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Art encourages dialogue between states, cities

THE program for "Double Infinity," currently running at the Dutch Culture Center through May 23, offers an exhibition, a performance series, a lecture series and a publication.

Claiming to be the first European museum to make its collection available to artists living and working in China, the project was jointly initiated by the Van Abbemuseum and Arthub Asia.

Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven was one of the first public contemporary art museums to be established in Europe.

Organized in support of John Kormeling's design of the Netherlands Pavilion, "Happy Street," at World Expo 2010 Shanghai, the project seeks to bring two states and cities - China and the Netherlands, Shanghai and Eindhoven - into an imagined dialogue with each other, drawing on everyday realities and uniqueness.

The original inspiration for "Double Infinity" lies in Kormeling's artistic approach.

His wide-ranging, cross-disciplinary, unconventional stance toward architecture, urban planning and design have shaped the selection criteria for all artworks showcased at the exhibition.

They are in part drawn from the Van Abbemuseum and in part produced by artists invited by Arthub Asia.

The work of Thai artist Surasi Kusolwong, for example, transforms the exhibition space into a playground for a peculiar "treasure hunt."

The back of the gallery is filled with tons of thread waste, into which a gold necklace with the Chinese symbol for "Double Happiness" is hidden every week to the benefit of the lucky visitor who finds it.

Kusolwong uses the current financial crisis as the underlying motive for developing this installation, which connects the traditional value of gold and Chinese culture, to shifting the focus of the media from economic affairs to art.

Another example is "Comfortable Collective," an artist group set up by young Shanghainese and here including Gao Mingyan, Jin Shan, Li Mu and Maya Kramer.

Together, they focus on the cultural conflict that is inherent in the artistic challenges of working site-specifically. The result is an invitation to patrons to participate by physically experiencing the works.

Date: through May 23 (closed on Monday), 11am-7pm

Address: 800 Changde Rd


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