An intimate meeting of the East and the West

Swiss artist Yves Netzhammer and Chinese artist Qiu Anxiong create "a dialogue between Western new-media animation and Chinese ink-based film.”
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Installation pieces by Yves Netzhammer

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A video scene from Netzhammer's "Refurnishing Thoughts" exhibition

A duo exhibition featuring a foreign artist and a Chinese one is actually not new or even a cliché when there is no subtle relationship between the works of the two.

But the two ongoing solo exhibitions at the Fosun Foundation Shanghai have managed to find such intimacy in the works of Swiss artist Yves Netzhammer and his Chinese counterpart Qiu Anxiong.

The two exhibitions, both running until October 7, try to explore the paradoxes facing modern society in China and the West. They each look at the plight of humanity and modern civilization through experiential, immersive video works.

They also break down the traditional boundaries of the exhibition space, with a rolling broadcast of short films by both artists displayed on Lujiazui’s Citibank LED screen.

The two artists have jointly created the work “Tableau No. 1,” a combination of drawings and fictional characters. It is described as “a dialogue between Western new-media animation and Chinese ink-based film.”

Netzhammer's show, "Refurnishing Thoughts," is organized by Pro Helvetia Shanghai, a liaison office that now represents Swiss Art Council in China and promote cultural exchange between Switzerland and China. Qiu was the artist in residence of Pro Helvetia Shanghai in Winterthur, Switzerland, in 2014.

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Swiss artist Yves Netzhammer

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Simple black-and-white lines are a feature in Netzhammer's works

Born in 1970 and now living and working in Zurich, Netzhammer studied at the Zurich University of the Arts. Combining painting, steel installation and animated short films, he integrates and reconfigures these elements to “subvert the understanding of the visitors towards time, space and the world: joy and pain coexist; life and death cycle endlessly.”

For his exhibition, the second floor of the gallery is transformed into a “home,” complete with a living room, a kitchen and a bedroom.

Like the human brain, each section has its own separate function. Viewers will be immersed in this artistic space, composed of imaginative animated films, paintings, simple black-and-white lines and blocks of colors.

These changes in different scenes in turn are aimed at evoking different sensorial experiences in visitors.

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"The New Book of Mountains and Seas I"

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"The New Book of Mountains and Seas II"

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"The New Book of Mountains and Seas III"

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Chinese artist Qiu Anxiong

Qiu, born in 1972 in Sichuan Province, spent 10 years making his ink film trilogy ─ "The New Book of Mountains and Seas I," "The New Book of Mountains and Seas II" and "The New Book of Mountains and Seas III" ─ which is shown together for the first time in this solo exhibition, entitled "The Mirage of Mountains and Seas."

Based on the narratives of classical Chinese myths, Qiu's works reveal a crisis of the modern world, expressing a skepticism toward modern civilization. 

Located in the Bund Finance Center, the Fosun Foundation Shanghai is a non-profit organization which opened last year and tries to promote contemporary art, connect China with international cultural systems, and foster public engagement with, understanding of and participation in global contemporary art.

Exhibition details

Date: Through October 7, 10am-5pm

Address: 600 Zhongshan Rd E2

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