18 October – 4 December 2022
Zhejiang Art Museum, Hangzhou, China
Theme: Being Theoria
Exhibition Director: Ying Jinfei
Artistic Director: Shi Hui
Chief Curator: Liu Tian
Co-curators: Liu Yihong, Ying Xinxun, Iris Long, Wang Hongzhe
Convener of Lecture & Forum: Liu Tian, Xu Jia
Assistant Curators: Xi Tianhao, Duan Xin, Zheng Linyixin, Ren Yue
Project Director: Huang Yan
Project Coordinators: Gu Wenjia, Wu Jiayu, Xu Xiaoxiao, Zhao Jin
Special Project "Pure Reason" at Hangzhou Museum
缓存在 / Being Theoria
There is a "cosmotechnics" inherent in Mì/Sī (糸/纟), the radical for "silk" in the Chinese language, such as the archetypes in conceptions of "relation": clue (Xiànsuǒ / 线索), organization (Zǔzhī / 组织), web/network (Wǎngluò / 网络), system (Xìtǒng / 系统); the general name of colours: red / 红, green / 绿, purple / 紫, scarlet / 绯, crimson / 绛; and "Wén / 文(纹)", which means, together in one word, text, texture, culture, and civilization. These come from the form of silk since the time of ancient China, alert us that fiber/textile is the basic construction of the world, as well as the phenomenon of and universal metaphor for human thought.
Drawing inspirations from fiber/textile, the curatorial team of the 4th Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art propose the term "缓存在 (Huǎn Cún Zài)" to suggest a redefinition and a re-interpretation of "art": the way "art" occurs and exists is a kind of "theoria-being".
This is echoed in the English translation, "Being Theoria", which itself derives from Aristotle’s "theoria" (contemplation) from the time of ancient Greece. Poesis (techne) / praxis / theoria come from the "three activities" categorized by Aristotle. "Being Theoria" reacts to the divide between art emphasizing production (techne) and art emphasizing participation and intervention (praxis) today.
There is also an intertextuality between the Chinese and the English titles. "Huǎn Cún Zài / 缓存在" is a combination of two words: huǎncún / 缓存 (cache) and cúnzài / 存在 (being). Huǎn / 缓 (with the silk radical) means slow, moderate, or postponed; it belongs to the radical of Mì. Meanwhile cúnzài / 存在 is the equivalent of the philosophical term "being". Huǎn Cún Zài could be understood as "postponed-being" or "cached-being", and huǎncún is the translation of "cache" in computerese but could literally mean "storing / existing slowly", which is the daily life situation of the pandemic.
From the initial moment, the curatorial team has defined itself as "weavers", inviting artists and scholars to join in and establish connections, and form a network of Research Weavers responding to a reflective fiber-world. The triennial is not segmented but linked up through several "clues", viz. characters with the silk radical: "Wén / 文" (text / texture / culture / civilization), "Xù / 绪" (emotion / thought), "Xiàn / 线" (lines / trajectory), "Zhī / 织" (weave / labor), "Wǎng / 网" (net/web), "Jié / 结" (tying knots), and "Zōng / 综" (diversity / complexity). These clues are intertwined in space and are presented as a series of immersive "Theoria Space" for people to linger in and meditate.
Special Project "净因 | Pure Reason"
Taking place from 30 September to 4 December 2022 at the Hangzhou Museum, as a special project of the 4th Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art in 2022,"净因|Pure Reason" invited 12 worldwide artists/groups to create works in the museum's open-air and indoor non-exhibition spaces around the Five Dynasties "Jingyin Temple" stone pagoda pedestal housed in the collection of the project partner Hangzhou Museum.
"净因 | Pure Reason" is a public project taking place in the museum, an urban project dedicated to Hangzhou, and an experimental project exploring the boundaries of the Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art. It seeks to extend the theme of the Triennial, "缓存在 / Being Theoria", by establishing the connection between the Buddhist doctrine "Jingyin" (literally means pure cause [hetu]) and Kant's "Pure Reason", and asking in a more focused way what "fiber" is an archetype of "thinking", especially the experience process from the concrete matters to the thought archetypal: "thin/fiber (纤 , xian)", the thin silk; "dimension (维 , wei)", the carriage cover; "thread (绪 , xu)", the end of the silk; "memoriam (缅 , mian)", micro silk; "deduct (绎 , yi)", draw silk... The exchange and translation of meanings from different cultural traditions not only reflects the tolerance and connotation of Hangzhou, the Asian Games City, but also shows the experimental spirit of this edition's HTFA to break through the traditional definition of fiber art.