Again, Open Work.
The phrase Open Work originates from the book of the same name, which was written by Italian philosopher and semiologist Umberto Eco. Accordance to this idea, Eco points that spectators play an important role in the process of creative practice, especially looking at artworks, where they understand the works with their unique points of view by personal backgrounds, cultural values, and experiences. Although the possible interpretation and understanding towards works are not in an infinite circumstance, they do become open dialogues.
Within a dialogue between a piece of work of art or design and an ideal reader, the spectator shall make a decision among all the possible ways of understanding towards the work. Although the view may not be refined, he/she is able to understand the possibilities and to comprehend the work in one of the ways that are expected by the artist or designer. Eco considers this process as a kind of performance because every spectator expresses one’s own appreciation.
According to the rapid growth of the Chinese economy environment, China’s design inevitably shows a tendency of single-direction dissemination where people value more on the profit-oriented functions rather than aesthetic values. There is no doubt that the idea originally comes from the “Design is a Tool” of modernism, which ignores the aesthetic needed. Today, functions and profits are going to be much easier to be achieved regarding the rapid enhancement of technologies such as artificial intelligence, automatic speech recognition, and other computer generated technology. The role of “designer” is undermined while the anxiety of self-value is already common among them. However, within the heavily visual contented internet, social media, and “we”media, spectators influences on the development of visual art and design though interactive actions of “save”, “tag”, “like”, and “share” for the visuals that appeal to them on internet. In this context, the works shown online become more creative, artistic, and even more ambiguous on meanings. These characteristics of openness would generate new environment where “human-based designers” are able to compete with “machine-based designers”.
The emergence of Eco’s Open Work drove the postmodern zeitgeist in Europe, in which it also promoted contemporary art up to a new stage. Today, although we are referring back to the idea of “Open Work” again, we are not forsaking technology that has improved our vision of the world. In contrast, we are hoping that new technologies could contribute to the recombination of creative works where artists and designers would return to rethinking the emotions among humans themselves. This would remind viewers to dig deeper on their identities and to inspire the generation of new work, which may produce new relationships among creator, spectator and creation. We believe the core of this exhibition is to be accessible and meaningful, and hope it will provide a new direction of thinking for the arts and designs in China.
Shanghai Visual Art & Design Exhibition 2017 invited some the most vibrant artists and designers from all over the world. They are not only brave to embrace new technologies with extensive ideas but pays close attention to the changes between their work and the spectators. This makes them the ideal presenter about openness of art value and the purpose of design value. We decided to reallocate these works in an art museum by pulling them away from their original contexts. Attendants who come to this exhibition would be able to immerse themselves into the performance of visual art and design and to join the dialogue with the works accompanied by creating their own experience.
———Curator: Yibing Xu, Rong Chen
Shanghai Institute of Visual Art
Liu Haisu Art Museum
Member of Committee
Tong Zhang, Gang Zhu, Xiangyang Li, Ping Ye, Jieming Hu, Naishu Sun, Xijia Fan, David Crow (UK), David Barnett (UK), Mitsuo Katsui (Japan)
Curator: Yibing Xu, Rong Chen
Member: David Barnett (UK), Junyi Lu, Guo Wang (Canada), Jing Ai, Yiliao Zou, Shaojun Zhang, Zhihua Duan
Secretariat: Yan Liang, Beiji Chen, Yan Chen, Chenyan Yu, Yanjie Wang, Lin Chen, Jialiang Li, Qiansheng Tang, Lujie Cai, Yan Li.
Shanghai Creative Design Professional Association
Visual and Information Design Department, Shanghai Institute of Visual Art
Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London
Musashino Art University
Seoul Institute of The Arts
School of Design of Jiangnan University
D&AD Global Association for Creative Advertising & Design Awards
XUXU / DESIGN
Site：Liu Haisu Art Museum
Location：No.1609 West Yan'an Rd. Changning District
Forum & Speech：2017／12／4／ 9:30
Site：Shanghai Institute of Visual Art
Location：No.2200 Wenxiang Rd. Songjiang District