Song Art Museum presents “Rhythm and Refrain” exploring the evolution of contemporary Chinese art


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Themed on “Rhythm and Refrain,” Song Art Museum presents a group exhibition covering nearly 50 works by over 40 important contemporary Chinese artists from different generations. It allows for temporal and emotional connections and variations between these intergenerational works, as well as connections and interactions between these works and the unique space of the Song Art Museum, and it is through this dual connection that the Song Art Museum presents its continuous intensity and vitality.

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The concept of the “Refrain” comes from A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, co-authored by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari. The original meaning of “refrain” refers to a repetitive musical form. In A Thousand Plateaus, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari develop “refrain” into a philosophical concept. It is not a continuous sound with strict beats, but an assemblage that performs territorialization and deterritorialization. Therefore, the refrain is always in an open in-between, the critical and chaotic distance in the becoming keeps the refrain in everlasting motion.

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The concept of “refrain” includes three aspects simultaneously: a black hole of chaos without a center; The fixation of a fragile point in the black hole creates a calm spatial pace that makes the black hole a home; a breakaway from the black hole as a home to explore the unknown infinite universe. Three forces emerge from this: forces of chaos, terrestrial forces, cosmic forces. “all of these confront each other and converge in the refrain.” In this sense, the refrain is the confrontation between chaos, territorialization and deterritorialization, the simultaneous confrontation that destroys any order. “Everything that has been taken for a labyrinth is in fact a refrain.” In contrast to superposition and confrontation of forces in the refrain, rhythm is a kind of coordination, transition and connection: it is the coordination of heterogeneous spaces, the transition between milieus, the instantaneous connection between critical surfaces. If the refrain constitutes a whole dynamic labyrinth of closing-opening-closing again-opening again, the rhythm is a whispered passage inside the labyrinth that is both real and yet hidden.

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The exhibition “Rhythm and Refrain” is dedicated to exploring the process of territorialization and deterritorialization in Chinese contemporary art, and to exploring the dynamic connection between chaos, order and openness in Chinese contemporary art.

About the exhibition


Curator: Wang Min'an

Dates: 9 April-24 July, 2022

Venue: Song Art Museum

Artists: Chen Danqing, Cao Fei, Chu Yun, Colin Siyuan Chinnery, Ding Yi, Feng Guodong, Fei Jun, Fang Lijun, Gu Dexin, Gu Xiaoping, Hu Liwei, Liu Gangshun, Li Shan, Liu Wei, Liu Xiaodong, Mao Xuhui, Mao Yan, Nabuqi, Peng Wei, Qin Qi, Qiu Xiaofei, Sui Jianguo, Shang Yang, Sun Yidian, Tan Ping, Wu Didi, Wang Guofeng, Wang Guangyi, Wang Jiazeng, Wang Tuo, Wang Xingwei, Wang Yin, Xu Bing, Xie Nanxing, Yu Hong, Yang Maoyuan, Yao Qingmei, Yuan Yunsheng, Zhou Chunya, Zhang Enli, Zeng Fanzhi, Zhuang Hui, Zhang Peili, Zhang Xiaogang, Zhan Wang (in alphabetical order by surname)

Courtesy of Song Art Museum.