Samsara of All Things: Boundless in Art and Design between East and West
The theme comes from two thoughts: one is “All things are equal”, originated from Zhang Zai’s ideology, who was a thinker from Song Dynasty, thinking that all people and all things between heaven and earth are our fellows and we should treat other people like brothers, and love things just as we love people; and the other comes from samsara, the transmigration idea from Indian Buddism, which holds the belief that the subject of life take turns in different spheres of existence, and the wheel of death and rebirth is almost endless.
Based on the above two ideas, we believe that samsara is not only meant for living things, but also for non-living things. Human beings and things are equal, and we should be kind to all things, which could be anything in the material world, and the nonmaterial including cultures, concepts, and skills, etc. Art and design can achieve the reconstruction and transformation of ancient cultures, concepts and skills, etc. That is what we call samsara of all things, and the theme for the 2019 Arts Bridge forum at Frankfurt Book Fair.
All the explorations and practices by Xu Bing (Artist of the Year), Jamy Yang (Designer of the Year), Zhu Zheqin’s KANJIAN (Honour of the Year), and Xu Gang (Manufacturer of the Year) verify such a theme.
Xu Bing’s “new” Chinese characters and “new” English characters are the art recreation of characters, and such spirit is also embodied in his exploration of 3D books.
Jamy Yang has integrated Chinese philosophical thinking and humanistic concepts into the industrial design of buildings, furniture, daily objects, etc. His design expresses his goodwill to human nature.
Ms. Zhu Zheqin has been devoted to the field investigation of music and folk art in China’s remote and minority areas for many years. She uses KANJIAN, the brand she has founded, to retain the traditional folk art in a modern design way and make it presented in a brand new way.
The BENTU team, led by Xu Gang, treat all things equally, and make true the modern reconstruction of waste materials by walking among ruins and wastes of agricultural civilisation and pre-industrial relics, thus realising samsara of all things in the secular world.
All these Chinese positions on art and design will be presented, and linked to Western traditions.
Organisers: ACC Art Books, Guangxi Normal University Press (Shanghai) Co., Ltd., Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt a.M. Hochschule für Gestaltung Offenbach a.M., Institute for Design Exchange (IDEe) and Northwestern Polytechnical University Mingde College Moderators: Wang Zijian (from China) and Prof. Dr. Klaus Klemp (from Germany)
(The conference language is English)
In the first half
- Speech by Prof. Xu Bing (artist) 10 mins
- Speech and performance by Axel Malik (artist) 10 mins
- Dialogue between Xu Bing and Axel Malik 10 mins
- Speech by Ms. Zhu Zheqin (crossover artist) 10 mins
- Speech by Prof. Matthias Wagner K (experimental curator) 10 mins
- Dialogue between Zhu Zheqin and Matthias Wagner K 10 mins
- Tea break with brief cold buffet (cakes, tea, coffee, fruits, etc.)
In the second half
- Speech by Mr. Jamy Yang (industrial designer) 10 mins
- Speech by Mr. Xu Gang (product designer) 10 mins
- Speech by Prof. Dr. Klaus Klemp (design theorist) 10 mins
- Dialogue between Mr. Jamy Yang, Mr. Xu Gang and Prof. Dr. Klaus Klemp
- Resume by Prof. Dr. Klaus Klemp
- Come together
Total time: max. 3 hours
17th October, 2019, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt am Main