Evelyn Taocheng Wang | “Nián Nián :The Power and Agency of Animal Forms” @ Deji Art Museum


    Antenna Space is delighted to announce artist Evelyn Taocheng Wang’s participation in the exhibition Nián Nián :The Power and Agency of Animal Forms at Deji Art Museum, featuring 59 works by 33 Chinese and international artists. In light of the challenging reality shared by the human community over the last three years, the theme of the exhibition nurtures the powers of introspection, healing, and renewal. The exhibition is on view from January 15 to April 16, 2023.

    This exhibition draws on Deji Art Museum’s long-standing research centered around localism and contemporaneity. Serving as a geographic backdrop in human-animal relations, Nanjing is the cradle of modern geological and paleontological research in China. It boasts the largest institution in China to host the most comprehensive range of paleontological and stratigraphic research. The ancient capital is also preserving creative lineages of animal forms throughout the lineage of Chinese civilization. The Hongshan Forest Zoo in Nanjing is the first-ever institution in China to declare, and protect animal rights. Furthermore, the exhibition continues to explore the philosophical and practical relationships between art and technology initiated in An Era in Jinling and In the Line of Flight, for Possible Worlds after the recent reopening of Deji Art Museum. The exhibition aims to relate and understand the creation and expression of animal imagery in contemporary art within the triadic relationship between humans, animal/nature, and technology.

    Nián Nián :The Power and Agency of Animal Forms showcases a large number of figurative animal images embedded in contemporary art (both Chinese and international). Animal themes have an early origin in the history of images. In facing harsh and uncontrollable natural environments, our ancestors placed their spirits upon animals for safekeeping, and animal totem images and totem worship have since emerged. In the present day, the “skins” of virtual animals digitally generated by rendering technology, with their abstract, precise, and highly controlled appearance, form a linguistic style seemingly opposed to creativity that spontaneously chases inspirations. These two ways of producing appear divergent, but their goals are surprisingly unified: to reveal the energies of the natural world while refining the methods of image making.

    While the exhibition attempts to re-familiar the viewers’ with the enduring “animal” motifs, it also unfolds the evolutionary trajectory of the ways contemporary artists observe the world gently or radically. In the coming Year of the Rabbit, may the exhibition unravel fresh horizons and “stimulate new erudition in old learning.” In the hopes and wishes bestowed by animal forms in the new year, may we be free!

    Participating Artists: Cao Fei, Vajiko Chachkhiani, Tim Crowley, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Duan Zhengqu, Geng Yini, He Xiangyu, Adam Higgins, Hu Yinping, Jiū Society, Liang Ying, Di Long, Shao Fan, Shen Xin, David Shrigley, Kiki Smith, Sun Yitian, Tang Chao, Tang Han & Zhou Xiaopeng, Tong Tianqing, Yi Xin Tong, Wang Keping, Wang Mai, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Wen Ling, Wong Ping, Wu Chen, Yan Cong, Yu Honglei, Yuan Yunsheng, Zhang Langlang, Zhu Changquan, Payne Zhu.

    Text and images courtesy of the Deji Art Museum, Nanjing.

    Installation Views

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