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Continuum – Generation by Generation

57th Venice Biennale


The Chinese Pavilion is curated by Qiu Zhijie, it brings forward a project about the Chinese understanding of “eternity,” and reveals the profound essence of Chinese wisdom. It brings together contemporary art and folk art, and through their interaction, the mystery of long-lasting Chinese culture and Chinese art is interpreted.

It will also feature works of four participating artists: Wang Tianwen, Wu Jian'an, Tang Nannan and Yao Huifen, a hand embroider from Suzhou, eastern Jiangsu province.

The biennale will preview from May 10 to 12, with an awards inauguration ceremony on May 13, and run through Nov 26, 2017.

During the preview there will be a multimedia shadow-play performance, based on cooperation between contemporary and folk artists.

Six performers from Huaxian country, northwestern Shaanxi province, will present original shadow plays on three screens.

They will operate shadow puppets that were jointly created by Wang Tianwen, a puppet-sculpting folk artist from the provincial capital Xi'an, and two contemporary artists, Wu Jian'an and Tang Nannan.

The plays will narrate three classic Chinese fables: The Foolish Old Man Removes the Mountains, Jingwei Filling the Sea, and Fish Kun Morphs into Bird Peng.

The audience can both enjoy the performances and see how folk artists operate the puppets, play music instruments and sing.

Tang Nannan’s (b. 1969, Fujian Province) core theme revolves around nostalgia in modern urban settings. His works also touch upon time and memory, myths and poetry, as well as nostalgia around the themes of life and death.


He is also concerned with contemporary life and his own life experiences and incorporates these in his practice, which encompasses ink painting, installation, photography and multi-screen video projection. His ink works range from figurative to landscape to abstracted scenes.

He obtained a PhD from the School of Inter-Media Art of the China Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou where he now works as an associate professor. He also teaches at the Art College of Jimei University.

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