M+ presents "Shanshui" exploring echoes and signals across contemporary mediums


481014_791c4aa390748cb095f151145a23de5b.jpgPark Hyunki, Untitled, 1987/2018. © Park Hyunki Estate. Courtesy of Park Hyunki Estate and Gallery Hyundai.

Drawn from the M+ Collections, Shanshui: Echoes and Signals explores the complex connections between landscape and humanity in our post-industrial and increasingly virtual world. Rotating displays periodically renew the dialogue among the works in the exhibition and with the natural and urban environment beyond the museum.

Commonly translated as ‘landscape’, shanshui means literally ‘mountain and water’. Encompassing more than observable reality, the term refers to a cultural legacy integral to Chinese philosophical thinking and poetic imagination that has motivated a millennium-long tradition of ink painting across East Asia. Building on this legacy, Shanshui: Echoes and Signals reimagines landscape and our relationship to it through visual art, moving image, sound, and design and architecture. The exhibition explores resonances not only between different genres and mediums but also between space and time, vision and imagination, and fleeting experience and persistent history.

The exhibition showcases artistic and intellectual engagement with landscape as concept, theme, and matter by artists such as Guo Hongwei, Kan Tai-keung, Heidi Lau, Ana Mendieta, Wesley Tongson, Wucius Wong, Xu Bing, Yang Jiechang, and Zao Wou-Ki. The new landscapes of contemporary urban and digital worlds are evoked in an iconic LED installation by Miyajima Tatsuo, a selection of electronics from the museum’s design collection, and major video installations by Liu Chuang, Amar Kanwar, and Nguyen Trinh Thi. Other highlights include a sculpture garden featuring Isamu Noguchi’s galvanised steel sculptures; and also a site-specific interactive installation by Vivian Wang in which shadows and sounds respond to visitor movement to create a poetic dialogue between human and landscape.

423582161_407347578632114_1385361115351587317_n.jpgInstallation view of Shanshui: Echoes and Signals, 2024. Photo: Dan Leung. Image courtesy of M+, Hong Kong.

The exhibition features nearly 130 works divided into nine thematic sections: ‘Expanding the Canon’, ‘Ways of Seeing’, ‘Cosmologies’, ‘Between Worlds’, ‘Experiencing Time’, ‘Light and Sound’, ‘Interventions in Nature’, ‘Restart’, and ‘Communication Devices’.  Nguyen Trinh Thi’s work 47 Days, Sound-less (2024) in this exhibition is commissioned by the Han Nefkens Foundation, Mori Art Museum, M+, and Singapore Art Museum while Amar Kanwar’s The Peacock's Graveyard (2023) is commissioned by Sharjah Art Foundation and M+.

Over the course of its two-year-long run, Shanshui: Echoes and Signals will be punctuated by regular rotations of works by major international artists, architects, and moving image makers. A range of curatorial and public programmes as well as special moving image presentations at M+ Cinema will expand the exhibition’s speculative thinking and visceral experience beyond the galleries.

425450393_407347711965434_4222809501347352477_n.jpgInstallation view of Shanshui: Echoes and Signals, 2024. Photo: Dan Leung. Image courtesy of M+, Hong Kong.

Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director, M+, underscores the importance of the new exhibition, ‘By placing the venerated Chinese tradition of shanshui in dialogue with works by experimental and multi-disciplinary artists from across Asia and beyond, Shanshui: Echoes and Signals underlines M+’s position as an innovative and forward-looking museum of visual culture bringing new ways of presenting art to the public. I am excited to showcase the incredible breadth of the M+ Collections through this visionary curation of works.’

Doryun Chong, Deputy Director, Curatorial and Chief Curator, M+, reflects on the richness of the theme, ‘The selection of works in the exhibition reflects on how humans are charting new relationships with nature and technology, reinterpreting shanshui as both cultural legacy and artistic tradition in immersive, technological, and sensorial landscapes. This exhibition will prompt viewers to meditate on the significance of nature and the place of human beings within it in this post-industrial era.’

Silke Schmickl, CHANEL Lead Curator, Moving Image, M+, highlights the exhibition’s interdisciplinary and experimental curation, ‘The interplay between contemporary artistic mediums like moving image, sculpture, sound, and architecture opens up new possibilities of thinking about the relationship between the human and natural worlds. The rotating displays will reshape the exhibition periodically and mirror the ever-changing landscapes of Hong Kong.’

425445756_407347511965454_7193401655902763807_n.jpgInstallation view of Shanshui: Echoes and Signals, 2024. Photo: Dan Leung. Image courtesy of M+, Hong Kong.

About the Exhibition

Dates: 3 Feb 2024-Ongoing

Venue: South Galleries, M+, West Kowloon Cultural District
Address: 38 Museum Drive, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Courtesy of M+, Hong Kong.