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Zekun Yang’s Peer review to Chang Yu

What you do well:

1. Sensitive to the natural environment and social atmosphere of my life, and able to use some ways, such as curating exhibitions, to reflect your cognition of the changes in your environment.

2. You have fully considered the relationship between the exhibits and the venue, whether it is suitable for indoor exhibition, and whether the presentation of the exhibits can be adjusted to suit the indoor environment. You also consider the effect of the changing light in the exhibition venue on the interpretation of the work, and prepare to adjust the light and shade to match the display of the exhibits. It was an act of great care.

3. You have fully explained the meaning of each work and the fit between the work and your curated theme, which can make readers fully trust the feasibility of your work and this exhibition. Moreover, you have contact and adequate communication with artists, which is conducive to strengthening cooperation between both sides and jointly enhancing the connotation of artworks.

4. There are correlations between several blogs, which can be seen in the transition. They have been thinking about how historical and contemporary works respectively present the same theme, and how to show the change of times and the update of expression techniques through the comparison of ancient and modern.


What I think can be improved or can be communicated: 

1. You didn’t introduce your planned curatorial theme at the beginning of the blog. If I were a curator and I wanted to introduce my plan to others, or I wanted to sort out my plan by myself, I think it is more clear to establish the curatorial theme first and put the theme words or the title of this curatorial exhibition on the home page. In this way, all readers can first understand the theme of the exhibition, instead of sorting out the information themselves in the curator’s narrative to deduce what the curator wants to convey.

2. I see you are ready to use the blooming rose and the withered rose as symbols. I suggest that more fresh roses be prepared and brought to the venue to prevent falling roses and other situations during the exhibition. The rose in full bloom is always alive.

3. I think there are a few details worth blogging about. For example, if you finally decide on “The shape of immortality” as the theme of the exhibition, will the concept and connotation of the theme be fully presented in the blog? While it’s possible to get the details through your PowerPoint and videos, I think it’s more intuitive to present the theme interpretation in text alongside the work interpretation.

Secondly, if I were writing the final summary, I would explain to the readers of the blog how the exhibits are arranged and where each type of exhibit is located. Because from the above I can know that you want to choose a variety of art types, not only paintings, but also image projection and other works. Various types of works are exhibited in venues with limited environment. It is necessary to arrange the location reasonably, adjust the light, and even cooperate with background music for exhibition. Is it possible to think about the arrangement of the exhibits?

Then, on how to get feedback from visitors, this is a topic I would like to discuss with you. Because my exhibition is also a subject that I hope to inspire the audience to think about themselves, I also hope to discuss with the audience. But so far I have not come up with a way to get feedback that can cooperate with the exhibition. In the tutorial with Jake, Jake once suggested that I can use two-dimensional code to collect feedback from visitors, and I agreed with this way. But how do you inspire the audience to think? I see you are going to use the withered rose and the blooming rose as a guide. Besides this way, is it possible to ask questions? Not only to introduce the works with words, explain the concept, but also to introduce the various suspense of the exhibition through a few short sentences? Looking forward to discussing ways to get feedback with you.

4. I would like to recommend something about “existentialism” according to the theme of your exhibition and the thoughts on “life” and “death” that you want to express. Taking Heidegger’s theory as an example, “exist” and “death” already exist in the world, and death can happen to a person at any time, which is a sure thing. To acknowledge death is to acknowledge the finite nature of human beings (Martin Heidegger, 1926) and not to be altered by changes in human activity. Can we discuss the mentality with which human beings can face such certainty and limitation?

Here I would like to share a poem written by one of my college classmates, but because the poem has not been published, I am sorry that I cannot find the quote —

我要去人世间了(I am going to the world


我一定早去早回(I’ll be there and back early

For him, the cycle of human life is death — alive — death. This is one of the most interesting ideas I know about the origin of life. Humans return to death not because the end is death but because the beginning is death. Since we come from death and return to the arms of “death”, why should we respond negatively?


Update :

Response to the question that Chang  raised.

1. How can we reflect on death through our work to live better in the present?

Firstly, I was surprised that Chang used the word ‘reflection’ to discuss death. As for me, ‘reflection’ means doing something that needs to be improved, but death is the only thing that can be confirmed to happen in life and there is no right or wrong. So I prefer to use the words ‘think of’ in conjunction with ‘death’.

In my opinion, there are many kinds of works that contemplate death, such as the ancient Egyptian m-wall paintings, which detail the life of the tomb owner, from the details of his life to the practices after his death ( Such a detailed record of a person’s life can show that the tomb owner was proud to have lived a full life. When we consider ‘death’ as part of life, does it not take some of the fear out of it? In turn, we are able to live our lives more openly and relaxed. No longer will the fear of death make us shy away from trying new things —— for fear of death.

Or we could approach life with a “don’t care about the consequences” mentality. If this is the case, the artworks could be very exciting unstructured beautiful or pessimistic. It could be a visual work of art or a literary work. For example, Lettera a un bambino mai nato(Letters to an Unborn Child) (Oriana Fallaci, 1978) is a book in which a mother dissects the unknowns and pains of life to her child, telling him or her that life can be a time of loss and despair, but that the mother continues to face the unknown. This literary work presents the viewer with a more nuanced view of life in a written narrative.

2. How does the view of life and death presented in the work reflect the different cultural backgrounds and religions?

To use the content of a work to reflect a religious connotation, it is necessary to consider the teachings reflected in the work. In Buddhism, for example, there is an afterlife. In Taoism, for example, the Taoist sutra says, “The way of immortality is precious to life, and there is no limit to the number of people who can be saved. (The Sutra of the Crossing of the People), “度人经云,仙道贵生,度人无量。(《渡人经》)which emphasises the value of human life and opposes suicide.

But this requires the visitors or the curators themselves to have a knowledge base of the various existing views on life and death and to judge the content of the work through their own background. Otherwise a textual introduction is needed to actively interpret the views on life and death contained in the work. 



Reference :


2Oriana Fallaci 1978.Lettera a un bambino mai nato.Doubleday

3Taishang Dongxuan Lingbao Unmeasured Human Supreme SutraNorth-South Dynasties(420-589)

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