28 October 2021 - 20 March 2022, SPAZIO CIELO, VILLA MALPENSATA LUGANO
With the exhibition Sur Papier, MUSEC continues its exploration of the relationship between contemporary art and tradition in China. The artists Mingjun Luo, Francine Mury, Jiang Zuqing with the musician and composer Sivan Eldar, reflect together on the interaction between body and writing in a creative context now globalized individual. The exhibition is curated by Marco Franciolli and constitutes the second stage of the exhibition that was realized in collaboration with the Musée d'art et d'histoire of Neuchátel (Mahn) where it was presented last summer. Sur Papier compares the notions of space and identity hybridization between East and West, in a dynamic of echo between cultures and means of expression. The broad gesture, the fluidity of the sign or the meticulousness of the ink painting follow each other in the exhibition rooms, revealing the peculiar qualities of the supports, the variety of languages and the different sensibilities of the artists on display.
The project Sur Papier originates from the meeting between the Swiss artist Francine Mury and the Chinese artist Jiang Zuqing. The intense four-handed work on large format sheets - produced according to the traditional methods of the Chinese province of Anhui - gives back the sense of their artistic complicity: the meeting of the body and the gesture with the white surface leads the artists to overcome their individual roles and their cultural origins.
The significance of this moment of sharing and encounter between cultures has generated the desire to expand the reflection around the theme of dialogue between artists and the hybridization of artistic languages between different cultures, including in the project a third visual artist, Mingjun Luo from China, resident in Switzerland since 1987, and a musician-composer, Sivan Eldar (Israel-USA). The exhibition ends with Domenico Lucchini's creative documentary "One Leaf One Life", dedicated to the meeting and collaboration between Francine Mury and Jiang Zuqing and to the dialogue between cultures as a generator of knowledge and art.
In the four-handed works created by Jiang Zuqing and Francine Mury on very large sheets of paper, the confrontation of body and gesture with the large white surface of the paper leads to the overcoming of the individual roles and cultural origins of the two artists. Francine Mury's profound interest in the great Chinese tradition of ink drawing - for the Swiss artist, pictorial research goes hand in hand with the study of Eastern philosophy and thought - is confronted on this occasion with an artist, Jiang Zuqing, trained in the Chinese academic tradition, with which she identifies and where she finds the source of inspiration for her artistic research. Archetypal forms emerge and merge in the large inks produced by the two artists, in search of a universal and timeless language
"[Zuqing and I] work on the floor in the large workshop of [Tsinghua Academy, Beijing]. We access stroke after stroke a different scope, a new approach. Little by little we break away from our individuality. We go beyond our personal approaches and unite our distinctive rhythms, measure: our brushes cross, overlap in response to each other's stroke or form, then transform, overlap. Our respective origins are reflected in our moods, the position of our bodies, and our movements."
Francine Mury and Jiang Zuqing (Tsinghua University, Beijing)
Mingjun Luo, a Chinese artist who has been living in Switzerland for more than 20 years, has a variety of works on paper that focus on the condition of dual identity and the notion of cultural hybridity. The feeling of distance and uprooting determined by her biographical path generates questions around themes such as the trace, memory and remembrance. With this project, it is the first time that the artist focuses on paper and fully understands its importance. Mulberry paper and Indian ink are her new experimental terrain, which she explores with an intimist attentiveness.
"I love the delicacy of Chinese paper; the smell of ink; the moment when the ink-covered brush glides across the paper; the beauty produced by black and white; the paper that releases when you moisten it and becomes smooth after being mounted on canvas. I love the peace that paper instills in me.
I appreciate the concept of "emptiness" in ancient Chinese art, which leaves room for imagination."
Mingjun Luo in her atelier in Bienne
The exhibition is completed by the sound dimension proposed by the musician and composer Sivan Eldar, who has been active for years in transdisciplinary collaborations between music, dance, performance, opera and visual arts. Eldar investigates the possibility of exhibiting a performance; a difficult mission in an institution dedicated to the continuous and eternal preservation of objects, since performance is instead characterised by an innate transience. The sounds created vibrate for a brief moment and then fade away; two interpretations of the same score always differ from each other, and even the memory we retain is not easily communicated. Throughout her career Eldar has collaborated with classical and non-classical musicians, but also with theatre actors, dancers and visual artists, always searching for new spaces in which to make her sound installations vibrate.
Sivan Eldar at work