2017.09.01 - 09.10
Artists (selected) :
Xiao Yanzi, Jiabao Hong, Changyu Bi, Xiao Long, Yi Liu, Bao Qi, Jielin Li, Chen Yang, Xiao Qin, Nan Heng, Kele Yuan, Yao Huang, San Mao, Koichiro Miya, Ryoko Koda, Takeshi Yoshizawa, Yosuke Kakinuma, Ryosuke Okabe, Takeshi Motoki, Yozo Nagura, Tamae Sugimoto, Mineaki Ishizawa…
Big Miao, Akiko Ishioka
From the perspective of Art History, those totally natural, sincere and unaffected paintings of the exhibition Another Splendor: Art of a Special Community fall under the category of Art Brut/Outsider Art. Initiated by WABC Charity Foundation, a domestically well-known NGO helping people with special needs via art therapy, supported by Shanghai Gallery of Art @ Three on the Bund – one of China’s most distinguished galleries focusing on Asian Contemporary Art, in collaboration with four other Japanese counterpart organizations (Social Welfare Organization Aiseikai at Nakano Ward, Tokyo, Social Welfare Organization Nijinokai at Mitaka City, Tokyo, Medical Corporation Koseikai Hirakawa Hospital・Molding School at Hachioji City, Tokyo and NPO ABLE ART JAPAN at Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo), the Exhibition presents us an eye feast of Art Brut from the special needs community.
WABC, World of Art Brut Culture, believes that Art Brut is a highly precious component of human culture, which can awaken the very beginning minds of ours, help us reexamine our surroundings, and to restart and get back to ourselves. From the “Discover China’s Van Gogh” of the very beginning, to the recent “Art Expression for Life, Art Therapy for Love”, the slogan of WABC changes, but not this path of color and love that it has been devoted itself to build. Most Chinese Art Brut paintings in this Exhibition come from the special needs community that WABC has been helping in the last 8 years. They live in different neighborhoods in 7 different cities of China, and have been participating all kinds of art therapy and creation activities by WABC for a long time. The Exhibition presents their artistic styles collectively with selected “cases”. And through these paintings and images, each case is ready to tell a unique life story.
Shiming Miao (Big Miao), founder of WABC, visited Japan in the summer of 2015. During his visit, he experienced the stunning charm of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennlae, and also made a special visit to ABLE ART JAPAN in Tokyo, where he was impressed by the professionality and carefulness, as well as the splendid and touching art works by the local special needs community. Since then, Miao had this wish that WABC can have an opportunity to deeply communicate with its Japanese counterparts, and maybe be able to provide more for the special needs communities that they’ve all been helping. And that might be seen as the origin of this exhibition Another Splendor: Art of a Special Community. The 4 Japanese partners of the Exhibition are representatives of different organization types in this area of Japan. Besides academic dialogues, their participation has also made it possible for the first time in China, to exhibit Japanese Art Brut artists’ excellent works on such a large scale. It would be a rare opportunity for the audience to have a close access to these collections. Besides, what needs to be mentioned is that, most works in the Exhibition are paintings, and it’s hard to avoid the fact that the exhibition format may appear “normcore” or “aloof” like professional galleries or museums. But we believe it will be the warmest “normcore” art exhibition in Shanghai this year.
The name of the exhibition is “Another Splendor”, with more or less a sense of otherness and in the meantime, may also give the audience some peculiar association. But all these are necessary, in order to allow the audience, out of their actual and real minds, to accept these gifted talents, as well as the handicaps of their lives (which, however, is often the side being noticed the most ). This is exactly a basic premise for social integration. And the word “community” has indicated one side of the current situation of domestic Art Brut in China: the artistic talents of the special needs community is an important component of Art Brut, no matter domestically or internationally. When discussing the Exhibition’s English title, Dr. Ishioka, the Japanese co-curator of the Exhibition, has mentioned “Genuine Art”, which kind of reflects the multi-dimensional academic understanding and categorization of Art Brut in Japan. The word “community” has an ecological indication, and Art Brut in China is just unfolding. No matter for practitioners and researchers in Art Brut, or the public and the contemporary artist groups, dialogues and divergences coexist, thus the awareness of an ecological community is especially important and essential.
In essence, the so called “Another Splendor” is not singular or bizarre, because in the end, we all end at the same destination.
*With special thanks to the full support of Development Bank of Singapore(DBS), Social Welfare Organization Aiseikai at Nakano Ward, Tokyo, Social Welfare Organization Nijinokai at Mitaka City, Tokyo, Medical Corporation Koseikai Hirakawa Hospital・Molding School at Hachioji City, Tokyo and NPO ABLE ART JAPAN at Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, and especially the dedication of Dr. Ishioka and Mr. Junichi Hirakawa (Director of Koseikai Hirakawa Hospital).