Jesus is 2017 Today: Songzhuang Contemporary Art Archive New Year’s Exhibition
This Christmas, we have taken the opportunity to organize a new year’s exhibition and host a gathering of Songzhuang artists. According to Christianity, Jesus turns 2017 today. Has this world become a better place?
A Buddhist monk I respect once said that Buddha, Jesus, and Mohammad were all one person; they arrived at different times and with different identities, and they inspired humanity in different ways, but their goal was simply to make the world a better place and make humans happier. However, driven by our innate greed, foolishness, and resentment, our civilization has lasted for several thousand years on this earth, but earthly love cannot defeat human evil, and the world in which we live is still full of unrest, suffering, unfairness, struggle, and ugliness.
Art may be a clever way that God has given us to comfort suffering souls, but in real life, profit, opportunity, and suffering mean that artists making artwork are like fallen leaves blowing in the winter wind, helplessly drifting and lost in the flood of worldly desires. Songzhuang was once a refuge, a holy land for artists, but with the increasing marketization of art, especially when the future of the art district is so uncertain, what will the future hold for artists who have given their youth and ideals to this place? The goal of organizing this exhibition was simply to give artists a way to band together and keep warm in the winter, comforting these lonely and sensitive souls.
Of course, Songzhuang Contemporary Art Archive also announces today that work has formally begun. We have already made three years of foundational preparations, adjusting internal facilities and formulating working plans. Today, we will finally begin regular operations. We want to take this opportunity to explain the key elements and academic directions of the Archive’s future.
The emergence of the Songzhuang Contemporary Art Archive reflects the need to engage in sustained and deep academic research on the development of Chinese contemporary. As China’s earliest and largest art district, Songzhuang has transitioned from its early “uncivilized growth” to today’s objective reality of the increasingly urgent need for professional venues and academic institutions. As a result, the Archive’s work is firmly rooted in the Songzhuang Art District and we have built a strong foundation for the collection, organization, and study of scholarly documents related to Songzhuang Art District and the artists living and working there. Taking a broad national and global view, we have built our academic research orientation from the macroscopic view of art history and the microscopic examination of artistic ecologies. As another part of our work at the museum, our exhibitions and events will be closely supported by our research into the contemporary art archive, in order to construct the scholarly systems and visual modes for our exhibitions. Building a program of publications on the foundation of this research is another important scholarly task that the museum will undertake.
From the original meaning of the English term, a museum is a temple to the god of art. With the continued perfection of civil society, the center of public space in the city has gradually shifted from the church to the museum. Today, in the name of Christmas, we announced the birth of a spiritual place that belongs to Songzhuang. We look forward to lighting the fire of enlightenment in this temple of art, eternally sheltering those lonely souls.
December 18, 2016