"Time and Sunlight" on the Other Side of the Clouds
Source:Artintern.net Author:Guan Yuda Date: 2011-08-23 Size:
“Not disturbed by honor or insult, I witnessed the blossom and withering of flowers; Not minding staying or leaving, I watched the scudding and clearing of clouds” (The Way of Plain Living by Hong Yingming, Ming Dynasty).

“Not disturbed by honor or insult, I witnessed the blossom and withering of flowers; Not minding staying or leaving, I watched the scudding and clearing of clouds” (The Way of Plain Living by Hong Yingming, Ming Dynasty). The cloud is full of poetic flavor with its temper which changes irregularly. There is the immersion of love, sadness and happiness in the world in the gathering and dispersion of the cloud. Therefore, when a place is named after the cloud, people have a deep longing for the place to some extent. However, for people who are attracted to Yunnan, what can be recalled is not only the lingering sentiment when watching the cloud, but also the leisure and freedom with the unprotected sun shining. There is no romance like the cloud or witty remarks in the direct and strong sunshine which merely makes people want to lie in the rocking chair softly drowsily. Therefore, people who bathe in the sunshine “know nothing about Han Dynasty, let alone Wei Dynasty and Jin Dynasty” (Record of the Peach Garden by Tao Yuanming, Jin Dynasty). Then all the worried is forgotten temporally, which is probably the special value that Yunnan gives to the modern life.

Bright sunshine develops the slow pace of life as well as the peaceful and dumber character of people in Yunnan. Therefore, although there was the heroism activity similar to “New Figuration”, it is deemed more as an individual ritual and occurs in daily life from time to time.

“Native Nest” in the suburb of Kunming is a kind of art and also life. The architectures in peculiar styles and numerous works full of wonderful thoughts are irrelevant to the impulse of the time or customs and practices. They are only a home for the author to guard and for the soul to reside in the secular life. This home is far away from the noise of the city, but it never lacks people coming from different places. In this place, people coming from afar can always find different flavors in Yunnan except romantic themes.

The laxity of Yunnan art sometimes occurs in the heartland of a city in another way. Chuang Loft in Kunming which occurred in 2001 is an art space about daily life. It doesn’t have the tiny and cautious posturing in a way of petty bourgeoisie or the vaunted dominance in a way of academy. Its day-to-day, common and civilian way has actually become a natural component in the surrounding ordinary community. “Jianghu (Places with People)” series experimental art activities which occurred in 2000 have a more civilian tendency. The activities have created the atmosphere similar to that of the “carnival” temple fair in ancient China and they are questioning the modeled art standard nearly in a way of recreation.

Although people in Yunnan are “treasures in their hometown”, there are also many artists who left Yunnan. They may leave with different reasons, but all of their works are with the flavor of daily life. Bumming in Beijing, or straying in Britain with stones, artists in Yunnan seem to be confused with the boundary lines between art and life. No matter where they are, they still live a life of ease and leisure, even if there is no cloud to see or sunshine to bathe in.

It is hard to say whether these ways are art or life. With these ways, the pause of time will not be void and therefore, we have a reason not to be busy. After all, every day and every minute is only itself and definitely not the intermediary to the other day or the other kind of experience.

Similar to “Spreading Wildness”, “Sunshine and Time—Beyond the Cloud” will continue to be with the academic concept of “Life Style” series exhibitions. It presents the relationship between art and daily life through the individual of artists. Faced with the anxiety and pressure of modern life, we do not need to treat “Yunnan Style” as an “original” spirit shelter. Instead, we can listen to our own mood with its rhythm. We can walk under the cloud, take a nap in the sunshine and continue to forget any hurried urge in the moment of returning to the city, just like the mood in the works of Yunnan artists. We do not have to escape or struggle. Therefore, the intriguing implication of “art independence” and “letting things take their own course” can constantly spread out.

[Editor] Elemy Liu