"Literati and Artisan" comes from the topic about the literati world and the spirit of artisan in ancient China. Similarly, this long-standing traditional garden carries the two implications, serving as the embodiment of reclusive philosophy and the residence for secular life for ancient Chinese.
As the title of the exhibition, "Literati and Artisan" attempts to explore literati’ life and craftsmanship in traditional Chinese culture. On the one hand, "literati" have inherited the literati’ spirit in their paintings and life, which have become symbols of the origin of Chinese culture. On the other, "artisan" in ancient China upheld the discussion of creation, production, craftsmanship and techniques, and had the earliest understanding of the rational spirit of science and technology in China.
However, the long history did not enhance the position and significance of "artisan", who simply become the service providers for "literati" and "gentlemen". As a result, people stopped pursuing precision and craftsmanship, science and modernization, and no longer advocated willpower and belief. The "craftsmanship" has declined.
At the exhibition we will invite three artists to rethink the contemporary value of craftsmanship from different perspectives and artistic practices, and to show the life and spirit of the literati beyond the tradition. Artist Yang Fudong's work "Mr. Fool Wants to Move the Mountain" originated from a myth during the Warring States Period, which, as a portrayal of the craftsmanship, represents the relationship between the inheritance of Mr. Fool's spirit and the modern society. In today's mediocre life, the years of slowness, contemplation and solitude, as well as the obsession and perseverance, are so precious.
“Literati and Artisan" tells a cultural story, which created a splendid history, but due to the evolving times and contexts, they gained disparate rebirths and values under the reflection between skills and arts.