NOWNESS Stages Immersive Group Exhibition in Shanghai

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Courtesy of NOWNESS

NOWNESS’s exhibition, BEYOND PERCEPTION, saw artists and filmmakers interpret the words ‘boundary’ and ‘interface’

It is well known that in the Chinese language, single characters can hold a variety of meanings – such as ‘界’, for example, which set the tone for NOWNESS’s exhibition, BEYOND PERCEPTION, that opened in Shanghai this week. Meaning ‘scope’, ‘group’, ‘circles’ (or even ‘world’ when combined with the character ‘世’), its translation as both ‘boundary’ and ‘interface’ was the starting point for the various artists and filmmakers involved, who took part from across the world.

Held in collaboration with West Bund TANK SHANGHAI, driven by the West Bund Art Fair, ART 021 and the Shanghai Biennale, and taking place during Shanghai Contemporary Art Week, BEYOND PERCEPTION is an exhibition connected to the launch of a forthcoming progressive platform, NOWNESS Experiments, which will feature the work of innovative and experimental moving-image culture creators alongside world-renowned video artists. The exhibition itself asked artists to take part in this spirit: “It is an experimentation of moving images that transcends boundaries,” says NOWNESS. “Unlimited to a single-sided engagement, [it] explores the intertwined relationship between different media and forms.”

Speaking about the wider themes of the exhibition, curator Davide Quadrio asks: “What are we doing? How do we interact with Nature and how are ecosystems built and protected? How is natural beauty compromised or enhanced by the artificial?”

Those involved included Japanese electronic and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda (in Tank 1; the artists show their work in one of three cavernous spaces), French multi-media artist Laure Prouvost (Tank 2), and sound and performance artist Lu Sisi, from China, who undertook a special performance at the opening party (in Tank 3), while various artists’ works were shown as part of group exhibition Naturalunnatural, curated by David Quadrio, the line-up including Wu Chi-Tsung, Zeitguised Studio and Frederik Heyman, among others. 

This week’s opening – attended by NOWNESS’ creative director Bunny Kinney, Dazed Media’s co-founder Jefferson Hack, Modern Media’s founder Thomas Shao and the company’s group style editorial director Shaway Yeh – saw various guests view Sisi’s work The Age of Digital/Analogue, an epic project over 13 sections which views industrial development through icons of the turn-of-the-century: printing presses, looms, cameras and steam engines, to magical, overwhelming effect.

NOWNESS’s Beyond Perception launched as part of the Shanghai Biennale from November 8 – 11, 2018.