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Why Exhibition

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A

: Q1. Why do artists make exhibitions?

: Milo Wang (W): Firstly, the making of exhibitions in galleries is a western art historical custom, supporting a portion of artists and providing them with a tangible goal. In essence, the work artists make needs an opportunity to meet with a public and physical gallery spaces have been considered as realising this opportunity throughout history. Arriving at why we make exhibitions. If an artist’s work ends up in a collection that’s great. If the public can appreciate it that too that’s another perk.

Liu Beining (L): Exhibitions a more something of a periodical conclusion to an artist’s inquiries. Like ceremonies, letting the artist bring to the table their understanding of the world and the works they make; at the same time permitting they leave behind completed phases in their practices, entering into the next phase of deepening inquiry once the exhibition ends.

: Q2. What is your work about?

: W: Something “nameless”. When you look with your eyes, instrumental reason stops in its tracks, feelings swell and surge forward, this is aesthetic agency.

L: I often find myself compelled by the silent abundance of this world, something that in trying repeatedly in my work to describe I can experience and encroach upon. When an artist makes something, it’s often a response to something inside. Milo comes from a background in art theory and that something inside him might be something like trying to wrestle with the logic and language that fascinate him. It’s similar for me. Let’s go into the gallery where we can talk about it in front of the works.

: Q3. How do artists select work when they make an exhibition?

: L: It’s pretty much the same as when you make a piece of writing. You select a topic that interests you, using the way you’re used to expressing things, the words you like… It’s only when you select the work and install the show, the material is no longer words and sentences but objects. It’s also a little more challenging to put together. Maybe you can look at how artists present things in exhibitions the way you would normally read poetry or appreciate music.

W: For me, this exhibition was a kind of retrospective for the time I’ve spent making work in New York. Hence I’ve put in everything I made in this period I thought was significant.

: Q4. What’s the best way for the viewer to look at your work?

: L: I don’t think I’m the one to teach others how to look at exhibitions. But I can share a few things I think should be avoided: 1. Don’t keep telling yourself “I don’t understand”. All this you “don’t understand” exists only because the artist or curator didn’t express things clearly enough. 2. Don’t read the exhibition text before you look at the work. 3. Don’t be afraid to share any half baked thoughts you have about the exhibition. People often rely a lot on speech to think things through. When you say it to someone else, it’s likely that any thoughts you had will suddenly become more clear.

W: It depends on how the viewer goes about reading the work. For me, it’s best to use all five senses. Regardless of whether you look, listen, just feel with your heart, the goal’s the same. Namely, doing what you can to tease out information, information that strikes a chord with the viewer’s sentiments, maybe a kind of harmonising.

: Q5. What if there are big differences between what I understand and what the artist was thinking?

: W: There are a thousand different Hamlets in the eyes of a thousand people, isn’t this all esteem for Shakespeare?

LB: First of all, all this explains is that what you notice is different from what the artist did. When you notice what you do, what you think about it’s often more penetrating that what the artist did. But never try explain it to them. They can be pretty abrupt. But definitely don’t hold back on sharing what you think with them. You\\\'ll let them get a richer sense of things cause they’re prone to sinking into their own, private worlds.

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