Jiang Zhi at "Now is the Time-2019 Wuzheng Contemporary Exhibition

Now is the Time- 2019 Wuzheng Contemporary Exhibition

Curator: Fen Boyi, Wang Xiaosong, Liu Gang
Exhibition time: 30th March 2019-30th June 2019

Press release

Unexpectedly, time is not what Now Is the Time sets out to explore. Rather, the exhibition focuses on time as a measure of global change: time expanded into 'epochs' and 'eras'. Concepts such as these have, historically, often been intertwined with patterns of human thought and behaviour. It is tempting to join the narrative of history, but all modern creative practices – including art – should resist the temptation to historicise, and instead enter the bloodstream of the here and now, of realities and locales: they should perceive the world not through that solidifying lens. 

Though we in the modern age recognise the principles which human experiences have demonstrated to us, the global landscape emerging today is fought with doubt: growing populist movements present a barrier to the path of globalisation in which cultures converge. This constantly changing pattern reminds us that we must pay attention to new trends, which can emerge from many sources. The ongoing battle between human value criteria and the international “rules of the game” concerns not only the future of international situations, but it inevitably embroils us all. Where are we heading? Those issues surrounding the confrontation and collaboration between civilizations are sited in the bearish context of frustrated globalization. Underlying this conflict are the problematic differences between a culture's internal and external interactions. Exchanges between these elements leads to further states and tensions – a subtle butterfly effect at the societal level. We could well imagine that our own era is standing on a fault line. 

Our world is mapped and divided by our fundamental perceptions of space and time. The grandest political dramas and the tiniest details of our lives equally unfurl within this pre-set. Meanwhile, artworks represent an “energy transformation” of social scenarios and events; we can view them as an artistic measurement of new trends, based on a close observation of realities. The extreme motion and differentiation of the world outweighs its stillness and sameness. Therefor we anticipate a diverse range of creative methods and outputs, which reflect not only concrete means of questioning, but also intellectual transformations involved in the dynamic processes of connection, time difference, permeation, and convergence, between the “site-specific” and the “global”. Although subjective or objective conditions may set limits to the physical space of the exhibition and the range of interpretations, the vision of an artist can be revealed by their creativity, penetrating even these limitations. In this exhibition, we will invite artists from various countries to respond to external (political, social, technological) and internal (psychological, conscious) forces, to sketch the contours of varied pathways against the backdrop of time with artistic wisdom, and to curate and present a contemporary art exhibition with acute pertinence and thematic structure to social realities. 

Any society's activities are based around a particular experience of space and time, yet these are perceived differently across cultures. An awareness of this can lead us to a more profound understanding of our idea of “the world”, even towards social change. In essence, Now Is the Time is a hypothesis, but one with unique and far-reaching implications. At the same time, the exhibition extends the notion of time into a dimension of contemporary art, which is able to question the constraints of time and distance. How artists have interpreted “now” has been a significant impetus in the evolution of contemporary art. We anticipate artistic responses to the “limits, distances and conditions” of various social realities, experienced through the ephemeral yet incessant notion of time. We anticipate this to be conveyed through artworks which will be located in different exhibition spaces around Wuzhen: we hope, in this way, to guide audiences towards a calm observation of those fragments of time: “now”.