Get It Louder (Part 1, China)

At the end of August i flew to Beijing to participate to Get It Louder!, a traveling exhibition of design and art, mostly by “young creators with Chinese background working in different places around the world”. It was a very nice and energizing show (which closed in September) and so far i had never found the time to put some order and tags on my pictures and impressions.


Led by a nine-person curatorial team, Get It Louder ’07 has the ambition to broadcast the voices of young artists. There are 150 art works, some 80% come from China the others traveled from Great Britain and Japan.

A strong point of the show was that it encompassed any form of creativity without imposing strict borders between them: fashion, graphic, design, architecture, movies, media art, fine art, etc. Another one is that even if the accent was on Chinese works, they were shown alongside works by artists, designers and architects from other nationality. Watching works from different countries side by side made me realize that despite all these talks of globalization and people doing the same things everywhere, they still have their own identity, qualities and weaknesses.

0aazh1oo.jpg0aazhouu.jpgTwo sculptures by Shanghai-based artist Zhou Beili at the entrance of the mall

Lucky me! Not only did i finally get to meet Wagner James Au and Cao Fei, I was also given a tour of the exhibition by chief curator Ou Ning, a writer, filmmaker, music promoter, graphic designer (and i probably forgot something). I’m not going to present every single work, just a few highlights:

0aathickspac.jpgThick Space, by Feng Guochuan, Laura Belevica, and Aaron Robin (image Ou Ning)

After Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, Get It Louder landed in Beijing and more precisely in the SOHO Shangdu shopping mall allowing for an encounter with a high number of visitors who would normally not go to an art exhibition. I thought that it worked extremely well downstairs in the parking space but found it less easy to manage when the sculptures were shown in the middle of the brashly coloured shops.

0aindagara5.jpg0aaindagar6.jpgExhibition in the parking lot

A fair number of the works were exhibited outside of the shopping mall: there were pavilions just out of the mall and sound works in the streets. Moving Soundscape, for example, was a series of in-car sound art project. Chinese sound artists had been invited to research on the areas located at a within a 40-minute drive of the shopping mall, to analyze and sample the city’s architectural styles, functions and noise index, and to turn the data into a sound work to be installed in a car. The audience sits in the car which follows the itinerary set by the artists, and enjoy the sound ride.


Let’s move on to design. Mina Wu was showing some photographs of her chair/dress project, the original work of which couldn’t be displayed.


The designer has created a series of garments that can both be worn and put on a chair. Thus, a person can be turned into a chair, and vice versa.


The graphic design and illustration works were among my favourite:

Especially the ones by Singaporean artist Chang Jinchao, i couldn’t chose which of his pieces would be uploaded on the blog so i decided to clutter the post with 4 of them:


Kodyopark (Ren Qianyi)

0aappping3.jpg0apppinhg6.jpgLightning Babe, by Lulu (Li Xinlu), is a modern twist on the 1950’s Chinese female gymnastics figure, similar dress, hairstyle, green uniform, pink cheeks, energetic voice and music.


The works celebrates also the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. The old Communist style gyms are rapidly being replaced by swanky western-style gyms with their slick exclusive membership system. Many memories of this Communist era are lost because of the heavy cost of rapid development.


The Lightning Babe works range from posters, animated wallpaper for projections, small sculptures, bags, clothing, and emoticons for MSN PC, cushions, etc.

Xiao Hua’s “Little Carrot Heads” are both graphic designs and cute ceramic toys.


Now photography-wise:

Lin Zhi Peng aka 223 (add to that that Westerners call him “the Chinese Terry Richardson”) is part of the new generation of Chinese photographers. His work is the kind that puts a smile on everyone’s face.

0azhipeng7.jpg0aaszhipe9.jpgMy Little Dead Dick is the photo diary of two 20 something having fun and talent. Chinese artist Madi Ju and American artist Patrick Tsai met in Hong Kong after weeks of internet correspondence. A few days days after, they went back home, quit their jobs, waved bye-bye to their friends and set off to spend their life together taking photos.

0afrenczizi.jpgFrench Dicks

Get It Louder (Part 2, Japan)

Interview of Ou Ning in That’s Beijing.
More images of the show. Also on Get It Louder blog, website and in the press. And if you speak portugese