SEE/SAW :Collective Practice in China Now

Today, we are excited to bring you coverage of SEE/SAW: Collective Practice in China Now at The Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing, from our partner ArtSpy, a website based in Beijing, P.R.China that is committed to establishing a platform for global artistic information. This article has been translated from Chinese to English.

SEE/SAW Collective Practice in China Now was an exhibition held at Ullens Center of Contemporary Art between November and December last year, presenting the collective artistic practice of China today. 14 groups were invited to appear in sets of two or three every week and the installations were conducted by the artists themselves. All of the collective practices highlighted the nature of action and sense of judgment. The free play under an open theme, had expressed the code of understanding. Collective practice challenges radical ideas and they were presented here in their entirety. It was more similar to a collective presentation of the groups than an “exhibition”. For over a month, the keynote of this event became the differences between the groups and strong sense of individualism that were shown throughout the exhibtion.

12.11.20-11.25   A Diaodui + Double Fly Art Center 

A Diaodui reported at UCCA between 2-4pm everyday and performed different tasks each day i.e. practicing calligraphy, writing couplets, chatting, painting and sleeping.

Double Fly Art Center had painted on the walls everyday over the course of a week. The Little Black House in the middle of exhibition hall was like the secret base of Double Fly Art Center, no visitors were allowed in. (Later on it was discovered that this was the prelude to The Double Fly Prequel.)

12.11.27-12.02 Museum of Unknown + ZUZHI + North Village Independent Workshop

Museum of Unknown used the funds given by the organizers to purchase Dong Dawei’s Metamorphosis. Beside the works exhibited, information about the reasons behind this project and other texts about Dong Dawei’s works. If the work were sold in the duration of the exhibition, all profits would be donated to the UCCA. Otherwise, the work itself would be donated to UCCA as stated in the agreement.

In September this year, the collective did a project titled Open Studio where they collaborated with children to reenact famous art works. In the video Sun that was presented at UCCA, the members narrated some art historical records in-between the Guangzhou projects.

What North Village Independent Workshop presented at the UCCA was the first half to the exhibition that they were to hold in Chengdu.
Members continued to showcase independent works made individually just as they did before.

12.12.04-12.09  Irrelevant Commission + 8mg

This video records the process of the members of Irrelevant Commission showing up at a supermarket with a large amount of things that were purchased and altered beforehand – how these objects were hidden in the supermarket and disguised as products. It was only ordinary products that were exhibited at the show.

During the week, the members of 8mg carried a brick as the content of their implementation. Their working process, walking and playing were recorded on video and the exhibited content was renewed everyday.

12.12.11-12.16 TOF + Art Praxis Space

TOF’s work exhibited at the UCCA was titled TOF- ART Channel. Everyday, they updated their interactive project with Shanghai Visual Arts Center that was happening simultaneously. This series of events was aimed at “collecting the related information to things that had become necessary due to the ‘doomsday’”.

Praxis Space presented the first and second stages of their project in Qunshan. They will continue to “solves problems” in the following third stage. On the first day of the exhibition, Chen Jianjun did a live performance that was inspired by a diary left behind by his father.

12.12.25-12.30  GUEST + HEXIE BAROQUE + Cell Art Group

This week is the last week of SEE/SAW – Collective Practice in China Now. GUEST had a banner up announcing their break up. Also, they did not attend the scheduled weekly talk on the opening day.

HEXIE BAROQUE’s works were in the same room as those of Cell Art Group. Their works were leaning onto the walls in the corners, suggestive motives behind the stainless steel boards. According to the signs displayed in the exhibition hall, this piece of work titled “Here Now” is about the sensory experience of the urban landscape.

Cell Art group had reopened their shop – CELL and in all apparent seriousness, displayed their shop sign and cashier desk. Works displayed including documentations about their performance in Chongqing, installations, videos and live performances. On the day of the opening, together with the audience and the securities of UCCA, Cell Art Group toasted in front of the rotten meat and fish displayed on the dinning table where photos were taken.