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Visual Arts

“Ecological Entanglements from Northeast China and Beyond” Co-Learning Series


“Ecological Entanglements from Northeast China and Beyond” Co-Learning Series
Organizer: WU SPACE
Supported by Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council

Co-Learning Series [1]
Speakers: Anastasia Mityukova, Chen Xiaoyi, Mia Yu
Convener: Mia Yu
Date: July 27, 2022, 20:00 – 22:00 [GMT + 08:00] (Lecture + Q&A)
Language: Chinese + English
Interpretor: Jiajing Lily Sun
Zoom Meeting ID: 971 2286 0042
Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/97122860042
Bilibili Live Link: http://live.bilibili.com/25514162


“Ecological Entanglements from Northeast China and Beyond” is a co-learning series among artists, presented by WU SPACE and supported by Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council. The series, curated by researcher and curator Mia Yu, invites artists and researchers from home and abroad to delve into local history from their own field experiences, and to engage in dialogue and co-learning on topics such as nature awareness, energy infrastructure, ecological transformation caused by mining, post-industrial rewilding, and industrial waste. The series will attempt to establish comparative links between Northeast China and other regions of the world, and to explore the neglected and non-classical perspectives of the Global South. “Ecological Entanglements from Northeast China and Beyond” will take place from late July to late October 2022 and will consist of four online seminars, closed-door workshops, and field trips to the Northeast. Four Swiss artists, Uriel Orlow, Anastasia Mityukova, Pauline Julier, and Vanessa Billy will attend the event series.

“Ecological Entanglements from Northeast China and Beyond” Co-Learning Series [1]

Between the Dongbei Railroads, the Hengduan Mountains and the Greenland Ice Sheet: Mediatizing the Infrastructures of Planetary Dimension

The first online seminar, titled “Between the Dongbei Railroads, the Hengduan Mountains and the Greenland Ice Sheet: Mediatizing the Infrastructures of Planetary Dimension,” will feature Mia Yu, artist Chen Xiaoyi, and Geneva-based artist Anastasia Mityukova, with a focus on massive-scale infrastructures embedded in the earth. Respectively addressing themselves to the railroad–coal-mine complex in Northeast China, the scatters of mining caves in the Hengduan Mountains, and the U.S. military base in Greenland, the participants will explore the geopolitics, ecological transformation, image mechanisms, and individual narratives behind these infrastructures. The melting of Arctic sea ice is the corollary of fossil fuel emissions, and the ecological problems caused by the Cold War are manifesting themselves in an unexpected way in the present and the future. As humans overexploit nature, nature, in turn, rewrites the fate of humans. What are the complex entanglements between coal, minerals, earth’s crust, ice, and human beings in the telescoping of deep time and the history of the 20th century? Using the media of painting, photography, and video, how do artists mediate macroscopic studies and microscopic perceptions of planet-scale infrastructures? Moreover, does the work of artists imply the existence of certain non-classical alternative perspectives of the Global South?

About the CONVENER

Mia Yu

Mia Yu is a Beijing-based, globally active art historian and curator. Her research interests include global exhibition histories, Asian geopolitics, infrastructure, decolonization and the Anthropocene in Northeast China. Her recent exhibitions include “Three Contested Sites—The Worldly Fables of the Long 1990s” (co-curated with Nikita Cai), “Resonances of One Hundred Things” (OCAT Biennale 2021), “From Vladivostok to Xishuangbanna” (Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival 2020), “Photoethics: CHINAFRICA” (2020) and “Ni Jun: An Inconvenient Case” (2019). Mia Yu was the winner of theYishu Award for Critical Writing on Contemporary Art in 2018, the recipient of the Tate Asia Research Travel Fellowship in 2017 and the winner of the CCAA Art Critic Award in 2015. She was also nominated for the Curator of the Year Award for the 14th AAC Art Awards in 2019. Mia Yu’s research essays appeared at the book Uncooperative Contemporaries: Art Exhibitions in Shanghai in 2000  published by Afterall Exhibition Research Center and Bard College as well as other art journals. Her video essays have been exhibited at Times Art Center Berlin, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Guangdong Times Museum, Villa Vassilieff Paris and Asia Society Hong Kong. In 2021, Mia Yu initiated the long-term para-curatorial project “North x Anthropocene: Ecological Sensibilities from the Edges”.


Anastasia Mityukova

Anastasia Mityukova (1992) is a Swiss visual artist based in Geneva. She obtained her bachelor in photography at ECAL in 2018 and her master’s in contemporary art practices at HEAD in 2021. Her artistic practice is exploring ambivalences of the photographic medium. Embracing photography’s ambiguity, and constantly interrogating how we are trained to treat photographs as evidence is the core of her research. She is challenging this medium with an approach close to a documentary, using methods of gathering, comparison, field research, trying to deconstruct our knowledge of certain stories and events.

Chen Xiaoyi

Chen Xiaoyi, received an MA Photography from London College of Communication. Her works are based on photography but not confined to specific media, focusing on the subtle perceptions of human beings by producing images. In the projects that have been progressing in recent years, she has focused on Western China as a resource area in history, focusing on the mines and mining relics in the Hengduan Mountains region as cuts, and continuously salvaging those lost time, the mystery of nature and the land. She has exhibited internationally; she was awarded the Three Shadows Photography Award in 2015, and named one of Asia’s 30 Artists under 30 by Forbes magazine 2017.


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