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March 4, 2012

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It's the end of the world as we know it

THE 2012 end of the world prophecy has been widely circulated thanks to the success of the Hollywood blockbuster "2012."

"New Horizons for Art," an exhibition curated by Qiu Anxiong, a renowned contemporary artist, and supervised by Mian Mian, China's well-known cultural vanguard and writer, gives nine young artists the chance to explore the 2012 theme.

"2012 is here, but the prophecy depicted in the film has not been fulfilled," Qiu says. "We are still waiting for what's coming, curious about what the future might hold for us. Time is an illusion, what has happened is already known to us, and is left behind or has disappeared. The future may remain unknown, but it already exists, some distance away."

The young artists have responded to the question with works on different subjects - from the origin of the universe to personal perception and even to just a fleeting thought.

In "Everyday" and "Nothing New Under the Sun," Xiao Jiang and Chen Zhou respectively respond to the doom-and-gloom prophecy with composure. In "Within 3 Meters" and "Mist," Chen Yongwei and Li Ming both focus on their own life trajectories and inner feelings than on the fate of humanity.

Unlike most artists, Liu Yiqing, who has immense interest in occultism, exudes a penchant for returning to the basics in her "Back Journey," which smacks of an attempt to summoning back the soul of mankind that has been all but lost.

"While everyone is jokingly saying that the world's dignitaries have bought tickets for Noah's Ark, and some even mischievously claim to have located the boarding point on a Google map, nobody would seriously take any concrete action to prepare for that day," Qiu adds.

"Artists may not change our fates, but artists can contemplate on our fates and present their interpretation in the form of the arts," the curator says. "We hope the exhibit might trigger some deep thinking towards the 'time and fate' relationship."

Date: Through May 31, 11am-7pm

Venue: 18 Gallery Shanghai, 4/F, 18 Zhongshan Rd E1

Tel: 6323-8099


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