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The Extraordinary Ordinary. Contemporary Craft Exhibition

Exhibition  /  31 Jul 2021  -  31 Oct 2021
Published: 27.08.2021
The Extraordinary Ordinary. Contemporary Craft Exhibition.
AN+ Art&Design Center
Curator:
YDMD
Management:
Quan Liu
.

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Intro
The Extraordinary Ordinary is a group exhibition gathering contemporary craft works from different disciplines, including metal, ceramic, and glass. It's curated by YDMD studio, held in AN+ Art&Design Center in Shenzhen, China. The exhibition does not aim to give contemporary crafts a clear identity in visual cultures but presents audiences with a series of extraordinary domestic objects strolling between art and ordinary daily life.

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Artist list

Tian Chen, Xiao Chen, FIXI, Jia Fang, Xue Fei, Lu Gan, Shuyao Hong, Chenchen Hu, Ji Huang, Yijin Huo, Xiayu Ji, Qiang Li, Xinyi Li, Xiaoqi Liu, Yi Peng, Xuyifan Ren, Xinzi Song, Yu Tan, Huili Tian, Chao Wang, Kezhen Wang, Yiru Wang, Yue Wang, Mian Wu, Wen Xin, Chenxi Xu, Yue Xu, YDMD, Junyi Yang, Yuqun Yang, Yujia Yao, Jingwen Yuan, Yitong Zhang, Yu Zhang, Jinya Zhao, Yang Zhao, Tingyu Zheng, Haojun Zhou, Lite Zhu
Preface
Living in cities means that the concept of a wilderness is rarely encountered. It is only when we have the spare time and opportunity to stroll that we might luckily come across a plot of land like a post-industrial oasis where visitors can drink and refresh themselves from the blinding sun, where the linear logic of travel is interrupted, just like an art and design center in a shopping mall with a contrast of its internal and external signs, subtly sets an imaginative gem in our programmed life.

It is this particular space that needs to meet its suitable objects, and contemporary crafts come into sight. No matter in Eastern or Western cultures, contemporary crafts have turned its role from presenting the beauty of materials and craftsmanship into intellectual productions. However, they always encounter prejudices from the arena of fine arts when in the spotlight. Even the contemporary artist, Turner Price Winner, Grayson Perry has expressed that his friends cannot understand why he chose civilian ceramics as art media and he thinks people do not like something close to them (to be art). However, it is just these kinds of prejudices that push Perry to keep his style.

It is not hard to see that contemporary crafts are stuck and lost in between something over close to life and something free to be intellectually produced. However, can we see the loss of crafts as an arrival of the loss just like we truly need a post-industrial oasis to refresh ourselves from the blinding sun?

Therefore, “the extraordinary ordinary” invites artists from metal, ceramic, and glass, which does not aim to give contemporary crafts a clear identity in visual cultures but presents audiences with a series of extraordinary domestic objects strolling between art and ordinary daily life.

Unit One: Materials, functions and Meanings
Jorunn Veitberg pointed that in relation to craft, it is in the attitudes to the utility function and materials in particular that the divisions lie (from fine art). She concluded people’s prejudices that making utility objects entails constraints and an element of coercion, which means that it can never elevate itself to the free form of intellectual production in which the production of fine art is portrayed as being. Also, materials are always regarded as constraints for a craft artist’s creative practice. Just in this situation, the curator and professor Zhang Suojia has challenged the fact why we called “glass artwork” rather than artwork with its medium of glass; no one calls a sculptor as a bronze sculptor, stainless steel sculptor or resin sculptor but why glass?

Marshall McLuhan’s theory of “the media is the message” gives us an inspiration of reading, thinking of and practicing contemporary crafts that we should not only focus on the “content” of an artwork but also the meanings that its media can support including functionality and materiality instead of looking at them as constraints. Therefore, in the unit, all the works mainly discuss the critical relationship between functions, materials, and meanings within the context of contemporary crafts.

Unit Two: Look! Jewellery on the floor!
Jewellery, as a very tiny object, inherently relates to its owner’s identity and emotional information. Eliot says “The only way of expressing emotion in the form of art is by finding an ‘objective correlative’; in other words, as set of objects, a situation, a chain of events which shall be the formula of that particular emotion”. However, the situation of a shopping mall gives audiences a sense of consumerism and the art gallery bring people an obscure distance of art. Therefore, in this unit, a series of jewellery is “left” on the ground of silent space, inviting people to guess who has left them and perceive the emotional communication from these works.

Unit Three: Rebellious Desktop
Heidegger has indicated the two states of objects- ready-to-hand and present-in-hand. When objects are in the state of ready-to-hand, people will overlook the objects but focus on the jobs that the objects are doing. Only when the objects are broken, people can really see these objects as they are in the state of present-in-hand. If so, the object is like a person who uses the whole life to design his/her tombstone. Hence, Unit Three will present a situation where objects are ready-to-hand, but they will use their rebellion to be present-in-hand, seducing audiences to taste their cultural, social, and emotional narratives in daily life.

Unit Four: Experimenting with boundaries
Why do we need to renovate traditional crafts? The answer, actually, has already been a part of the question because our tradition has its strong character of the inclusiveness of every present moment. To take jewellery for example, Professor Zhang Fan has concluded that jewellery in Shang and Zhou Dynasties expressed ancestors ’beliefs and customs; jewellery in Wei, Jin, Sui and Tang Dynasties had fused different cultures; In Song and Yuan Dynasties, jewellery was influenced by views on literati paintings and poems. We can see that the prosperity of material cultures relies on the fusion of every era rather than standing in situ. Therefore, Unit Four invites artists who have spirits of experimentation to respond to the contemporary context through practice and they are boldly but strategically pushing the boundaries of crafts.
Chenchen Hu. Object: Half & half, 2018. Earthenware.. 15 x 15 x 14.5 cm. Unique piece. Chenchen Hu
Object: Half & half, 2018
Earthenware.
15 x 15 x 14.5 cm
Unique piece
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Ji Huang. Installation: Digital Diatom, 2021. Wood, steel, paint, renewable plastics.. 240 x 240 x 5 cm. Unique piece. Ji Huang
Installation: Digital Diatom, 2021
Wood, steel, paint, renewable plastics.
240 x 240 x 5 cm
Unique piece
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Yi Peng. Head Piece: Role, 2021. Glass.. 20 x 20 x 10 cm. Unique piece. Yi Peng
Head Piece: Role, 2021
Glass.
20 x 20 x 10 cm
Unique piece
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Kezhen Wang. Object: Tube, 2019. Silver.. Variable size. Unique piece. Kezhen Wang
Object: Tube, 2019
Silver.
Variable size
Unique piece
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Mian Wu. Necklace: The fish that never swam, 2021. Glass, gold.. 8 x 3 x 3 cm. Unique piece. Mian Wu
Necklace: The fish that never swam, 2021
Glass, gold.
8 x 3 x 3 cm
Unique piece
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Mian Wu. Necklace: The fish that never swam, 2021. Glass, gold.. 8 x 3 x 3 cm. Alternative view. Unique piece. Mian Wu
Necklace: The fish that never swam, 2021
Glass, gold.
8 x 3 x 3 cm

Alternative view.
Unique piece
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Chenxi Xu. Set: Dreaming in Blue, 2021. Enameled steel, art micro spray painting.. Brooch: 5.6 x 4.7 x 1 cm; Painting: 26.2 x 19.6 cm. Unique piece. Chenxi Xu
Set: Dreaming in Blue, 2021
Enameled steel, art micro spray painting.
Brooch: 5.6 x 4.7 x 1 cm; Painting: 26.2 x 19.6 cm
Unique piece
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Jingwen Yuan. Object: Origami: A Moonlight on The Spring River I (excerpt), 2021. Silver.. 16 x 7 x 14.5 cm. Unique piece. Jingwen Yuan
Object: Origami: A Moonlight on The Spring River I (excerpt), 2021
Silver.
16 x 7 x 14.5 cm
Unique piece
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Yu Zhang. Brooch: Toothflower, 2021. Silver.. 12 x 1.3 x 1.3 cm. Unique piece. Yu Zhang
Brooch: Toothflower, 2021
Silver.
12 x 1.3 x 1.3 cm
Unique piece
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Jinya Zhao. Object: Non-existent Existence, 2021. Glass.. 31 x 31 x 46 cm. Unique piece. Jinya Zhao
Object: Non-existent Existence, 2021
Glass.
31 x 31 x 46 cm
Unique piece
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Wen Xin. Object: Can not, 2019. Aluminium alloy.. 14 x 5.6 x 5.6 cm. Unique piece. Wen Xin
Object: Can not, 2019
Aluminium alloy.
14 x 5.6 x 5.6 cm
Unique piece
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Exhibition venue..
Exhibition venue.

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Exhibition venue..
Exhibition venue.

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Exhibition venue..
Exhibition venue.

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Exhibition venue..
Exhibition venue.

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