“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” 的第三个项目，“我的诗人” 围绕一段交往展开。1997年，毛焰创作了诗人韩东的肖像，成为艺术史和文学史交汇的例证，一段绘画和诗歌的旅程由此浮现。展览以毛焰的绘画，韩东的诗歌、箴言为基础，邀请建筑师王辉进行空间呈现的创作，平面设计师朱砂进行海报等视觉系统的创作。
这个展览是 “故事新编”，它从2018年毛焰和韩东在四方当代美术馆第一个展览开始，那时的空间是建筑师史蒂芬 · 霍尔的杰作。如今，建筑师王辉为这段诗歌和绘画之旅搭建了一座全新的空间，他引领我们走向别样的观看方式。“迷宫” 式的展厅结构，提供了静谧而又纯洁的阅读感受，漫步其中仿佛时光静止不前。曲折的空间换来了悠长的时间。相似的三角彼此叠加，几个门洞似乎提供了新的路径，却又什么都未发生。见到谜底后，才知 “绘画” 和 “诗歌” 在迷宫中移步换景，成为一种绵长的格调。这种感受像极了毛焰和韩东的作品，信息层层叠加，语句精炼而又彼此推进，不断的将我们与现实、自我、想象的距离拉远、后退、趋前。以至于当观众凝视某个局部时，犹如黑洞般的微妙秩序，将我们引向一个虚幻的，难以想象的语言世界。
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.
My Poet – Exhibition of Mao Yan and Han Dong
As the third of Nine-tiered Pagoda series, My Poet illustrates the interactions between Mao Yan and Han Dong. In 1997, Mao Yan painted a portrait of Han Dong, which embarked on a journey of interactions between painting and poem as an example of integration of the history of art and literature. Centering on paintings of Mao Yan, and poetry and maxims of Han Dong, the exhibition invites the architect Wang Hui for the presentation of space, and the graphic designer Zhu Sha for the creation of posters and other visual contents.
As the most prominent artist and poet in China, Mao Yan and Han Dong had similar daily routines and experience over the past 20 years of interactions. They talked about creation and appreciated each other. In profound interactions and frequent exchanges of thoughts, they recommended their favorite books, views and friends to each other. Their valuable experience of interactions seem to shine with the radiance of pure friendship in the originally ordinary and tedious reality.
The exhibition on the theme of “Old Tales Retold” commences its story from the first exhibition that Mao Yan and Han Dong held in 2018 at Sifang Art Museum, a masterpiece of Steven Holl. Today, architect Wang Hui creates a brand-new space for the integration of poetry with paintings, which shows us a different way of appreciating the arts. The maze-shaped construction of the exhibition hall offers a tranquil and pure feeling of reading. Rambling in the space, one will lost track of time. It seems that the twisted space extends the length of time. Similar triangles overlap each other; a few doors seemingly open up new possibilities, but lead to nowhere at all. You cannot be aware of its mystery until discovering that it is the changes of scenery in the maze of paintings and poetry that create an lingering illusion. It feels extraordinarily like Mao Yan’s and Han Dong’s works, with information overlapping, concise and progressive statement, which keep showing us the reality, self and imagination from different perspectives. Thus, when we look fixedly at some part of them, it looks as if there is a black hole therein that ushers us in an unimaginable illusory world of language.
To tell the story between Mao Yan and Han Dong is the intention of Nine-tiered Pagoda, as they symbolize a wonderful blending of different disciplines, just like the frequent exchanges of all fields in the cultural arena in the 1980s. As we have seen in the beginning, My Poet is a gift in memory of and a vivid recollection of classical stories between artists, writers and poets in those golden ages.
Curator, Cui Cancan