: Definitely.  Your question before tends to be more about the relation between art and technology, so I will say it is more positive if we look at this combination of art and technology as a whole.  It should be revolutionary, especially the advancing techniques of mobile Internet, artificial intelligence, they must be beneficial, but what we need to do is to take them as two-sided, to let ourselves be more objective to avoid losing our humanistic quality of art.

袁:是的,(有时候)就会忽略掉一些艺术(关怀)方面的东西。

苏:对,(因为)你提的问题是艺术和科技的关系,(所以)我觉得总体上,长远来说一定是好的,它一定是革命性的,尤其现在移动互联网、人工智能、大数据、传感器这些技术一定都是好的,但它事实上也是双刃剑,我们也要去更多地考虑,所有创造出来的作品是不是有一些人文的关怀,对人是有帮助的。

 

Nerissa: You’ve said that the artwork of Shuai WANG is a long-term plan, this reminds me of the CC plan. As a project themed around connecting and communicating, it does have the potential to keep ongoing. I would like to know whether you’ve thought about that?

SU: Definitely, it was intended to be a long-lasting program. Likewise, the Post-pandemic Era is part of long-term planning. It is expected to last about three years and we are looking forward to having an exhibition in 2023.  Here, we will perform all our works during these three years, such as CC Plan, our interviews with artists, artistic creation, etc.

袁:您刚刚有提到王帅老师的艺术计划是一个长期的运作,想问一下您,CC计划既然这是以沟通和连接为主题的一个计划,那您有考虑过将CC计划作为一个长期的发展项目吗?

苏:对的,这肯定是要作为一个长期的(项目),其实我们当时提出“后疫情时代”这个艺术计划的时候,我们的推文下面是有备注说这也是个长期计划,大概计划是(进行)三年,我们是希望到三年以后,我们会把过去三年这方面相关的工作,包括访谈,包括一些艺术家的创作,包括CC计划,我们最后希望三年以后会有一个落地的展览,也就是到2023年(实现)的样子。

 

Nerissa: That would be great!  You have said that the artists you interviewed had talked about the obstacles presented by living and working during pandemic, well, for my part, I know, that there are also artists in need of a platform to be shown to the public, this is a main factor of establishing R-Lab.  R-Lab is aiming to provide more exposure for the artworld to have more potential to develop, in the context of looking at the pandemic as a Pivot. We are aware that you have contacted the young artists group by curating an exhibition with some of them, called “Deep in the Life”. Therefore, with the young artists group in mind, could you talk about what they might find meaningful from our project of the “Pivot Culture”?

SU: Do you want to to talk about the “Deep in the Life” exhibition? Or?

袁:了解了。因为您刚刚也提到您之前采访的西方艺术家,他们可能会有生活上或者工作上的一些阻碍,而且根据我们的了解,也有一些艺术家们急需一个平台去展示他们的思考(和作品),这也是我们以“疫情下的转变”为这次项目主体的原因之一,我们想对一些刚刚踏入艺术领域的工作者提供思考方向和展示空间。我们有注意到您有一个“生活深处”的青年艺术家联展,所以您也曾经接触过青年艺术家这个群体。所以我们想请教您,您认为我们这一次“疫情转折文化”的主题可以为青年艺术家这个群体提供怎样的讨论点呢?

苏:你最后一个问题是说我们“生活深处”的那个展览吗,还是?

Nerissa: I mean could you take that experience as a way of scoping the young artists group and plot some ways they can benefit from our “Pivot Culture” program?

SU: Got you. I don’t know much about the specific situation of the UK, but you have mentioned that basically you are still holding exhibitions online.  On our situation in China, basically 70%-80% of exhibitions are able to be held physically, the young artists group in China now is very active, so with that in mind, I think it would be great for you to invite some of them to contribute to your program on “Pivot Culture”, because they could contribute to the post-pandemic view of art-making and rethinking the different situations, and different cultures could bring more possibilities for all of you.

In addition, from my point of view, the key thing you might to consider is: What kind of platform are you going to offer? How could they participate in it? And the last which may take the most amount of care – how are their artworks are going to be hosted on your platform?

袁:是我们有注意到您的这个展览为很多的青年艺术家提供了平台,所以我们想请教一下您,根据我们这一次“疫情转折点”的主题,(您)能为青年艺术家提供怎样的讨论点和思考方向?

苏:好的,我不知道现在英国那边的情况,当然你刚才也说了,现在很多都是通过线上的方式来做展览。那么国内现在的展览基本上恢复到之前的70~80%,都比较正常(运作)了,很多美术馆很多艺术空间都开了。所以明显可以看得出,从去年下半年到现在,国内的青年艺术家的创作,包括展览都已经很活跃了。我觉得你们提的“转折点”,包括整个概念非常好,可以让更多的国内的艺术家也可以参与到你们这个计划里面来,我觉得他们肯定是非常感兴趣参与的,你们能够提供一个合适的平台让他们一起来参与,我觉得这个是关键:提供什么样的平台,他们用什么样的方式参与,最后是他们也很关心的最终的呈现方式。

 

Nerissa: Could you give us some advice for us to promote our works or ways of hosting artworks?

SU: You could host and exhibit all your work in this digitally. We’ve launched a project that could cooperate with you guys. The people born after the 1990s are called Gen Z right? I think you’re the same. There is a group called  LineZ, its members are the students studying abroad, they are all Gen Z. They have their own platform which we are supporting, and they want to hold an exhibition in the latter part of this year, themed on Gen Z. This would be held both online and physically, so I think you could co-operate with them.

袁:您在呈现方式上面有什么可以提供(给)我们参考的意见,让我们学习一下?

苏:我觉得完全可以用线上的方式来呈现,正好我们今年还发起了一个计划,我觉得这样的计划可以跟你们做链接。我们现在的95后叫做Z时代,对吧?我想你们也是95后的Z时代。他们有一个Line Z的这样的一个小组,组织的成员基本上有在美国读书的,有在英国的,他们都是95后。他们现在有了这样的一个小组,然后他们有一个自己的平台,我们也在支持他们。可能在今年的下半年,他们想组织一个Z时代的艺术展,这个展是线上和线下都有(进行),我觉得他们也可以加入到你们这个计划,或者跟你们的计划进行合作。

Nerissa: That sounds interesting, we could talk about that after the interview. Well, thank you for accepting our invitation and talking with us, Bing SU, it’s so nice to have you here.

袁:好的,到时候可以商量一下合作细节(笑)。谢谢苏冰老师,我们今天的采访就结束了,谢谢您的配合。

 

Topics of Art in the Post-pandemic Era

As a result of this talk, R-Lab has prepared two interesting topics, please feel free to interact with us on our social media and share your thoughts on the following topics, or submit to our mailbox: r-lab.curating@outlook.com

经过本次访谈,R-Lab准备了两个有趣的话题,欢迎和我们的社交媒体互动并交流你对于这两个话题的想法,或者投稿至我们的邮箱:r-lab.curating@outlook.com

Artistic Healing

In the interview, Bing mentions a female artist in Henan, China: Shuai WANG. She created a series of black and white illustrations during the pandemic which called “Stories of the Pandemic and the Lives of People”, and her hundreds of illustrations depicting feelings and the state of she and her friends during the pandemic, these artworks received a lot of attention. She also organised an art community called ‘Painting and Drawing’, in which hundreds of artists exchanged artistic creations and used art to comfort each other’s anxious feelings during the pandemic. Bing believes that this can be described as ‘art having a healing effect’.

  • Share a work of art that you think has healed you and briefly explain why
  • Share the experience of how art has healed you
  • Share an artwork/act that you have created that has healed you/others

艺术治愈

在访谈中,苏冰提到了中国河南一位女性艺术家:王帅。她在疫情期间创作了一个黑白插画系列,叫作“疫情故事和众生相”,她通过这几百张插画描绘了疫情期间她和身边朋友的感受和状态,受到了广泛关注。同时她还在疫情期间组织了一个叫作“画画那点事”的艺术社群,与几百位艺术家在其中交流艺术创作,用艺术安慰彼此在疫情下焦虑的心情。苏冰认为这可以说是“艺术起到了治愈的效果”。

  • 分享你认为治愈过你的艺术作品,并简单谈谈理由。
  • 分享艺术治愈你的经历
  • 分享你创作过的治愈自己/他人的艺术作品/行为

Humanism in Art

In the interview, Bing answers our question about the relationship between technology and art. He believes that in the long run, it is good for technology to drive the development of art, because “every movement, or big revolution, or big transformation in art is actually driven by technology”, but he also believes that this “double-edged sword” also has a downside, that is, when art becomes too technological, it may simply pursue sensory stimulation and lack humanistic care.

  • Share a work that you think shows a humanistic approach to art, and briefly explain why
  • Can art with technology bring humanism to the table?
  • Where do you think humanism in art can be found? From the actual work? From the connotations conveyed? Or from the whole artistic atmosphere?

艺术的人文关怀

在访谈中,苏冰回答了我们关于“科技与艺术关系”的问题,他认为从长远来看,科技推动艺术发展是好事,因为“每一次艺术的运动,或者说大的革命、大的转变,其实背后都是因为技术推动着”,但同时他也认为这把“双刃剑”也有弊端,那就是艺术过于科技化后,可能会单纯追求感官刺激,而缺少了人文关怀。

  • 分享你认为呈现过艺术人文关怀的作品,并简单谈谈理由。
  • 科技下的艺术能否带来人文关怀?
  • 你认为的艺术人文关怀可以体现在哪里?体现在实际作品?体现在作品传达的内涵?还是整体的艺术氛围?

 

Staff

Host: Nerissa YUAN
Contact Person: Ifance FAN, Christy YANG
Planner: Christy YANG
Text: Christy YANG, Ifance FAN
Translator: Jiaqi GAO, Christy YANG
Proofreading: Calum BAIRD