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Chinese Artists on A 'Residency Afloat 'to Address Environmental Issues
   2015-06-15 08:58:59    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu

Eight Chinese artists and sponsors of a cultural networking project 'WHAT HAS TO BE DONE' pose for a picture at a press conference held in Beijing on June 10, 2015. The press conference announces they will soon embark on a sea voyage for creations of environment-themed artwork. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

Anchor: A group of eight Chinese artists and senior collectors will embark on an expedition of far flung isles off Scotland and beyond.
This trip is expected to inspire their passion for creating artwork that shed light on critical environmental issues like climate change.
Xu Fei has more.


Reporter: Eight Chinese artists and six European artists will set sail for half a month off the Scottish isles to create artwork that can shed light on the plight of the environment.

This creative venture has been launched by an inter-cultural networking project called 'WHAT HAS TO BE DONE'.
Xiang Yang is one of the participating Chinese artists. He will exhibit a huge architectural installation along the Thames River in October.
Contemporary installation artist Xiang Yang says his past travels served an inspiration for this new art work.

"I have an architectural installation, and I made it out of my fragmented memories about my past travel experiences. Modern aesthetic values could also be sensed in this artwork. The original materials used in making this artwork were just some old furniture which underwent a facelift to be turned into modern architecture."
But during the upcoming voyage scheduled from July 19 to August 2, Xiang Yang, along with his travel companions, should improvise a piece of art linked to an environmental theme.

The Today Art Museum, a sponsor of the 'WHAT HAS TO BE DONE' project, selected the Chinese artists for the expedition.
Gao Peng, curator of the museum, explains what they plan to achieve:

"The goal of the trip is actually for the sake of artistic creation. We've decided to cooperate with University of the Arts London. We've told the participating artists their voyage at sea is not just for fun, but for generating artworks, which will be on display at two exhibitions to be held in Beijing and London simultaneously."

The project is inspired by German sculptor and installation artist Joseph Beuys, who sailed as part of a group of artists from 1979 to 1981 to explore the notion of 'journey' and connect with the natural environment. Joseph Beuys is widely known as a provocative environmental activist who used his art to raise awareness on environmental destruction.

Chris Wainwright, Pro Vice-Chancellor of University of the Arts London, is the leader of artists' expedition team. He is interested in the role that artists like Beuys can play in addressing critical issues of the time.

Xiang Yang thinks the participating artists would be willing to contribute efforts at a time when climate change has become a vital concern among artists.

"The concept of environmental protection would be applied during our art creations in this artists' sailing program. Today the environment all over the world is badly damaged as a result of rapid economic development. So the goal of our journey is to raise public awareness on the deteriorating environment we live in by means of artists' unique expressions."

During this long journey, artists will have a chance to reflect on their relationship with the natural environment and take advantage of a sort of 'residency afloat'.
It is hoped that this kind of exploration would encourage more and more artists to use their creative work to raise awareness about critical environmental concerns.

For Studio Plus, I'm Xu Fei.

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