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After 8 years of preparation, Start Museum will now strike the public with its inaugural exhibition, “START”, which demonstrates the collective, long-term observation and research in art by the museum’s founder and its team.
The team’s passion does not burn out even after 8 years of diligent work. This inaugural exhibition is symbolically titled “START”, as they start the namesake museum at the near start of a new year. More importantly, the team dreams to bring a new start to the future. They hope that contemporary art in China will start a new journey in this modern, globalised world, and that it will start to shine in this international cultural city, Shanghai.
“START” is ingeniously planned for years by a group of specialists, led by Mr. He Juxing, the founder and director of the museum. The exhibition involves 88 works by 85 artists, among which the eldest was born in 1921, while the youngest was born in 1988. The artists are the representatives of contemporary art around the world, coming from different countries including
China, Korea, India, the US, Denmark, Brazil, the UK, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria, Serbia, etc. The power of the times, the creativity and aesthetic value in their works will be the new epitome of contemporary aesthetics and cultural expressions.
This exhibition is the first chapter of the debut of Start Museum, according to the team’s plan. The entire debut consists of 4 consecutive exhibitions, or the 4 seasons of “START”, each of them will last for 5 months in the upcoming 2 years. For the sake of diversity and complexity of art, each season will be demonstrated with different undertones and perspectives, which ensures the novelty and freshness of the works, despite some overlapped artists. In summary, the 4 consecutive inaugural exhibitions will last for 20 months, and will cover over 300 works by over 300 contemporary artists of the world.
As the first chapter of the museum’s inaugural exhibition, “START” is not only a grand gathering of contemporary classics, but also proposes a series of niche insights and important questions to the international academia. On the one hand, it seems to be reiterating the spiritual value and contribution of Chinese art in the new era; while on the other hand, it seems to have started a grand vision to contribute and reshape the development of international art from a Chinese perspective. What’s more, other than the current popular paradigm, it transcends the classics beyond the “time clue” and the “thematically”. In Mr. He Juxing’s words, the artists and their artworks, according to his anticipation, are to become their own time and monuments, rather than being sorted by timeline or defined by themes. Perhaps this happens to tackle the pain point of the narrative of the existing art history and of the logic of present-day exhibitions.
Season One of the inaugural exhibition “START” is characterised by strongly representative and recognised works of the art history. Among them are: Diana by Matthew Barney, named after the heroin of the latest movie Redoubt by this master of contemporary art and avant-garde movies, an indispensable central piece of the exhibition; Great Migration at the Three Gorges by Liu Xiaodong, master of Chinese contemporary painting, which records with the most astonishing touch the construction of the Three Gorges Dam—the largest man-made project in China or even the world; Reflection II by sculptor Antony Gormley, an earlier work that the artist modeled after himself, and one of the classics that challenges the construct of society by the scale of an individual; La Berceuse (for Van Gogh) by the German Neo-Expressionist artist Anselm Kiefer that fuses the withering beauty and the warmth of art with a huge scope, it makes a direct conversation with the history of art, which is rarely seen by the artist; Water: Standard Version from the Cihai Dictionary and The Direction of the Vision, respectively by Zhang Peili and Geng Jianyi, two pioneers of the ’85 New Wave, to be juxtaposed in this exhibition with Candle TV by Nam June Paik, master of the Fluxus and father of video art, resonating across the gap of time, history, culture, and nationality; and works by the most influential soft sculpture and fiber artist home and abroad, including Rosemarie Trockel, Maryn Varbanov, Liang Shaoji, Shi Hui, Kaari Upson, etc., to be gathered for the first time so as to demonstrate the unique relationship between body, nature, vision, and other dimensions… “START” creates a giant collection of multi-dimensional, multi-perspective, and multi-threaded dialogues between hundreds of contemporary masters through a brand-new structure and a “non-linear, non-thematic” narrative, so that the works can voice themselves and resonate with each other.