The Grand Canal Collateral Event, 55th Art Exhibition, a Biennale di Venezia
Curator: Xiao Ge
Duration: 2013-06-01 ~ 2013-11-24
Opening: 18:00,May 30th,2013
Venue: Museo Diocesano
Address: Museo Diocesano, Sale espositive, Castello 4312, 30122 Venezia
Participating Artist(s): Bai Chongmin, Gao Jie, He Haoyuan, Huang Rui, Peng Xiaojia, Qiu Zhijie, Shi Qing, Irrelevant Committee, Wang Du, Xiao Lu, Xu Bing, Zhang Yanzi
Host(s): Xiao Feng and Song Ren's Art Museum
Co-organization(s): National Youth Center of the Chinese Central Government Organs,Chinese Academy of Cultural Heritage,The West Lake Artists Association,China Grand Canal Application for World Heritage List Office in Yangzhou,People’s Government of Jiangdu District,Yangzhou

Assistant Curator: Archibald McKenzie

Commissioner: Paolo De Grandis

Coordinator in Venice: Carlotta Scarpa, PDG Art communications, Francesca Romane, Reberto Rosolen

Exhibition planner: Sun Yue, Wei Xingyi, Feng Jiao

Design: Wu Weihe, Zhu Sha

Translate: Archibald Mckenzie/Wen Zai, Sun Yue, Luca Zordan, Lu Meng

  The Exhibition Concept:

  Venice, Italy and Yangzhou, China are cities that grew and flourished on the basis of water-based trade. The history of both countries is linked in more than one way by their ancient Grand Canals. In the 13th century, Marco Polo set sail from Venice and arrived in China. Four years later upon his return, he wrote an account of his voyage to the Grand Canal, the longest and oldest manmade waterway in the world, from Beijing to Hangzhou. In 2006, 58 members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference unanimously started the formal application process to recognize the Chinese Grand Canal as a World Cultural Heritage Listing.

  To commemorate and promote the Chinese Grand Canal as a World Heritage Listing, the renowned oil painter Xiao Feng created a series of “Grand Canal” exhibitions at the Xiao Feng and Song Ren’ Art Museum. This received the support of government departments and organizations, and helped mobilize the community in support of the Chinese Grand Canal becoming a World Heritage Listing in 2014.

  The theme of 55th International Art Exhibition is ‘The Encyclopedic Palace’. This impetus blends contemporary art with history and tradition. The Grand Canal reflects the spirit of the 55th International Art Exhibition and represents an open exchange of culture, politics, and economics. It also celebrates the birth and development of Chinese contemporary art with the cities connected by the waterway. The Grand Canal highlights the blending of contemporary art with historical tradition. It not only echoes the overall theme of the Biennale, but it highlights China’s social and historical ups and downs. The Grand Canal is a living heritage. It is a reflection of changing times and constantly flowing culture. The exhibition will feature twelve widely acclaimed Chinese artists born between 1950 and 1990. The diversity of their works ranges from traditional Chinese painting, installations, video, and performance art. The examination of the Grand Canal through a contemporary art perspective gives the Grand Canal a new understanding, and confirms its longstanding and current cultural significance.

  Exhibition Artists:

  Performance artist, Bai Chongmin (b. 1970) has had solo exhibitions internationally at: Art Channel, Beijing; Declic Gallery, Luxembourge; The Orleans Governmental Art Center, France; The Governmental Art Center, Luxembourg; and Hanshi Gallery in Beijing. Bai has participated in performance art festivals including, International Performance Art Festival, Xi’an International Performance Art Festival, and Da Dao Live Art Festival.

  Gao Jie (b. 1979) lives and works between Paris and Beijing. His solo exhibitions includes You are inside my head, A2Z ArtGallery (Paris), Life against life, Art Paris Art Fair 2011. His work was also included in The 9th Shanghai Biennale Special Exhibition- Zhongshan Park Project, Clermont-Ferrand International Video Art and New Media Festival and 20th Brest European Short Film Festival.

  He Haoyuan (b. 1964) lives and works in Beijing and Israel. His work has been included in The 9th Shanghai Biennale Special Project-Zhongshan Park Project, Chinese contemporary Ceramic art U.S.A Invitational exhibition, Art Channel (Beijing), Duolun Museum of Modern Art (shanghai), and Shanghai Beiganshan International Art Center.

  Huang Rui (b. 1952) is an artist based in Beijing. He is one of the founding members of the Chinese avant-garde art group the "Stars". Huang organized The Dashanzi International Art Festival, Reconstructing 798, and The Stars 1st and 2nd Exhibition in Beijing. He is also one of founders of the 798 Art District in Beijing. He has exhibited internationally with exhibitions in Philadelphia, Rome, Netherlands, France, Copenhagen, and New York.

  Peng Xiaojia (b. 1955) has widely shown his work in the United States and China. Exhibitions include Beauty without animosity-Venus de Milo’s in 21st Century at Salvador Dali Museum (USA), Solo Exhibition of Xiaojia Peng—Sculptures at The International Sculpture Center (Washington D.C), Original Song Gallery of Shanghai, and The 9th Shanghai Biennale Special Project, Mingyuan• Zhongshan Park Project-On The Way Home, Shanghai Pudong International Airport Special Exhibition.

  Curator of 9th Shanghai Biennial, Qiu Zhijie (b. 1969), is a professor at the School of Intermedia Art, China Academy of Art. His work has been widely exhibited at many museums and exhibitions including, Witte De With Contemporary Art Center (Rotterdam), Haus of World Culture (Berlin), Ullens Contemporary Art Center (Beijing), Chambers Fine Art (Beijing), 5th Shanghai Biennial (Shanghai), 6th Gwuangju Biennale (Korea), International Triennale of Contemporary Art (Yokohama), 25th San Polo Biennial (San Polo), and 53th Venice Biennal, Chinese Pavillion.

  Shanghai and Beijing based artist, Shi Qing (b. 1969) has recently participated in international biennials and triennials including the 9th Shanghai Biennalle, SITE Santa Fe Seven International Biennial, The second Guangzhou Triennial, and the Prague International Biennale of Contemporary Art. His solo exhibitions include All That Is Solid Melts into Air at ShanghART H-Space (Shanghai), Halfway House at Shanghart Gallery (Beijing) and Black Taboo at 25000 Cultural Transmission Center (Beijing).

  Irrelevant Committee was established in 2011, members included Chen Zhiyuan, Gao Fei, Guo Lijun, Jia Hongyu, Li Liangyong, Niu Ke, Wang Guilin, and Ye Nan. Selected exhibitions include Unrelated to Parading at Platform China, Beijing; Why Do We Do Useless Things at Tang Contemporary Art Center, Beijing; and We are Irrelevant Commission? at Miao Pu Art District, Beijing. The group has also shown at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing and The 9th Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai.

  Wang Du (b. 1956) moved to France in 1990 and lives and works in Paris. His solo exhibitions include Wang Du at Baltic, The Centre for Contemporary, Newcastle; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver; The Time Tunnel at Palais de Tokyo, Paris and Disposable Consume Reality at Rodin Museum, Seoul. His works have also been included in exhibitions at the Dublin Contemporary 2011, Dublin; The Power of Art, Grand Palais, Paris; Be Biennale de Lyon, Lyon, France and 48th Venice Biennale, Italy.

  Xu Bing (b. 1955) moved to the United States in 1990 and returned to China in 2007. His work has been widely exhibited at many museums and exhibitions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the British Museum (London), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and several Venice Biennales. Xu Bing was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize, and Wales International Visual Art Prize, Artes Mundi. In 2006, the Southern Graphics Council awarded Xu Bing their Lifetime Achievement Award. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree by Columbia University in 2010.

  Xiao Lu (b. 1962) first became famous for her gunshots at China/Avant-Garde Exhibition in Beijing, 1989. Xiao has showed internationally including shows at Pearl Lam Galleries (Hong Kong); Da Xiang Art Space (Taiwan); La Bellone (Brussels) and Stara Elektrarma (Republic of Slovenia).

  Zhang Yanzi (b. 1967) received her MFA in Chinese Painting at China Central Academy of Fine Arts where she currently teaches. Zhang has showed internationally and her major exhibitions include The Cheju International Art Exhibition (Korea), Walk While Stepping on the Gauze-Solo Exhibition of Zhang Yanzi, Shanghai Art Museum and Airs of the States, Courtly Songs, and Hymns, 2nd Beijing International Art Biennale.


[Editor] 常霞