This year’s graduation exhibition theme is “Being with you in the World”. Today, we share with you the article to elaborate the exhibition’s theme.
Being with You in the World
“Endless faraway places, countless people's faces, that are all connected to me.”
The 2020s began with an unusual overture.The COVID-19 epidemic swept across the globe and has still not subsided, the world and life we once knew have changed forever and human society now faces a serious challenge. This test we face is one which goes beyond the loss of life and the epidemic; it is one which permeates deep into our fundamental notion of what “humane” is, examining our values, familial ethics, forms of societal governance, and our ideologies.
Nonetheless, the challenge presents a golden opportunity for artists and designers to grow, offering a chance for the rest of us to step up to the plate and make a difference. TheCOVID-19 epidemic is a dilemma which impacts all people of all nations; each of us feels the immediate pain and bears the burden of sharing a common fate of being human. It is at this time that we can fully appreciate the words of Mr. Lu Xun, “Endless faraway places, countless people's faces that are all connected to me.”
And so we have our theme, Being with You in the World.
How does mankind create civilizations, transform nature, and explore the universe? Aristotle argued that men could form societies and city-states, while other animals could not. Xunzi, a contemporary of Aristotle, also said: “Man is able to form societies but animals are not". The ability to form societies is the ability to "live together” in a group where there is no break between groups and individual, it is the ability to construct a field where morals, ethics, and politics can develop.
In life, the ups and downs and unpredictability of encounters are always intertwined with the fireworks of the world and the splendor of life. Suffering is always accompanied by the glory of civilization. Human existence continues generation after generation, civilizations stretch out in all directions, and together, we live on.
"Being with you in the World" has two meanings: firstly, it implies the “collectivity” of a group and secondly, the "commonality" between people. The continuance of humanity lies in its "social" and “collective” characteristics. In prehistoric times, human beings lived in groups to defend themselves against floods and fierce beasts, the human race preserved it and flourished by living together. In the age of civilization, human beings united with each other to explore the vast unknown, developing and strengthening themselves by sharing the wisdom of acquired from the group.
The coexistence of human beings lies in having commonality and being able to “commonize”. The commonality to unite and form group cohesion is based on the same bloodline, regionality, nationality, and culture; the common people can also put aside their differences in pursuit of finding common ground and in transcending the regional or racial differences, they can achieve compassion and empathy. "Living together" is the essence of what it means to be human, it is both the starting point and purpose of civilization.
Yet today, we are that entire child standing on the lonely planet of the WeChat startup page. The reality of social media/independent-media is that people are more than willing to self-isolate themselves into their own bubbles where on-screen narcissism and the ego feed an illusory digital spectacle. The stage of independent media is filled with all the colors of the rainbow and all the sounds of the spectrum, the ego's performance never comes to an end, but the ego's spiritual core continues to lose depth each day.
Everything is interconnected yet all life is alienated.
The year is 2020, and humanity finds itself amid multiple global crises. Despite the unparalleled technological achievements of this age, we have never felt so universally alone, confused, and lost. It is not only the “benefiting-in-another’s loss” approach brought about by quarantine, but also because of the isolation and alienation so prevalent in the age of the network.
After a long period of isolation, we long to live together; yet due to the self-imposed isolation of our online existence, we need to learn how to live together again. Living together only happens when a group of people can live together without fear. To live together is to live with all things symbiotically, to be equal, and to feel the heavens and the earth, to respect all living creatures, to understand the love of birds and beasts, to know the laws of nature, and to live and develop in commonness and collectiveness without overstepping one’s boundaries.
Half a century ago, humans looked back at their planet from space for the first time in history. In the grand loneliness and tranquility of the universe, astronaut Michael Collins was taken back: “I could not see any particular nation or border… it is a serene place, perhaps because no people were seen…” That’s how the earth is, blended in blue and white, with no gap between the rich and the poor; blended in blue and white, with no ideological divide; blended in blue and white, without any distinction for the color of one’s skin.
This distant view and profound impression of the sheer vastness of space and time transcends and reconstructs the human experience. This insignificant piece of blue stardust posited in the infinite universe is the only world we live in together. But we also believe that there are countless possibilities of how this world can be activated, and the starry sky above us is still shining with the glow of endless un-knowns!