How does art make the world?
Ancient Chinese correlative cosmology teaches that the movement of the universe follows the ceaseless rhythm and transformation of the five elemental phases and yin and yang energies. Water, wood, fire, metal, and earth merge and meld into each other through fluid patters that are both generative and damaging.
Art has a place within this ecology. It is inside it, rather than out. Not merely a reflection, art is part of the cycle of transformation. But how does art make the world? It is our hope that the works of art in this exhibition—each connected with a particular elemental phase—will move you, make you think, touch your memory and imagination, and, in doing so, encourage you to gain fresh perspectives on ecological crises across the planet and possibilities for environmental justice.
The ecoArt CHINA artists and contributors discuss the exhibition and visual art in China as a form of environmental activism.
Water pollution and flooding are crises that we do not fully comprehend until we meet them face to face.
As economic growth drives onward and natural resources are strained tighter, how much longer can we rely on the support of the trees?
Air Pollution & Burning Fossil Fuels
Before COVID-19, wearing face masks was already a part of Chinese daily life. The burning of dirty fossil fuels made it so.
We are turning the earth into a plastic planet, if we do not change our throwaway habits and anthropocentric perception of the earth.
Zhao Liang’s reflections in this film on who or what the Behemoth is and where it can be glimpsed are the source of his video installation featured as part of the metal phase of ecoArt China, alongside delicate papercuts of power plants and automobiles by Bovey Lee.