Humanity, science, spirituality in time of COVID-19

Xu Qin
A group exhibition, "Where the Twilight Comes," is under way at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the People's Park.
Xu Qin

A group exhibition, “Where the Twilight Comes,” is under way at the Museum of Contemporary Art in the People’s Park.

The museum invited eight artists from home and abroad to discuss humanity, science and spiritual life in relation to the art they created since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The artworks come in a variety of forms, such as painting, sculpture, video, photography, installation and graffiti, and the intention is to illustrate diverse creativity in contemporary art and broaden the boundary of perception.

Li Lei’s “Ode to Mercy” comprises 300 blue-and-white ceramic cups tied to a number of colorful silk stripes, hanging from the museum’s three-story high ceiling. Like a plunging waterfall, the installation roars out loud with dashes of shade that look like spears being thrown at viewers under its spotlight.

Humanity, science, spirituality in time of COVID-19
Ti Gong

Li Lei’s site specific installation “Ode to Mercy"

“It’s the first time that I hung my cups this way up for an installation,” said the Shanghai-based artist. “There are feelings of fear, anger, sadness, numbness and frustration, all naturally caused by the stress, anxiety, grief and worry of the COVID-19 pandemic. As I look up to the sky above, I couldn’t help but cry, ‘Have mercy!’”

Surrounding Li’s installation is Qu Fengguo’s “Four Seasons” series. Qu uses horizontal lines to give a feeling of time, endowing a sense of change and unpredictability. Green is the season of spring, red the season of summer, yellow the season of autumn and blue the season of winter.

Humanity, science, spirituality in time of COVID-19
Ti Gong

"Spring" of Qu Fengguo’s “Four Seasons” series

The lines of acrylic, each about a centimeter wide, are layered by different lengths and thickness, and regarded by the middle-aged artist as “an abstract illustration of the moods that change with the season.”

Though German artist Helga Griffiths didn’t show up for the opening ceremony, her light installation “Turbulent Souvenirs” and video works “Brainscape” and “Space Souvenirs,” each occupying an independent dark room, attracted many viewers curious about the intersection of science and art on the site.

Humanity, science, spirituality in time of COVID-19
Ti Gong

Helga Griffiths's light installation “Turbulent Souvenirs”

Likewise, Cheng Yusi, who has been working as a film director for 10 years, showcased his memories of the past year with the help of new audio-video technology. His work “Rumble Life,” in collaboration with Fu Tong and Wang Zhibin, recorded the different sounds of daily life to create a sense of place, with which the artist hopes to keep people connected despite the practice of quarantine or isolation measures in an effort to slow the virus spread.

The entire exhibition has been carefully designed to be immersively friendly.

Exhibition Info

Dates: Through April 30, 10am-6pm
Tickets: 80 yuan (half price for students and people over 70, and free admission for children under 1.3 meters)
Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art
Address: 231 Nanjing Road W. (People’s Park Gate 7)

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