Rockbund Art Museum
Rockbund Art Museum | Tell Me a Story - exhibition
in Shanghai is proud to present its latest group exhibition, “Tell Me a Story: Locality and Narrative.”
The exhibition draws on artists from all across Asia to share 11 stories from distinct regional cultures as they have evolved throughout the modern era.
The exhibition runs to August 14 2016
Through the exploration of personal ties between artist and environment, each work exhibits multiple facets of local life, revealing in the process a side of Asia often left unseen and unheard. Though originating from different locations and cultures, these stories harmonize with one another as much as they contrast. For, though each work expresses a different saga, they nonetheless manifest a deeper, shared history, bringing to view the full complexity of existence “on the ground” for contemporary Asian societies.
Life on The “Borders”
The exhibition begins with Apichatpong’s video installation Fireworks (Archive)
, in which the viewer is taken through a surreal night-journey through a temple on the border of Northern Thailand. The only sources of illumination are brought by Apichatpong himself. Flashlights, fireworks and camera light up the macabre and desolate statuaries of the temple, the sudden bursts of incandescence reminiscent of the fires of war which ravaged the region when it was suppressed by Bangkok, as well as bombed by US military during the 1970’s. The artist describes his work as a “hallucinatory memory machine.” The boundary between fantasy and fact is as dark as the shadowy recesses of the history itself.
In stark contrast, Japanese photographer Tomoko Yoneda, tours the uninhabited island of Sakhalin, subtly employing a more conceptual photography to capture the eerie history of its past life. At one time a home to Japanese manufacturing workers and their families, the island was seized by Soviet forces following World War II. Though the families were relocated, the factories remained, weathering the elements in isolation. Eight photographs perfectly capture the balance between the island’s present and previous roles: beautiful, serene, but nonetheless devoid of human life.
Yet, margins are not just found on the periphery. Sometimes they exist in the very heart of a bustling metropolis. Let the Water Flow
, by Field Recordings, charts the unstable existence of migrant workers anchored to the banks of Suzhou Creek, Shanghai. The boundary between land and water reflects the political and economic barrier presented to these workers, as they view the stable vista of skyscrapers from the decks of their boats, lurching on the waves of the Suzhou Creek. One part of the piece presents a review of scholarly studies focused on the relations between man and environment, life and water. Another part follows the workers in a vignette of field studies, revealing their tenuous relationship with a globalizing economy.
, Chen Chieh-Jen
, Guo Xi and Zhang Jianling
, Haejun Jo and Kyeong Soo Lee
, MAP Office (Laurent Gutierrez, Valérie Portefaix)
, Filed Recordings (Li Xiaofei, Jim Speers, Clinton Watkins, Tracey Guo, and Tu Neill)
, Su Yu-Hsien
, Koki Tananka
, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
, Tomoko Yoneda