While working in Mariannelund 2010 with the project ”Den
svenska friheten”, we heard about a Chinese artist, who
during a performance wrote the Chinese sign for ”freedom”
and then, by adding one stroke in a different color, altered the
meaning slightly into denoting ”to sing to oneself”.
Apparently, this is a common way in which certain words can be ”softened”.
We were inspired by this thought-provoking and poetic act. Two signs
in one, which could be read as ”Freedom to sing to oneself”.
At least that is how the story travelled from mouth to mouth and
eventually was translated into a Swedish context. It answered very
directly to one of the main questions we were working with at the
moment, namely: How and for what do we use our freedom in a privileged
Western country like Sweden? Are we all singing for and by ourselves,
but nobody is there to listen?
It turned out that the performance we had heard about never had
happened, yet it sparked off a one-year collaboration between Swedish
and Chinese artists, which in turn inspired us to make a short fiction
a Five-Year Plan".
ABOUT THE COOPERATION
As artists and organizations working independently and in relation
to a public -as well as in relation to the public space - we whished
to share methods, knowledge, insights and know-how about different
modes of production. But also about the limits and limitlessness
of the poetic and artistic act in relation to forces of internal
and external control.The exchange between Nu-institutet and TCG
Nordica aimed to inform and develop our respective practices, both
as artists and organizations, and to share work with a wider audience.The
formats used were discussions, lectures, workshops, event scores,
performance, film, and public events, carried out in China and Sweden
during a period of one year.
The project was supported by the Swedish Arts Council and the Swedish
International Development Cooperation Agency.
ABOUT TCG NORDICA
TCG Nordica started in April 2000 with the vision of "Stimulating
reflection on Human Worth as
expressed in various Art Forms". It has quickly become one
of Kunming’s foremost galleries and a
popular meeting-point for the city’s residents, particularly
artists, intellectuals and students.
A great variety of people pass through the venue, which is in accordance
with the vision of the
founders. Swedish and Chinese culture workers, Anna Mellergård
and Wu Yuerong, realized they
shared a common dream based on their interests for art and culture,
which was to create a place that
promotes greater knowledge of their respective cultures.
TCG Nordica is situated in a closed down factory area. They exhibit
international contemporary art with
an emphasis on China and Scandinavia, and take pride in exhibiting
an unusual and sometimes challenging
mix of exhibitions. Around 30 Chinese artists now have their studios
at "the Loft" in the same building, and this contributes
to a pulsating and creative atmosphere throughout the block.
more about TCG Nordica >>