Material Thinking: International Contemporary Material Art Biennale is on display at the Nanchizi Museum


0V5A6797-9.jpgInstallation View of Material Thinking: International Contemporary Material Art Biennale 

Material Thinking: International Contemporary Material Art Biennale is the first international biennial of contemporary art initiated by Tsinghua University. This Biennale emphasizes the power of matter in artistic creation and reveals the significance of matter in our daily lives and experiences. Beyond that, the Biennale offers a platform through which we are able to contemplate the processes involved in the transformation of physical materials into art media. Various facets of history, life, and society are revealed through such observation, and a new vision of contemporary art presents itself through the exploration of materials.





0V5A6715-4.jpgInstallation View of Material Thinking: International Contemporary Material Art Biennale 

Material Thinking is the fundamental tenet of the exhibition, which focuses on the subjectivity and dynamism of materials from the perspective of "New Materialism" and introduces qualitative research into the exploration of contemporary material art. Material Thinking is, in part, inspired by traditional Chinese cultural notions of "the unity of man and nature", and "the equality of all things", etc. Hence, the artist completes the creative process by integrating "self" with matters. The way of perceiving the integration of matter and life directs our perception of the physical existence of a work of art: the artist enlightens materials with forms, opening up a world where the minds and imaginations can freely engage with the art objects.






Installation View of Material Thinking: International Contemporary Material Art Biennale 

Meanwhile, the language of materials is a universal language that, once given form through works of art, can dissolve the boundaries between different languages and conceptions, allowing for universal communication and dialogue. Thereby, when the invitation to the 1st International Contemporary Material Art Biennale was extended, over 2,000 submissions from more than 80 countries and regions were received. The acknowledgment and support of our colleagues worldwide deeply empowered our vision and instilled in us confidence to forge new paths, theories, and patterns of contemporary art through "material perspective" and "the dimension of materiality."


Baiba Osite (Latvia), Blue,gray and red sguare (detail), canvas, floating wood, 70×70 cm×3. 


Ursula Gerber Senger (Switzerland), Present Day Nomads III (detail), copper net, iron wire, 50×30×6 cm. 


Eszter Bornemisza (Hungary), Elective Affinities (detail), PUR foam, homemade pulp, pocket newspapers, ulcers yarn, line axis, 60×90×150cm. 


Pawel Keblinski (Poland), Anatomy of Space, wool, 200×200×200 cm. 

WechatIMG284.jpegMary Corey March (USA), Identity tapestry (detail), , color cotton threads, wooden back boards, labels, stones, 800×200×10cm.

The Nanchizi Museum exhibits more than 50 pieces/groups of works from 23 countries. Through the space field of garden architecture, the charm of material art will be presented to the audience in an appropriate display way, creating different collisions and fusions in the dialogue between contemporary material art and Chinese courtyard space. We hope that this international material art movement, initiated by Tsinghua University, will bring artists and scholars from all over the world together to build a tower of art — celebrating ideas, imaginations and creativity inspired by this new era defined by love for material art.

Preface for the Exhibition Courtesy of the Organizer. 

About the exhibition


Dates: January 7–March 5, 2023

Venue: The Nanchizi Museum

Image Courtesy of the Nanchizi Museum.