© 2018 by Overwhelming Imagination 

Overwhelming Imagination: 

Introduction

Kiki Linyao Liu,

Si Shang Art Museum Director 

Since the 1985 New Wave, the Chinese art world embraced the international contemporary art world in many ways. Through different approaches we re-examine our understanding from a Chinese social-cultural background to engage with the art-pioneers around the planet.

 

Si Shang Art Museum aims to discover, to promote, to collect, and to support art from those contemporary artists, who create welfare to humanity. In this inevitable movement of Globalization, we see it as our mission to create an open discussion platform for young artists, critics and curators from China and abroad, to come together to discuss in an open face-to-face environment the same dilemmas and issues we are all facing simultaneously in this fast moving world from different points of perspectives and to intercross their admirable minds and thoughts.

After nearly a year of planning, i:Project Space, Open Ground Blog and Si Shang Art Museum together held the first international art conference for young critics at the museum space. 

During the beginning of the conference, the United Kingdom had just voted for the Brexit, mind-blowing to the entire world. Whether or whether not Trump would become the 45th president of the USA was also vigorously discussed throughout the conference. Now, after these articles have been collected and published, Trump succeeded and we already can feel an impact of these two events towards the art world and its Globalization traded for national interests. Yearning for a bright future is just an utopian idea because we are deemed in repetition of old eras. Sadly, history only repeats itself.

 

We seem to abandon hundreds of years of achievements in culturizing our civilization, choosing societal formations that economically can not benefit everyone. Those working in the arts facing more important tasks for recurrent issues. After all that what happened in 2016, we have to ask ourselves, if we are living in an era where the end of the world will precede the end of capitalism, how can we prevent a healthy civilization from being engulfed by economic interests?  

 

During the conference, the participants intensively discussed the topic of how people these days collect information. In this era of the rapid development of science and technology and the access to High-Speed-Data all around the globe rearranges the individual’s possibility of access to acquired knowledge, but ironically our dopamine-driven newsfeed consumption stacked with our programed interests actually narrows gained information. How can we rebuild healthy social fabric under the vulnerable human psychological walls embedded in the contemporary world?

 

The abundance development of technologies popping up highly frequent, changes in power and reorder of society can be pictured as an Abelian sandpile model: it is impossible to predict which one is the threshold that will change the world forever. Here at the conference, we gathered the young minds to discuss which grain will break the order and hope, that the one which will do, benefits but collapse the world.