Venue: Guangdong Times Museum 19fl Exhibition Hall
Organized by: Guangdong Times Museum
Curator: Ou Ning,Zuo Jing Participating Artists: Chen Feibo, Dong Wensheng, Fang Rujin, Li GuoYu, Hu Zhongquan, Li Peifeng, Liu Bingjian, Liang Shaoji, Ma Ke, Ou Ning, Qiu Anxiong, Tang Keyang, Wang Yin, Xiao Ma + Cheng Zi , Xie Yingjun, Zheng Xiaoguang, Zhu Zheqin
Located in Yixian County, Ancient Huizhou (now known as Huangshan City), Bishan is adjacent to the Mount Huang in the north, and the Yixian County basin in the south. Huizhou is rich in natural, rural architectural and historic cultural resources. It’s a rare sample about the diversification of human life.In the coming fifty years, the return to country life may become the trend for the middle class and urban dwellers in China. People who are tired of the hustle and bustle city life will hope to practice a new agricultural lifestyle – or a better way to put it, is to regain such a lifestyle. Bearing witness to this, we plan to build the “Bishan Commune” in Bishan Village. It is about intellectuals returning to the countryside, carrying on the course of rural construction from Yan Yangchu and Peter Klopotkin’s anarchist school of thought, and reinvigorating the thinking of building public life in rural areas. It mainly addresses the compelling urbanisation reality in Asia and the crisis caused by the global agricultural capitalism, and tries to explore a way for rural rejuvenation.
As an integral part and a phase of the “Bishan Commune”, Bishan Project at Times Museum is a progressive presentation of the preliminary stage of Bishan Harvest Ritual, which will be held in August 2011 in Bishan Village, “Harvest Ritual” used to be a kind of ceremony in the traditional Chinese agricultural society. Apart from praying to ancestral spirits, praying for the smooth harvest of crops, it’s also used to wish a good harvest and fortune for the next year. After the ritual, there would be dinner, dance, games and bonfire parties. By borrowing the ancient name of “Harvest Ritual”, we hope to restore and reconstruct the long-standing public life in the country and endow it with new significance. In the meantime, Bishan Harvest Ritual can be also regarded as a kind of hybrid experiment of globalization and localization.
The core of Bishan Project is to introduce the concept of “Bishan Commune: How to Start your Own Utopia” into the museum system, and to provide an innovative perspective for rural construction. As praxis of “Action on Earth”, Bishan Project invites artists, architects, rural construction experts, writers, directors, designers, musicians, local scholars who are dedicated to rural cultural studies, folk handicraftsmen and folk opera artists to carry out wide-range discussion and collaboration, and jointly explore the existential space of rural construction. Bishan Project is not solely an artistic presentation in the museum. On the contrary, it activates the museum to play an important medium role in rural construction besides realizing its conventional functions, and to,produce continuous interchange and innovation between everyday production and the exhibits in the museum. Bishan Project showcases non-local participants’ reflection on their own creative experience and rural construction, and presents their two-month long collaboration with the local participants. Some country production and living scenes have been reenacted in the museum.