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前言

文/李振华

这是一个改变双年展工作机制的项目,通过在主办方和策展人之间,设置一个新的委托机构,来转化艺术项目在实施中的摩擦力,并让摩擦力成为创造性的能量。

“延展动画”一词来自知名学者西格弗里德·齐林斯基,早在《媒体考古学》(2006年,商务印书馆中文版)一书中,齐林斯基先生提出的技术和历史观,在纵观人类历史的同时,去发现文化、科技、地缘交互的全球图景。

“延展动画”是这一理念下的扩延,是对动画概念的扩延,是对地缘文化和全球概念的扩延。这一理念通过超过一年的教学实践,最终将呈现卡尔斯鲁厄国立设计学院和四川美术学院,两组不同的实践与探索。

韩国“白南准艺术中心”带来的白南准(Nam June Paik,1932-2006)历史性的作品,也将与这些新的实践,构成时间和媒介上的相互映照。

深圳独立动画双年展经历了三届,每次都有巨大的突破,从学院教育、展示,到思考动画与电影,以及更加国际化的纳入新媒体,再到思考展览机制和人类生活的空间关系。“延展动画”是又一次突破,其指向委托创作的雄心,伴随着著名策展人的介入,达成了一个双年展需要的:支持文化生产,超越地缘,并完成关于动画、影像、新媒体等领域的再更新。尤其在互联网、社群媒体兴起后的文化态势,将通过游戏艺术和日常生活的物件,达成艺术、科技、民生的统一。

这一理念的执行,通过来自韩国的徐真锡,四川美术学院的唐勇,美国的容思玉,德国的丹尼尔·弗兰克,中国香港的杨静,南京的曹恺和薛峰,来共同完成,并构成一个相互作用的上下文关系,在时间上从上世纪60年代跨越至今,媒介上不设限。

展览场地:华侨城创意文化园北区C2展厅、雅昌艺术中心、B.Park绽放花园、補時·多余美術館、水演记。联合蜂巢(深圳)当代艺术中心、华·美术馆为双年展跨空间、跨时间的在地伙伴。

特别感谢:瑞士驻广州总领事馆、瑞士文化基金会上海办公室、香港录映太奇,据点/句点,牛房仓库,法国国立当代艺术工作室、河路文化、康佳集团、金帆茶叶、广佛地铁广告、红日灯光、盛世文化、东洲文化、维维尼奥、金辰表等机构,以及各大院校,包括安徽师范大学、北京电影学院、广州美术学院、湖北美术学院、鲁迅美术学院、南京艺术学院、清华大学美术学院、人民大学艺术学院、四川美术学院、天津美术学院、西安美术学院、中国传媒大学、中国美术学院、中央美术学院、中国当代动画艺术资料馆、中国美术学院影视与动画艺术学院人文动画研究所、中国(杭州)国际青年动画双年展、西安金拴马桩奖大学生影像艺术节、AMNUA南京艺术学院美术馆、四川省动漫研究中心等。

Foreword

by Li Zhenhua

This is a project that can change the working mechanism of the biennale as we have established a new committee coordinating the organizers and the curators, thus transforming the tension generated in the executions of artistic projects into creativity.

The phrase ‘expanded animation’ was coined by the famous media theorist Siegfried Zielinski in his book “Media Archaeology”, in which he not only presented his views on technology and history but also explored the global landscape of the interactions among different cultures and technologies.

‘Expanded animation’ is not only an extension to the concepts of animation, but also further investigates the concepts of geo-culture and globalization. We present two groups of different practices and explorations that emerged out of the teaching practices at Staatliche Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe and Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts.

Nam June Paik Art Center from Korea brought the historical works of Nam June Paik (1932-2006). The works will form a dialogue with the new practices in terms of time and media.

The Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennale has been successfully held over 3 occasions. Each time a breakthrough. Educational programs and exhibition displays have been added, focus of reflection on animation and film has been emphasized, and the content has been enriched by bringing in different international perspectives of new media art. Thinking about the spatial relationship between mechanisms and human life have increased our meaning.

“Expanded Animation” can be seen as another breakthrough. It embodies the committee’s ambition to create. With the participation of well-known curators, the biennale has achieved the goal of supporting cultural production, transcending geography, and completing the re-upgrading of the fields such as animation, video, and new media, which are the necessity of the biennale. In a time when culture is largely driven by the Internet and social media, we aim to unify art, technology and people's livelihood with video game art and the objects of daily life.

The idea was realized with the help of Suh Jinsuk from Korea, Tang Yong from Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Holly Roussell from U.S, Daniel Franke from Germany, Yang Jing from Hong Kong and Cao Kai and Xue Feng from Nan Jing. The works they presented range from 1960 to current day in different mediums to create an interrelationship with one another.

Our venues included C2 at OCT-Loft, Artron Art Centre, B.Park, Extra Time Art Museum and Shape of Water. Together with Hive Center for Contemporary Art (Shenzhen) and Hua Art Museum, they became the local partners of the biennial that transgresses space and time.

Special thanks to institutions such as Consulate General of Switzerland in Guangzhou, Pro Helvetia Shanghai, VIDEOTAGE, Floating Projects, Ox Warehouse, Le Fresnoy, HeluCulture, Konka Group, Jinfan Tea, Guangfo Metro Advertising, Hongri Lighting, Dynasty Culture, Dongzhou Culture, Vivinevo and Jinchen Watch, and colleges such as Anhui Normal University, Beijing Film Academy, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts, Nanjing University of the Art, Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University, Renmin University of China Xu Beihong Arts College, Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, Sichuan Comic And Animation Research Center, Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, Communication University of China, China Academy of Art, Central Academy of Fine Arts, China Contemporary Animation Art Archive, Humanity and Animation Research Center of the School of Film and Animation at China Academy of Art, Hangzhou International Youth Animation Biennale, Xi’an Student Video Art Festival at Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts and Art Museum of Nanjing University of the Art.

 

展览后记

文/何金芳

不知不觉,动画展开幕已一月有余,回想开幕前的各种忙乱、焦虑,竟然有点恍如隔世的感觉。一切终将过去,一切终将成为记忆。

双年展,每一届都是一座高山,带着主办方的期待、策展人的雄心。2018年的深圳独立动画双年展,是一座从未有过的高山。延展动画,从学术的延展,到场域、到规模,无一不在延展、扩延,这对执行团队来说无疑是个极大的考验。

筹备始末

2018年双年展的筹备是从2017年春季就开始的,那时候刚结束2016年的动画展,便未雨绸缪,开始和主办方、李振华老师商量双年展的运营机制,并达成共识:以组委会为主导,对每一届双年展进行规划,邀请策展人、艺术家,既符合国际惯例,也可以走得更远。

经过大半年的考察、联系,确定了主题、6大板块和策展人,2018年3月份召开了第一次策展人会议,策展人齐聚主办方华侨城创意园,对展览方案做了详细介绍;4月份,马上启动艺术家驻留项目,瑞士艺术家和他的团队到深圳为期一个月的考察、创作;5月份,双年展第一个讲座登场“奥古斯丁·里贝特兹的艺术世界”;8月份,“推荐展映”单元公开征集作品;10月份确定入选名单。在此期间,空间规划、讨论作品方案、收集资料、视觉设计等各种工作同步进行,11月份进入实施阶段……中间省略千言万语,最后,12月8日下午圆满开幕。一切看起来有条不紊、波澜不惊,这中间经历多少波折,可谓是步步惊心,相信但凡做过展览的同仁都懂的。

险象环生

回想起双年展这一届的高山,有几处多:板块多(六大板块)、策展人多(七大策展人)、装置作品多(三份之二作品都是)、合作机构多(三十多个)、学术活动多(十场)、意外多。偏偏资金不多,不过这也属正常,资金不足是所有大型展览的通病。所以,也只能精打细算,按重要、必须为原则分配,但往往人算不如天算,譬如文献库展厅,原本计划用集装箱的。谁曾想,由于华侨城创意园的水泥地板不能承受集装箱的压力,只能改成仿集装箱的材料,效果和集装箱无异。但是,成本马上飙升,而且制作时间也加长了徒增无必要的担心;德国“材料编码”这个板块,由于其作品大部分是装置,有很多重要零部件需要从德国带过来,一开始计划是由其艺术家(8位)到深圳布展时随身携带,不想策展人(也是其中一位艺术家)临时改变主意,在他们出发前一周告知需把材料空运过来,这下可好,费用增加且不说,繁琐的清关流程,足以让人急出心脏病。负责此事的晓捷同学从11月30日接手此事后,就没有睡过安稳觉。当时距离开幕只有1周时间,她每天联系报关公司,跑机场、海关,12月1、2日是周末海关不办公,3日清关,4日下午眼看着所有手续都完备了,等着放行,关键时刻海关系统竟然出现问题不能工作,真是屋漏偏逢连夜雨。又等了一晚,在几近绝望的情况下,5号早上9:43接到通知,终于放行了,悬着的心终于放下来了。而此时距离开幕式只有3天了,后面连夜加班加点也是可想而知了。负责盯布展现场的除了晓捷,还有临危受命的卢川,每天晚上跟到1、2点,第二天9点又出现在现场。两个小可爱每天早上像小白兔一样红着眼睛,就这样坚持到开幕。年轻真好。

布展的微信群时刻都在汇报最新情况,有告急的有报喜的,大家都在争分夺秒地工作,展厅里的空气紧张到了极点。7号下午,还在为找不到艺术家需要的煤而焦虑;晚上突然断电;何子彦、布鲁斯作品出状况要更换......这状况一桩接一桩。终于,8号下午四时半准时开幕,在谈笑风生的表面,谁又曾想这背后的山重水复?

温暖的甲方

每次遇到报关这种大事,主办方总是积极配合、提供帮助。在展览进行倒计时的紧张状态,没有人计较是甲方还是乙方的事情,大家一起加班一起熬夜,布展工作需要体力,而文字校对最耗费精力。经常大晚上十一二点,大家还在为了推送内容或物料上面一个标点符号或某一个词在讨论,像打鸡血一样,第二天又照常上班。虽然有时候增加了工作量,但大家都能互相理解,都是为了把事情做得更好。

前几届经常有朋友问我,为什么这么好的展览不在北京或上海而在深圳地方,我说因为深圳有个好东家——双年展的主办方深圳华侨城创意园,是他们具备前瞻性和眼光、勇气,率先确定以动画为主题的双年展。从2012年开始,便持续不断地赞助、投入,使双年展得以保留并顺利进行,八年之间做了四届。我个人也从最初的创办人、策展人,到如今是和李振华老师拍档作为双年展的制作人。衡量一个人或一个机构是否成功,不是说做了一件多么了不起的事情,而是看是否能够坚持做下去,五年、十年、二十年乃至更多。所以,非常真诚地感谢主办方,提供一个这么好的平台和机会,虽然甲方乙方之间总会有些小摩擦,但大家的目标都是一致的,就是把展览做好,没有最好只有更好。

延展的合作

在有限的条件之下,积极向外拓展和尝试,譬如场地上的合作,补时和水演记作为“游戏共生”板块的展出合作场地、绽放花园和雅昌艺术中心作为推荐展映的放映场地,除了雅昌艺术中心是艺术机构以外,其他几处皆为营业性质的咖啡厅和餐馆,为展览带来了不一样的观众和形态,无形中也为展览做了很好的宣传;譬如礼品的合作,一起开发一款属于双年展味道的香水、做一款双年展的手表,而双年展的“绿色”帆布包,成了开幕式上最靓丽的一道风景线、最好的流动广告(但因只作为赠送嘉宾礼物无做销售,引致很多观众羡慕妒忌恨);譬如设备上的合作,得到上海河路、红日灯光一如既往的支持,而本地企业康佳集团也大力支持,对白南准大师的作品进行了完美呈现;譬如媒体合作,除了传统媒体,还加入了直播、地铁广告等媒介,广佛地铁线一天30万的人流量,其传播力度是不言而喻的。

做大型展览,资金往往是个大问题。在不停地洽谈和等候答复中来回,那种煎熬最是难受,不禁想起若干年前邱志杰做上海双年展策展人时找赞助的种种不易和挫折,感同身受,并以此自勉。不过幸运之神还是垂怜我们,有很多热心朋友,纷纷伸出援助之手,宛如冬天里的一把火,温暖我们的心。江湖义气的张庆红先生(上海河路文化)、豪爽大方的萧红大姐(盛世文化)、杨钜泽先生(绽放花园)、热衷推动中瑞文化交流的Sammy(瑞士驻广州总领事馆),以及瑞士文化艺术基金会等等。此等情分,当以永远铭记在心。

风格迥异的策展人

这一届总共有六大板块,七大策展人,分别是“影像拼贴-拾得影像-共享动态影像”板块的韩国策展人徐真锡、“蒙上你的影子”板块的美国策展人容思玉、“材料编码”的德国策展人丹尼尔.弗兰克、“雕塑动画”中国策展人唐勇、“推荐展映”的策展人中国南京的曹恺和薛峰和“游戏共生”的中国香港策展人杨静。他们各自负责一个板块,虽然来自不同国度和城市,但都围绕共同主题“延展动画”来展开。

徐真锡是韩国白南准艺术中心总监,拥有职业化策展人的风格,一开始的方案只邀请白南准作品参展,其实这么多件作品在国内展出已实属首次,而且像《早安,奥威尔先生》、《全球常规》都是非常具有代表性的作品,但为了学术主张“影像拼贴-拾得影像-共享动态影像”,他执着地和艺术家徐冰、新加坡的何子彦和美国的布鲁斯的工作室或代理机构联系,邀请了他们参展。因为这几个都是国际大牌艺术家,对展出的条件和要求都是比较严苛,但是徐先生以非常真诚的态度来和我们商量,完全没有耍大牌策展人脾气,而且还主动承担了很多风险和工作,一再修改布展方案,也是没得说了,令人起敬。

容思玉——典型的美国人性格,认真、一丝不苟、利益分明锱铢必较,倒也挺好省去很多麻烦。她策划的板块是瑞士艺术家的动画装置作品,所需工程浩大、复杂,为了作品中的霓虹灯和LED等装置,2018年5月份的时候就去佛山厂家考察和交流,10月份进行具体方案设计和报价,11月份制作,由于时差和语言问题,且四方沟通,艺术家——策展人——晓捷翻译——厂家,进展较为缓慢,大家都很着急,因为当时离他们到达时间深圳布展(11月29日)没几天了,但艺术家并没有因此降低要求,27日还在调整LED灯板上动画的速度,直到控制在3秒之内,2次循环才满意。后来工厂的人说终于见识到什么是真正的艺术家、什么叫天马行空,这事要特别感谢红日灯光的冼总和宏剑从中帮忙和沟通,才算完美解决。

其他几个策展人,也都非常给力,四川美术学院的唐勇老师在确定方案后还不放心,在展览开幕前一个月还亲自飞过来看场地,对每一个作品的位置和设备再次做了核实,所以“雕塑动画”这个板块的作品也很出彩,比预想的效果还要好。位于展览入口处焦兴涛作品“美丽新世界”发出的炫酷灯光,把观众远远地就吸引过来。

“推荐展映”的策展人曹恺、薛峰老师则充分发挥了二位的号召力和人格魅力,各大高校和影像机构一呼百应,从合作机构上华丽丽的名单就可以看出来,香港录映太奇、据点/句点、牛房仓库、北京电影学院、清华大学美术学院、广州美术学院、西安美术学院、中国传媒大学、中国美术学院、中央美术学院、湖北美术学院和中国当代动画艺术资料馆等等二十几个机构,开幕式的时候还邀请到几乎所有高校动画界的主要人物,展开了为期三天的研讨会和放映,成果斐然。而且,还确定了之后高校巡展计划,让动画展不断生长。

年轻的策展人杨静是玩游戏长大的学霸,她策划的“游戏共生”里面的内容基本都是她玩过的,而且与大部分的艺术家(也即游戏设计者)都认识。这些艺术家很多来自IT界的高手,有从战争入手的、有从精神分裂入手的,其丰富的内涵完全颠覆了我们对游戏的肤浅认识。杨静虽第一次策划展览,但悟性高、有计划、执行能力强,因“游戏共生”板块分成两两个场地展出(创意园水演记和补时多余美术馆),她总是不辞劳苦,还没开始布展的时候自己多次来回深圳香港,为后面工作做准备。

神一般的团队

最后,必须提到的是我们神一般的团队。团队的核心人物李振华老师,包容、开明,他以专业化和职业化的工作方式带动我们推进工作,面对频频出现的各种意外和状况,他总能淡定从容地化解;对于工作中的失误,他则直言不讳、耐心分析;在最后阶段我病倒住院的时候,他什么也没说自己承担了大部分工作,还让我安心住院。精力充沛的他好像永远不需要睡觉一样,日夜工作。台前幕后的小伙伴晓捷、卢川、陈颖、万楠,分担了大量的工作;还有设计师团队柳静、韦羚、逯超,专业且敬业,对于我们的频繁修改高度配合毫无怨言。最终双年展红红绿绿的主视觉出现在华侨城创意园,一改黑白灰的色调,给冬天带来靓丽的色彩,主展厅外墙和集装箱的设计更是成了网红打卡热点。

一个历经一年多的大型展览,有太多太多的令人感动的人和事,在此无法一一赘述,但铭刻在心。工作虽累但令人快乐,而自己也在工作中不断观照自我。最后,我想借用奥地利心理学家弗洛伊德所说的一句话作为结束语,他说人的一生最重要的两点是“爱人和工作”,有人才能成事,爱人方能被爱;工作,是感性和理性的结合,学习的最佳方式。此记!

Afterword

By He Jinfang

It has been more than a month since the opening of the biennale. Looking back on the fuss and anxiety we had right before the opening, it feels like it happened a long time ago. It is true that all things will pass, and everything will eventually become a memory.

The Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennale takes place every two years. It can be seen as a mountain that embodies the expectations of the organizer and the ambition of the curators. The 4th edition of the biennale was like a mountain that nobody had ever seen before. Its academic vision, its venue and its scale were all expanded, imposing huge challenges on the executive team. Nevertheless, we love embracing these challenges.

The Preparation

The preparation of the the 4th edition started early in the spring of 2017 when the 3rd edition just ended. We thought starting early would give us enough of a buffer to plan and adjust. We talked to the organizer OCT-Loft and the curator Li Zhenhua about the model of the biennale and we all agreed that the executive committee would act on behalf of the biennale to coordinate the biennale and invite curators and artists. In this way, we followed to the international biennial trend and rule, and brought our biennale to a world stage.

After half a year of preparation, we defined the biennial theme, the number of sections it would present and invited the curators. In March 2018, we gathered the curators in OCT-Loft and held the first meeting, introducing the project to them in details. In April, we hosted the Artist in Residency program and invited a Swedish artist and his team to Shenzhen to explore and make art. In May, we organized our first lecture “The Art World of Augustine Rebetz”, and in August, we announced an open call for works that will be featured in the “Recommendation Screening” section, and announced the list of nominees in October. Meanwhile, we discussed the spatial deign, collected materials, and worked on the visual design. In November, the project was finally ready to be executed. Eventually, the opening ran smoothly in the afternoon of the 8th of December. Although everything seemed to be going smoothly, only those who organized exhibition before would know how difficult it was to get to this point.

The Challenges

Looking back on the biennial, there were a few challenges that we encountered: we have six sections, seven curators got involved, almost two third of the works were installations. Besides, we had more than thirty cooperative institutions and held ten academic events. There were so many unexpected things happened. Money was what we needed the most, but also what we lacked. For instance, we wanted to use the cargos to create an exhibition space, which would be our archival center. However, the concrete floor of the OCT-Loft cannot bear the weight of the cargos, hence we could only use materials that resembled that of the cargo’s, which resulted in higher cost and longer production time. In addition, most of the works featured in “Code to Materials” section are installations, which were supposed to be brought to China by putting them in the artists’ carry-on bags. The curator (also one of the artists) suddenly changed his mind and told us that he wanted to ship the materials by air a week before they left for Shenzhen. This was totally unexpected as not only the cost was increased, but also we needed to deal with the customs clearance process. Since Xiaojie was assigned to take care of this issue, she never slept well again. When it was only a week away from the opening, she contacted the customs broker every single day, going back and forth between the company, the airport and the customs. The first two days of December were a weekend so the customs was closed. On the 3rd of December they started to do customs clearance. In the afternoon of the 4th, when we almost got all the paper works done and we were notified that all artworks could be released, the website of the customs crashed. Another day passed. We received a new notification at 9:43 am of the 5th, which was a great weight off our shoulders. By the time we got the artworks back, it was only three days away from the opening, so we worked overtime every night. Going home at 1 am and coming back to work at 9 am became a norm for Xiaojie and Lu Chuan, who were in charge of coordinating on site. They had red eyes til the end of the opening. I have to say that it is great to be young.

We updated the progress we made in our installation group chat all the time. In the afternoon of the 7th, we were concerned that we could not find the coal that the artists requested; during the night the electricity was shut down, and there were something wrong with both Ho Tzu Nyen and Bruce’s works so they needed to be replaced…similar problems ensued all the time. Eventually, we opened at 4 pm on the 8th. Who would have imagined we had encountered so many challenges?

The Organizer

Every time we dealt with issues like submitting customs declarations, the organizer always generously offered their help.  In the most hectic time, we did not care much about whether the work should be assigned to Party A or Party B. Everyone worked overtime together and stayed up late. Mounting the exhibition is physically demanding, and text proofreading was the most physically taxing one. We often discussed a punctuation mark or a word in the press materials til 11:00 pm, and we were still energized to work the next day. Although sometimes her suggestions meant heavier workload, everyone could understand each other as we all wanted to make the exhibition as good as possible.

During previous three occasions, I got friends ask me that why a great exhibition like this is not happening in Beijing or Shanghai, but in Shenzhen. I told them that it is because we have a good organizer in Shenzhen and we have a good working relationship with them. The organizer of the biennale, OCT-Loft, it is their vision and courage to choose animation as the theme of the biennale. Since 2012, it has been financing the biennial so that it could run smoothly. It had been held four times in the past eight years. I am one of the founders and curators, and now I am working with Li Zhenhua as producers of the biennale. Measuring the success of a person or an institution is not to see what achievements one makes, but to see one’s continuity and persistence. Therefore, I sincerely thank the organizers for providing such a good platform and opportunity. Although there will always be some tension between us and the organizer, we all held the same goal, which is to make a great exhibition.

Expanding Collaboration

We were actively reaching out and making attempts with limited resources, such as choosing Shape of Water as our exhibition venue for the "Game Symbiosis" section, and the B Park and the Artron Art Center as the screening venue for the “Recommended Screening” section. Among these institutions, only Artron Art Center is an art institution, others are either cafe or restaurant, which draw a lot of hype and sensationalism. It is a good way to promote the exhibition. Also, we made some merchandizes such as customized perfume and watch for the biennale. The green tote bag of the Biennale became highly sought-after and they were the best mobile advertising boards during the opening ceremony. (It was not on sale as it was only a gift for the guests, so many audience were jealous of people who have it). Moreover, we had cooperations on equipment needed for the exhibition, receiving support from Shanghai River Road and Hongri Lighting as usual, and the local enterprise Konka Group also generously supported the works by Nam June Paik so that they could be presented well. In terms of media cooperation, we took advantage of live broadcast and subway advertising. Our subway campaign was quite effective as Guangfo Metro Line has a daily ridership of 30,000.

Monetary obstacle is the major concern for large-scale exhibitions. We found ourselves in a bit of bind when looked for money and waited for response from potential sponsors. This reminded me of the difficulties and frustrations that Qiu Zhijie had when he was looking for sponsorship as a curator of the Shanghai Biennale a few years ago. We had the exact same feelings. Luckily, we had many generous friends offering their help, such Mr. Zhang Qinghong (Shanghai Helu Culture), Mrs. Xiao Hong (Dynasty Culture), Mr. Yang Yuze (B.Park), Sammy (Swiss Consulate General in Guangzhou) who is keen to promote Sino-Swiss cultural exchanges, as well as Swiss Art and Culture Foundation. I want to express my gratitude to them for their generosity, which will be forever remembered.

Curators with Different Work Styles

The 2018 Biennial have six sections and seven curators were invited to curate them. The international list of curators includes Korean curator Jinsuk Suh (“Video Collage-Found Footage-Shared Moving Image” section) and American curator Holly Russell (“Throw Your Shadows" section), German curator Daniel Frank (“Code to Material” section), Chinese curator Tang Yong (“Sculptural Animation: Image , Media and Realistic Landscape” section), Cao Yu and Xue Feng from Nanjing, China (“Recommendation Screening” section) and Yang Jing from Hong Kong (“Video Game: Cohabitant” section). They each were responsible for a section. Despite the diverse backgrounds of the curators, the sections they curated are all connected to the overarching theme “Expanded Animation”.

Jinksuk Suh is the director of the Nam June Paik Art Center in South Korea, and he has the persona and work style of a professional curator. Many of the works were exhibited in China for the first time, and video works like “Good Morning, Mr. Orwell” and the “Global Convention” are considered Nam June Paik’s most representative works. At first, we wanted to feature some of Nam June Paik’s works in the biennial. For enriching the "Video Collage - Found Images - Sharing Moving Images” section, Mr. Suh insisted on bringing in works by artist Xu Bing, Ho Tzo Nyuen from Singapore and Bruce from the United States and kept reaching out to their studios and agencies. As these artists are all big names, their standards and requirements for the exhibition are quite high. Mr. Suh as an internationally well-known curator explained to us in a very sincere and humble way, and also took a lot of responsibilities and risks and kept updating the exhibition plan. Hence, I would like to express my deep respect to him.

Holly Russell is a typical American. She is serious, attentive to details and straightforward, which is good as that saved us a lot of trouble. The section she curated is an animated installation by Swiss artists. The workload was heavy and complicated. In order to purchase the neon lights and LEDs required, I went to a factory in Foshan in May of 2018 to do some research and speak with the manufacturer. In October, we got the specific design and the quotation. In November, we could finally get the production started. Due to jet lag and language barrier, we had four parties communicate with one another at the same time, including the artist, the curator, Xiaojie as the translator, and the manufacturer. The progress was slow, everyone was very anxious because it was only a few days til the artists arrived (the 29th of November), but the artist did not lower their standards. On the 27th, we were still adjusting the speed of the animation on the LED panel. We weren’t satisfied until the control was within 3 seconds. Later on, people at the factory said that they finally got to see what a real artist is, and what being imaginative is. I want to thank Mr. Xian and Hongjian from Red Sun Lighting for helping us out.

Other curators also contributed a lot. Tang Yong, a professor at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, kept thinking about the exhibition after confirming the exhibition plan. He even flew over to have a look of the site one month before the opening, confirmed the location of each work and checked all the equipment. Hence, the work presented in the “Sculpture Animation: Image, Media and Realistic Landscape” section received positive feedback from the public, and they looked even better than we expected. At the entrance of the exhibition, the shining lights from Jiao Xingtao's work “Beautiful New World” attracted the audience far away.

Cao Kai and Xue Feng, whose section focuses on "Recommended Screening", were two charismatic figures. When they were looking for artworks, the universities and institutions all responded with great enthusiasm, which was reflected on the list of cooperation institutions that includes more than twenty institutions, such as Videotage from Hong Kong, Floating Points, Ox Warehouse, Beijing Film Academy, Tsinghua University Academy of Arts and Design, Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts, Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, Communication University of China, China Academy of Art, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Hubei Academy of Fine Arts and China Contemporary Animation Art Archive. During the opening, they also invited many important figures from the animation department of all the colleges, and launched a three-day seminar and screening, which received positive feedback from the public. Moreover, they determined the touring plan, extending the exhibition of animation.

The young curator Yang Jing is academic high achiever who grew up with video games. She almost played all the works presented in her section “Video Game: Cohabitant”, and knew most of the artists (the makers) personally. Many of these artists are professionals from the IT industry. Some of them used war and schizophrenia as their starting point, their rich content completely subverted our assumed understanding of video games. Although it was Yang Jing’s first time curating a show, she was very savvy, and has strong planning and execution skills. As the “Video Game: Cohabitant” section was spread out in two venues (Shape of Water at OCT-Loft and the Extra Time Art Museum), she worked very hard, going back and forth between Shenzhen and Hong Kong many times before the installation started.

A Stellar Team

Last, I want to talk about our team, the strongest team ever. The core of the team is Li Zhenhua, who is tolerant and open-minded. He pushed our project forward with his effective and professional leadership. When problems arose, he remained calm and solve them one by one. He would also pointed out the mistakes people made at work, but explained to them patiently. When I was admitted to the hospital, he took over all the work without any complaints and allowed me to rest without worrying about the project. He was so energized that it seemed like he never needed sleep. Xiaojie, Lu Chuan, Chen Ying and Wan Nan shared most of the works. Liu Jing, Wei Ling and Lu Chao from the design team were so professional, accepting the changes without any complaints. The red and black elements in the visual id of OCT-Loft brought a variety of colors to the site in the wintertime. Also, the cargos and the outer wall of the main exhibition space became a popular spot for taking pictures.

To realize this year-bound exhibition in vast scale, there are too many interesting stories that I cannot elaborate there. We felt exhausted but satisfied with the result, and I constantly spent time in self-reflection. Finally, I want to quote the words by the Austrian psychologist Sigmund Freud as the concluding remark. He said that love and work are the cornerstones of our humanness. Our lives revolve, hour after hour on our relationships with others, and they are organized and structure by our work. Work is the combination of reason and sensibility, and it will maintain your vitality. Keep that in mind!