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Water as Dwelling of Time

works by

Tian Wei

Feng Bingyi

Wu Ding

Tang Nannan

Ishu Han

Curated by

Jay Lai

Opening 14:00, 31st (Sun) Dec

Duration: Dec 31st, 2017 - Mar 18th, 2018

ModeA Contemporary Art Space (F9, Ayoung Plaza, No.88, Sports Road, Siming District, Xiamen)

Based in Xiamen, this exhibition could naturally trace its origin to island. Defined primarily as “a piece of land surrounded by water”, island is isolated and intangible. Water creates the distance and thus increases the difficulties in comprehension. On the one hand, the circular border with water makes island intangible; on the other hand, it allows people to approach because of the “water”. Consequently, islands become multiple dots which will “eventually be passed”. This unknown “dot/ island” seems to turn into some floating land amid of the boundless ocean; the reason is that it shall decide upon its “visibility” based on uncontrollable factors such as the unpredictable weather conditions and the potentially dangerous maritime conditions. The unknown gives rise to the mystery, initiating the construction of the “imagination”. As a demonstration of anxiety and a need of “exchange” with the outside world on account of one’s own defects, imagination propels people actively outward.

Conceiving what we’re devoid of while exchanging with others “what is in our mind”; “the imagined (be it daunting or enchanting)” motivates the exploration into the unknown, and thus it is the writing towards the future and also a chronological narrative. The imagination finally builds up the desire to write, which is in essence the core of history.


The debut exhibition will present the audience with poetic artworks. Artists categorized into five groups shall jointly reveal the poetic dimension of “water=time”; the audience shall experience the spiritual spectrum threaded by water, ranging from the static, visual and relatively intrinsic reflective mediation, to the subject of life which is incessantly smashed and reorganized by the external moving waves. 


Time is continuous and indivisible. The past, the present and the future are linked and the circulation goes on and on. The sensory experience evolved from different levels leads the audience to question the essence of time with the most straight forward emotion, to shuttle between the reality and the imagination, and to understand life standing in the narrow space between dream and reality. Strolling in it, the audience could not only wander the imaginary aesthetic world, but also ponder over the significance of the life journey through hintsfrom these slow and repetitive images. Situated in the island city Xiamen, we expect a renewed attention on the relationship between the water surrounding our life which is frequently neglected and the soil we stand on. Using “island” as the methodology and taking advantage of the character of water (linear and reflective), this present-based exhibition strings the history and the culture in history, and leads us to the unknown future. 




Tang Nannan BillenniumWaves

Video, Sound, Color, 4’3”, 2015

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