When a piece of land is converted by poetry into a place where the heart dwells and belongs, its mountains and rivers become more than features of scenery - they are sites for methods and values. To retrace the Tang Poetry Road is to use art to forge the bond between man and the land, to return to the original scenes that have nurtured the poetic mind, we hold fast to the wisdom of today, to kindle and infinitely expand our perception of time and space.
The exhibition opens at Zhejiang Exhibition Hall on March 6, 2022, and runs until March 18, 2022.
The Tang Poetry Road is a scenic route in the geographic sense, a path for the poetic mind to journey and wander, and more importantly, is a guiding trail for the construction of the Zhejiang Poetry Road Cultural Belt.
In the Year 2022, China Academy of Art continues to mobilize students and faculty to again situate themselves in the cultural-geographical context for poetry of the Tang Dynasty, to sense, observe, and derive inspiration from the natural scenery, the cultural history, and the everyday life of the local people, to practice art making based on the knowledge of the local landscape, flora, climate, ecosystem, customs, philosophies, folklore, and specialties, and to produce cultural maps for the Qiantang River Poetry Road, the Grand Canal Poetry Road, and the Oujiang River Landscape Poetry Road.
In the same vein as the first session of Endless Mountains: The Way Toward Poetry Art Exhibition in 2020, the Academy adheres to principles for the research and development of the Tang Poetry Road. We integrate research, learning, art making, design, and curation into a teaching-action system, and consciously foreground collective art, the involvement of research, the innovations in media, the local stewardship, and global visions. We endeavor to explore the artistic potential of the Poetry Road and to rethink poetry of the Tang Dynasty in the spirit of the times.
The "Endless Mountains II: The Way Toward Poetry Art Exhibition" is a witness to and product of the above-mentioned practices. It unfolds in the following narratives:
Kinship with Land
Focusing on art’s perception and engagement of the locals, the exhibition presents the lively thinking and enthusiastic art making generated by fieldwork and local practice, as well as the efforts to participate creatively in the development of local art and culture.
With unbridled and vivid imagination, artists find echoes in the transcendent and mystical motifs in traditional poetics and reach beyond the realm of human existence.
Mountains and Rivers
By presenting the artist's search for and revisiting of sites of historical changes and scenic relics, the exhibition attempts to shed new light on the question of what it means to be rooted in the natural aesthetics and worldly experience of Chinese landscape culture.
The exhibition takes the Tang Poetry Road as its spatial footing and the revisiting of the road as an opportune time to investigate key issues such as how to engage in the community, how to perceive the landscape, and how to view art. The “Art of the Poetry Road: Digital Immersion Exhibition Hall” taps into new media resources, including installation, video art, and digital performance art, to bring together an eclectic array of artistic expressions, such as Chinese painting, oil painting, calligraphy, printmaking, and sculpture. It is specially designed to depart from the long-standing practice of approaching traditional topics with conventional media and to form a cross-media demonstration of the poetry road, the poetic mind, and the poetry expression.
To prepare for and participate in the exhibition, students and faculty at the Academy grouped together to form cooperatives. Coming from diverse disciplinary backgrounds, they jointly carried out research, fieldwork, and art making. Teams that had participated in the first Endless Mountains: The Way Toward Poetry Art Exhibition acted as “special forces” to pass on their previous experience. They were also looking to take their past projects to a deeper level.
To retrace the Tang Poetry Road is not to tread on a cultural-historical tourism route in the manner of a sightseer or to contribute to the increasing stereotyping of the images and historical imagination of the place. Rather, in the course of journeying through a specific place, we are asked to acquire the abilities to read and write about the scenes of life, to experience mobility as organic, to make the here and now a counterpoint to the faraway, to draw an inter-textual link between the past and the time to come, to let thoughts and feelings germinate naturally so that the Tang Poetry Road of today will be formed by everyone's walking.
“Time after time I crane my neck, looking toward the horizon, At what place among those dark-green hills would be Yue?” We stroll along the time-honored road of poetry, through the changing seasons, and past the mountains and rivers. Heaven and earth hold their peace, the Poetry Road goes on in perpetuity, the eternal humming rolls off the tongue, and the green mountains know no bounds.
A public education activity will also be held at the exhibition venue by inviting middle school students to write and discuss poetry with professors from China Academy of Art.