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Yang Jian | 2021 Residency

Switzerland | Visual Arts

2021 — Visual Arts

Nationality: China
Residency location: TBD
Partner organization: TBD

Yang Jian currently lives and works in Nanjing, China. He has worked primarily in video and installation. He received a BA (2004) and MA (2007) from the Art College of Xiamen University and was a residency artist at the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten in Netherlands from 2009 to 2010. He won the Judging Panel Special Award of  Huayu Youth Award in 2015. He has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions in international and national, such as ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Germany; NJPAC | Nam June Paik Art Center, Korea; UCCA | Center for Contemporary Art, China; PSA | Power Station of Art in Shanghai, China; NAMOC | The National Art Museum of China.

Through his concern for the most insignificant subjects and the pertinence of his narrative framework, not a moment goes by where Yang Jian doesn’t use his artistic creation to stir up habitual experiences and the restrictions and stipulations imposed on daily life. At face value, this kind of joking and teasing – both theatrical and humorous at the same time – is diametrically opposed to a great many previous performance methods that related explicitly to Realpolitik. Oftentimes the artist constructs grotesqueness to reach the shore opposite to that of the truth. Either that or he uses randomness and coincidence to unfurl vigorous, technical rhetoric, whereby he uncovers a logical revolt hidden beneath everyday appearances.

At first glance, Yang Jian’s artistic practice seems oriented towards a kind of “technical” rhetoric with regards to emotions or phenomena, when in actual fact it possesses a melancholic, novel-like core, as well as a montage-like attitude that is revealed when his work deals with specific incidents. His artistic output includes video, installations and performance, among other domains.

For his residency, he will utilize the scientific resources in Switzerland for his exploration of the world of sensors:

“Sensors are the basic technology of the Internet of things, and countless substances will be connected by sensors in the future, and it is reported that there will be 1 trillion sensors connected to the network by 2022. Objects always report the user’s information and needs, and these vast amounts of data are collected and analyzed and finally applied to people. People have doubts about such a future, and indeed we should be so worried, but the worry is not that there are too many sensors, but too few. We can get along better only if unlimited sensors enter the bodies of various substances and reach a real-time intersection of sensory environment data.

Imagine there is a kind of sensor, small enough and harmless to life and environment. People spread it to air to water to soil, and because of enormous amount of data that it is not possible through the existence of Panopticon, it must be decentralized and requires dispersion. We are immersed in information, so it is impossible to control the sea in the ocean. It is not as easy as building a riverbank on a stream. The land has disappeared, and we can only drift with it.

It’s not just appliances, our clothes, our house, all the trees, the rivers and the wind. Let’s be sensors, let’s make planets sensor. The sensor enters the soil and air and water through various channels of transmission in the form of Nano precursors, people breathe it, drink it, plants and animals absorb it. So all people and materials will become sensors. For the first time, mankind has united as a real community, all the matter on the earth as one body.

This epidemic makes us more aware of the difficulties and precious of cooperation. As a permanent neutral and innovative country, there is no more suitable place to start this project than Switzerland.”

More about Yang Jian

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