Arts festival's ARTRA presents avant-garde and crossover work

Ma Yue Liu Chwan-Shin
The Shanghai International Arts Festival has launched its innovative new art arm "ARTRA," involving avant-garde and crossover work like "integrate" and "Relative Calm."
Ma Yue Liu Chwan-Shin

Shanghai International Arts Festival has launched its innovative new art arm "ARTRA," aiming to dissolve boundaries across various art forms.

According to organizers, ARTRA provides artists with an unrestricted creative landscape. The initiative seeks not only to spur the organic growth of avant-garde and crossover artistic creations, but also to reawaken the public's understanding of synesthetic aesthetics.

Internationally renowned choreographer and visual artist Shen Wei will take center stage with a revised version of his multimedia art work "Integrate."

Arts festival's ARTRA presents avant-garde and crossover work
Ti Gong

"Integrate" premiered in 2021.

Shen drew inspiration from "Yi Jing" or "the Book of Changes" (one of the oldest of Chinese texts) when creating "Integrate," which debuted at Shanghai's West Bund Dome in 2021.

"Integrate" is an integration of varied art forms of painting, photography, installation, sound, video and dance.

In this updated 2023 version, full-field ticket holders will be able to enjoy the show from the second floor of the venue to obtain an overlooking view.

"From the second floor, the audience will get a clearer picture of the positional relation of the installations, as well as the connection between the dancers," said Shen.

"Art is a matter of perspective that follows the inner heart of the audience. The new edition of 'Integrate' offers entirely different aesthetic experiences depending on the paths chosen by the viewers," he said.

Arts festival's ARTRA presents avant-garde and crossover work
Lucie Jansch

Relative Calm

The other heavyweight project "Relative Calm" is co-created by modern art masters Robert Wilson and Lucinda Childs. Initially debuted in 1981, the performance has been revived by both artists with fresh musical, visual and dance elements.

"We wanted to expand the early work, and the suggestion came to choreograph Stravinsky's Pulcinella," said Wilson. "I liked the idea of Stravinsky being a central counterpoint to contemporary compositions of Jon Gibson and John Adams. So we have structured the work to be in three parts and make a full evening of dance, music, images and lights."

Born in Waco, Texas, Wilson is among the world's foremost theater and visual artists. Childs has appeared in a number of Wilson's major productions.

Arts festival's ARTRA presents avant-garde and crossover work
Ti Gong

Robert Wilson and Lucinda Childs

"All of my theater in a sense is a masque of music and text. The stage picture is something we see, and what we hear is something different," said Wilson.

"In this way it is very classical, like in Greek theater, the actors were all masks. I see in my work – all of my works – the stage imagery being a mask, and behind the mask we hear something," he added.

ARTRA's another project "When the Future Meets the Past" invites artists from different fields and cultural backgrounds to collaborate and bridge conversations between the past and the future.

Arts festival's ARTRA presents avant-garde and crossover work
Ti Gong

ARTRA collaborates with artist Ni Zhiqi and Ni Hao to transform the exterior architecture of the Shanghai International Arts Festival Center into a stage for their creations.

Performance info

Integrate

Dates: October 1-20

Venue: West Bund Dome 西岸穹顶艺术中心

Address: No. 2350 Longteng Avenue 龙腾大道2350号

Ticket: 480-680 yuan

Relative Calm

Dates: November 18, 7:30pm; November 19, 2:30pm

Venue: Shangyin Opera House 上音歌剧院

Address: No. 6 Fenyang Rd 汾阳路6号

Ticket: 180-880 yuan

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