“九层塔：空间与视觉的魔术” 是一次跨界行动，是中国从未有过的展览方向和形式。它将邀请9位／组艺术家提供作品，作为展览的基础素材，同时邀请9位建筑师，9位设计师，组成九个临时团队。艺术家、建筑师、设计师三方联名合作，没有 “主次” 和 “中心”，只是分工与协作，最终形成9个全新类型的展览。
作为 “九层塔” 的第一个项目，“团结就是力量” 成为一个开篇，一个号角和新声，象征9组艺术家、建筑师、设计师合作的价值，开放的状态。展览以艺术小组 “政纯办” 的作品为基础，邀请建筑师王子耕进行空间呈现的创作，平面设计师刘治治进行海报等视觉系统的创作。
选择 “政纯办” 是因为他们的概念和属性，它们是中国时间最长的艺术小组之一，不断磨合着个人和集体的关系，体现叠加和共生的价值。选择政纯办，是选择一种组织和创作模式，一种 “团结就是力量” 的形式与观念。
如果说政纯办是针对集体主义的思考，那么在建筑和平面设计中，这种思考也极为普遍。建筑师王子耕为展览创作的全新空间，与政纯办合成的《政先生》异曲同工。“筒子楼” 式的展厅结构，水房、食堂、放映厅、理发店、澡堂，五种集体主义的空间形式在走廊上混合。抽象的空间、器物与生活记忆在这里交汇，现实与遥远的历史，梦境般的结合。人们必须穿过 “似曾相识”，却又 “素未平生” 的蓝色空间才能抵达，抵达展览的全新语境。
Nine-Tiered Pagoda: Spatial and Visual Magic, as a cross-disciplinary event, represents an unprecedented direction and form of exhibition in China. Nine (groups of) artists will provide their works as the basis material for the exhibition. Besides, nine architects and nine designers will also join to form nine temporary teams, hence the cooperation among artists, architects and designers. There is no ‘priority’ or ‘center’ in the exhibition, only division of labor and collaboration, presenting nine individual exhibitions of a brand-new type.
As the core determinant for the exhibition, space and design are also a kind of re-creation of the exhibition and the work; They determine the content and how the audience see the exhibition, as well as the sequence and pace. Space and design, no longer in the service of the exhibition, provide an independent and autonomous experience for the audience, granting the exhibition a myriad of variables and possibilities.
There has always been a lack of quality cross-disciplinary exhibitions, which are neither a fast food product preached by celebrities and online influencers nor a highbrow art confined to professional barriers. The cross-disciplinary advocated by Nine-Tiered Pagoda creates a nexus joining art, architecture and design together with a new cross-discipline, which reflects the practical needs and collaboration of the three professions, while it also retains the expertise and strengths of each with a proper division of labor.
As an ancient Chinese architecture, ‘Pagoda’ has a special structure, with each tier telling a different story. These stories, spaces, and designs are closely intertwined with each other into a superimposed whole, formulating the external image and spiritual core of the exhibition.
Nine-Tiered Pagoda: Spatial and Visual Magic, launched by curator Cui Cancan and architect Liu Xiaodu in 2020, is a hands-on project that mixes ideas, methodologies and tools. It’s not only a workshop for cross-disciplinary art, but also a platform for artists, architects and designers to cooperate and expand their development realms together.
The advent of Nine-Tiered Pagoda represents the ambition to create an entirely new field, with an aim to invent a new way of collaboration and to create a fresh exhibition concept that can reshape the perceptual experience of our times.
Unity is Strength – Solo Exhibition of Polit-Sheer-Form Office, PSFO
As the first project of Nine-Tiered Pagoda, Unity is Strength is an awakening voice-over, heralding the value and openness of the collaboration among 9 groups of artists, architects and designers. The exhibition is based on the works of Polit-Sheer-Form Office, with architect Wang Zigeng creating the space and graphic designer Liu Zhizhi in charge of posters and other visual designs.
Polit-Sheer-Form Office, or PSFO for short, is an art collective founded by artists Hong Hao, Xiao Yu, Song Dong, Liu Jianhua, and Leng Lin in 2005. Facing the world and focusing on the construction of the cultural experience, PSFO transforms political, cultural, economic and daily life into sheer form, blurring boundaries in between. By making thoughts, discussions, footprints, pleasures and ideas into forms, the Polit Sheer Form has thus been developed.
PSFO was chosen because of their concept and attributes. As one of the longest standing art groups in China, PSFO embodies the value of combination and symbiosis through the increasingly integrated individuality and collectivity. PSFO not only represents a new model of organization and creation, but also a form and concept of Unity is Strength.
PSFO is mainly thinking over collectivism, which also prevails in architectural and graphic designs. The brand-new exhibition space designed by Wang Zigeng shares the same core as the portrait of Mr. Zheng created by PSFO. The exhibition hall resembles the tube-shape apartment consisting of washroom, canteen, projection room, barbershop and bathhouse. The five collectivist spatial forms are mixing in the corridor, where converge the abstract space, artifacts and memories of life, dreamily blurring the fine line between reality and distant history. Audience have to pass through the blue space featuring the sense of ‘déjà vu’ while yet ‘never seen before’ to reach the new context of the exhibition.
Just like the footsteps and history experienced by PSFO and many others, collectivism has formulated a several-folded space in factories, farms and places of interest, in brochures, posters, colors, fonts and minimalist designs, as well as in different terms, categories and disciplines.
Cui Cancan, Curator