Iberia Center for Contemporary Art in collaboration with Beijing CN Management Consulting Company will launch a brave new initiative “Asian Landmark — Toyota Art Project” in the first month of 2010.
The global financial storm triggered by the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis is reshaping the economic, political and cultural patterns world-wide; meanwhile it offers an opportunity for renovation. Amidst the strong influence keenly felt in the gradually integrated Asia economy and culture, a brave new challenge and even an enormous opportunity emerge hand-in-hand with crisis, especially in China, a country undergoing drastic social changes.
The integration of Asia economy exerts a counterforce against the controlling power of the occident over the world market. Though the structure of economic and political systems in Asia is far from complete, the high-speed economic growth in China has been fueling the increasingly active trade and investment in Asia economy. Despite of the different stages Japan, South Korea and China are going through, their respective changes have put the entire East Asia into a common “critical structural transformation”. Basically from a cultural point of view, the course of modernization in Asian countries displays a similarity to that of the occident. The entry of overseas capital has brought about an inevitable influence on the criterion of cultural values in Asia, including the most modernized Japanese society. Nevertheless, the value system based on the occidental criticism of modernity obviously cannot meet the cultural needs of oriental countries undergoing a radical change at the moment. This suggests the end of an era when Asian modernization has to follow the trends of the development of western civilization. More and more Asian countries begin to reposition their national legacy in a new context of social structure and mentality in a search for the origin of the Asian spirit, of the humanity, and of the art. The urgent needs of reaffirming and interpreting diversified Asian civilization and the expectation of building an independent discourse system in line with a different modernity are represented in the dilemma faced by Asian contemporary art struggling to break away from the shackles of the western art system for developing a new image.
The formation of economic and cultural modernity in China has entered a stage of restructuring and reform. Comparing with the occidental countries, the time-span for individuals and corporations in China to accumulate wealth is relatively shorter and it happens in a more drastic way. The failure of the construction of the ethics of wealth to catch up with the accumulation of wealth results in a psychological rupture in Chinese society. In contrast with the rapid growth of individual wealth, the new Chinese rich failed to engage with the social responsibilities and cultural obligations; the fortune makers - entrepreneurs always find themselves in a moral conflict between the profit-making and sentimental concerns, and between the private and public interests. The obstruction blocking the wealth redistribution channels in the overall social institutions creates difficulty for many companies to build a compatible corporate concept and culture.
The above observation leads to the consensus that what we need is the balance between the growth of economy and the development of culture and a connection bringing together both the constructive force of private capital and the redemptive power of contemporary art so as to build a healthy market environment for culture and complete the construction of a self-contented art institution. In return, culture provides coordinate efforts for the renewal of corporate concept and image in favor of a more humanitarian management model and spirit. This is the intention of the present initiative “Toyota Art project”. We might as well consider this program as a tentative effort to make possible communication and interaction between corporate and culture.
The group exhibition will showcase paintings, sculptures, videos and installations by twenty artists: Cui Jie, Dong Wensheng, Fei Jun, Han Lei, Hung Tunglu, Huang Wenhai, Jiang Chongwu, Li Hui, Li Qing, Qi Jiaming, Qin Yufen, Shi Jinsong, Su Wenxiang, Laurens Tan, Wang Luyan, Wu Xiaojun, Wang Yaqiang, Yu Bogong, Zhu Jinshi and Zheng Lu. This program is deemed to be an adventure, yet the message deeply embedded is our hope for a new future.