Going to the Country!
From the early 20th century, the countryside has played an integral role in the shaping of art in China. Especially in New China, artists went to the countryside to live and work alongside farmers. Since the 1980s, artists have sought to rethink this relationship to the countryside. In 1993, together with several artist friends, Song Yongping initiated the "Country Life Project" in Shanxi, which involved living amongst farming people in a remote village where they produced art as part of daily life with them. In 2013, Li Mu carried out the Qiuzhuang Project, Qiuzhuang being his hometown, where he invited local residents to create reproductions of conceptual artworks from the collection of a European museum to place in their living environment. For this talk, the invited guests will discuss the ways in which, as contemporary artists, they engage with audience in rural areas. How they see the countryside today and its relationship to art, and what makes the countryside unique within the Chinese context. What are the benefits of taking art to rural communities, not just for those involved, but for us too?