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Exhibition or Playtime? An Interactive Art Experience

A contemporary and interactive art exhibition geared toward young people opened at the He Xiangning Art Museum on Sunday.

Titled "Art Game," the exhibition features artwork by 16 avant-garde artists from China, South Korea and Japan. The works are of multiple mediums, including painting, sculpture, installation and animation.

"Through this game-like exhibition, we hope to bring a new sense of the interactivity of art to the juvenile viewers and enable them to gain a new way of looking at art," said the exhibition's curator Feng Boyi.

Chinese artist Xiong Wenyun's contribution is a kindergarten art class. She has titled the workshop "Rainbow-Colored Pens: An Experimental Painting Class for Children."

In an open and free classroom environment, Xiong leads participating children in using drawing and painting to tell their own stories.

"Xiong's artistic pedagogy can change the mode of passive study common among Chinese children, giving them a strong sense of autonomous creativity both in classrooms and in their home assignments," Feng said.

Chinese artist Chen Changwei's work is a collection of 12 Chinese zodiac figurines, cut and displayed in 66 pieces. The small gray sculptures represent the fragmentation, distortion and incompleteness of the artist's childhood memories.

The exciting part of Chen's work is that young viewers are allowed to use seven acrylic pigments such as red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, blue and purple, which the artist prepared, on any piece they choose. The children can then hang their finished artwork on one of 66 nails.

Japanese artist Fuji Hiroshi's work "Kaekko Project" uses second-hand toys. In Japanese, "Kaekko" means both "exchange" and "frog," and sounds quite childish when spoken.

Young viewers are allowed to trade their toys with the artist's childhood toys on display. If a young viewer doesn't bring old toys, he/she is encouraged to draw a picture of his/her favorite toy from the exhibition and take the toy home after drawing it.

Using a digital video camcorder and other studio equipment, South Korean artist Du Su-choi creates an installation, titled "I Am the Sign Images."

The installation gives juvenile viewers a sense of the visual and psychological excitement that the technological revolution has brought to art.

In his work entitled "Graphic-Paper Notebook: A Game of Words and Images," Chinese artist Yin Qi paints memorable feelings into graphic-paper notebooks used by primary school students.

For Yin, painting has become a form of communication, like speaking or writing.

"The meaning of Yin's work lies in how it extinguishes the sanctity of art and the special nature of artist," Feng commented.

Chinese artist Wang Tiantian's series of paintings, "To Van Gogh: Life Is Like Summer Flowers," offers a new interpretation of van Gogh's five classic "Sunflowers" paintings through mixed mediums. Combining techniques of painting and paper-folding with artistic language gives the installation a new vivacity.

Chinese artist Xu Bing's work "Telephone" is an experiment in using different foreign languages to translate the same passage of Chinese written text. His work seeks to demonstrate the gap between the expression of an event and the basic implications of language.

The exhibition's organizers welcome group visits by the city's kindergartens and schools. Please contact the exhibition's assistant curator Jiang Nanan at 2692-0556 for more information.

(Shenzhen Daily June 20, 2006)

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