“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” 第四个项目，“天堂电影院” 像是一首情诗，亦或情感写照，象征艺术、建筑、设计中饱含的精神寄托和情感力量。展览以艺术家厉槟源的九部影像作品为基础，邀请建筑师吴林寿进行空间呈现的创作，平面设计师何见平进行海报等视觉系统的创作。
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.
Cinema Paradiso: Solo Exhibition of Li Binyuan
As the fourth of the Nine-Tiered Pagoda series, Cinema Paradiso is a love poem or more precisely a depiction of emotion emblematic of what the creators pursue spiritually and emotionally in the field of art, architecture and design. Based on nine works of the performance artist Li Binyuan, the exhibition invites the architect Wu Linshou for the presentation of space, and the graphic designer Jumping He for the creation of posters and other visual contents.
Cinema Paradiso is named after an Italian film which tells about the inexplicable bond of the protagonist Toto with cinema. Sweetness blended warmly with sadness is portrayed in the film to unleash its limitless appeal. Cinema Paradiso was a cinema in Sicily, the director’s hometown and came through multiple changes. The building, along with a lone plaza in a small town, recounted cross-generational friendship and the vicissitudes of film.
Cinema Paradiso is also one of Li’s biographic exhibitions. It recounts the chain of events in Li’s life — wandering from job to job, resting seabirds, church bells, the piece of native soil he tilled with body and the last letter left by his father before leaving the world. The recurring hometown impression, sleeping secrets and joy embedded deep in life make a complementary contrast with the rises and falls in Li’s life, one suffused with an affection for the past.
As is the case with the beams and dimness in the cinema, the nine visual works requests similarly of the architect Wu on spatial representation. In the exhibition space he strikes the viewers with both joy and sadness by coupling sacredness with darkness as is signified by the hopefulness-hopelessness duo. On the one hand, the works reflect the many facets of worldly life — lanes, alleys and desolate slums in the cities and the fragmentary facets of the bustling human world. On the other hand, the works seem to draw people to their long sought-after heaven, an ideal one that an outdoor cinema is provided with. The two worlds seem to be separated from each other by the two bulky doors of the cinema we used to go to in childhood. When pushed open, they immediately usher us into a brilliant paradise following the several initial beams of dry and harsh light.
In Cinema Paradiso, the protagonist Toto committed his future to art and struck up a cross-generational friendship with the senior projector Alfredo. We can see with clarity the figure of the projector in the performance artist, the architect and the designer. Years later, the projector pushed us away, seeing us bid farewell to worldly worries. For those in the worldly realm, a cinema or an art gallery means a heavenly oasis from which they derive the warmest of all affections.
Curator, Cui Cancan