12 Art Pioneers Shared Frontier Perceptions on Art, Innovation, the Public, and Interdisciplinary Empowerment

SHANGHAI, CHINA - Media OutReach - 28 November 2019 - The "Art Hyperconnectivity" International Forum hosted by The Art Newspaper China came to a successful closure during Shanghai Art Week. Twelve art pioneers including local and international artists, curators, directors of art foundations, art patrons, and urban culture brand shapers shared their ample experiences and perceptions on issues related to history and culture, human existence and technological evolution, weaving of creative contents and linking of public projects led by art galleries and institutions, globally and locally diverse connections enabled by international art festivals, and new brand culture as well as regional development engine launched by art patrons and urban culture brand shapers, from the three dimensions of "Art and Innovation," "Art and Public," and "Art and Empowerment."

Forum speakers included Cao Fei, Chen Danqing, Pansy Ho, Liu Chuang, Bérénice Angremy, Christl Baur, Ole Bouman, Axelle de Buffevent, Mario Mainetti, Christoph Noe, Denis Penet, and Mariano Sardón.

Art and Innovation

Rethinking the Value of Humanity at the Age of Technological and Social Change

The forum's first section in the theme of "Art and Innovation" delved into the issue of how to broaden and expand the innovation and connection of diverse thinking dimensions based on artists' creation, interdisciplinary research on art and neuroscience, and working patterns of art festivals.

Technological and cultural innovation in the society was what Liu Chuang explored and researched into as an artist. He remarked that "the environment in which these innovations took place and the dynamic systems established by these new conditions always hang upon the idea of 'ruins'." Ranging from museums, galleries, the birth of modern knowledge system, to the aliens and alien planets relevant to the vanishing minorities in Steven Spielberg's movies, "it is apparent that the destruction and construction of culture occur simultaneously, and new cultural imagination is also the fruit of the vanishing cultural ruins."

Artist Cao Fei started her speech with a series of questions pinpointing the root of "Art Hyperconnectivity," and emphasized that the works of artists should be more open-minded, open to and tapped into the practical social realm, and consequently broaden the span of artistic subjects. Meanwhile, Cao also warned against the excessive connection among art, consumption, and trend. In view of her observations on Shanghai Art Week, Cao stated that "to take into account merely consumerist artworks, current artistic trends and fads, and to reconstruct second-hand art creation on the basis of second-hand experience, would inevitably result in another kind of ruins which are of no benefits, even if it brings forth temporary yet fleeting prosperity." As Cao averred, "I am exceedingly concerned about our current situations." 

Art and Public

Shaping New Community Connections and Urban Development Patterns

Spanning from Wuzhen, the ancient town of rivers and lakes, to Shenzhen, the southern city, to Aries in the south of France, and Macao, with a blending of Chinese and Portuguese Culture, art galleries, design centers, and urban arts festivals such as international photography festival have significantly activated the connections of domestic and overseas cultures. Interactions among communities in terms of urban planning are on-going, so is the resource reintegration of arts, tourism, and economics. In addition, the developmental dimension and space of "Art and the Public" is expanding.

Artist, Director of Mu Xin Museum in Wuzhen, Chen Danqing held the opinion that there were no discrepancies between urban arts and suburban arts, as he remarked that "apart from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, art institutions are now emerging in a large amount of cities and regions; holding Wuzhen Theatre Festival and Wuzhen International Contemporary Art Festival could not only make it possible for the locals to enjoy world-class artworks but also attract people from all over the country to visit." Ole Bouman, Founding Director of Design Society, stated: "The core of Design Society is to establish connections, and we will devote ourselves into transforming business decisions along with major decisions at certain historical periods under the guidance of specific policies into valuable experiences for everyday life of the public. Throughout this whole process, the role of Design Society would be 'facility supplier', and the audience would be the creator of culture."

All forum speakers proposed the conception of "human-oriented," while throughout the process of shaping urban culture brands. Pansy Ho, the Co-Chairman and Executive Director of MGM China Holdings Limited, stated: "As a lifestyle and a social platform, culture and art events could tap into people's everyday life, and become the soft power that unites communities and regions. Taking up the responsibilities of an urban planner, we should make good use of public art resources and transform them into public properties and social benefits. Moreover, it would be of great significance to introduce public art into integrated resorts and mixed-use properties, so that more social development dividend could be created and shared." Speaking of the plan for art development in Macao for the next decade, Ho indicated that "While Macao government will take effective actions in aspect of art education," we are "sparing no efforts in terms of capital and resources." Ho was in the hope that "art would be a sustainable industry, " and that "more youngsters would take an active part and set up a burgeoning industry of great diversity."

Art and Empowerment

Originating from the Diversity and Creative New Dynamic of Brands

The third section of this forum, "Art and Empowerment", was to invite directors of art foundations and projects of international brands, critiques of interdisciplinary art events to discuss how art could bring forth new creative force and energy in light of their personal experiences and in the aim of fostering a new creative dynamic.

Mario Mainetti, Head of Research and Publications of Fondazione Prada, introduced art and culture events held by the foundation since its inception in 1995, which encompassed contemporary art, performance art, music, photography, architecture. Fondazione Prada has also successfully held four art exhibitions so far in Prada Rong Zhai in Shanghai since March 2018, including a solo exhibition of Liu Ye and the on-going exhibition "Li Qing: Rear Windows." "Although we did not underscore the brand of Prada, it certainly shaped up a larger dynamic in cooperation with foundations, and facilitate more comprehensive collaborations in art projects," Mainetti said. Denis Penet, Associated Art Curator, Audemars Piguet introduced the background, mechanisms and projects of Audemars Piguet Art Commission. In light of its brand philosophy "Mastery, Innovation and Independence ," the art commission projects attach great importance to the experimentality of artworks and the conversations among society, science, and pop culture. Axelle de Buffevent, Style Director of Martell Mumm Perrier-Jouët, elaborated on specific cases of the dynamic integration of design and the champagne house. In accordance with its artistic conceptions of "Everyday Aesthetics," "Inspirations from Nature," "Art Synthesis," and "Craftsmanship," Perrier-Jouët encouraged the conversations among artists, designers, and the brand, while at the same time invites artists to participate in product designs, and thereby spread its brand aesthetics.

"Art Hyperconnectivity," organized by Modern Media with Lead Partner Mercedes-Benz, is the pivotal of a series of events themed with "Power of Art" during Shanghai Art Week this November, with MGM China being the Forum Partner. These thematic art events also included "Asia Art Pioneers" award ceremony held during the art week and the featured exhibition "Sometimes You're the Hammer, Sometimes You're the Nail" organized by Art Review and Art Review Asia at ZiWU; the exhibition will run utill January 12, 2020.

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