“For an Image, Faster Than Light”: First Yinchuan Biennale scheduled for September 2016

Curated by Bose Krishnamachari, Yinchuan City’s inaugural biennale is the first of its kind in northwest China and the second in the country. 

“For an Image, Faster Than Light” is set to run from 9 September to 18 December 2016, featuring 80 artists from around the world. 

Exterior view of MOCA Yinchuan. Photograph courtesy NAARO.

Exterior view of MOCA Yinchuan. Photograph courtesy NAARO.

First Yinchuan Biennale

The Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan (MOCA Yinchuan) recently announced the dates for its inaugural biennale. Entitled “For an Image, Faster Than Light”, the First Yinchuan Biennale will run from 9 September to 18 December 2016 at the premises of MOCA Yinchuan.

The event is curated by acclaimed artist-curator Bose Krishnamachari, who in 2010 co-founded the Kochi-Muziris Biennale with Riyas Komu. The biennale tentatively features over 80 artists “representing all facets of the global spectrum and from all parts (east-west, north-south)”, according to the press release.

40 artists names were revealed in the announcement, counting Anish Kapoor, Ai Weiwei, Heman Chong, Hassan Sharif, Riyas Komu, Slavs and Tatars, Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme and Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige amongst their number.

“Discourse on conflict” 

As Krishnamachari states in an interview with DNA India, the inaugural Yinchuan Biennale will be the first of its kind in northwest China and the second in China overall – “the other one being [in] Shanghai”. According to Krishnamachari, Yinchuan hopes to serve as the first major confluence of global contemporary art or artists in the country. He states:

The focus of the biennale is inspired by the universal elliptical philosophy of end is the beginning and beginning is the end.

Kochi Biennale 2014 curator Jitish Kallat, Biennale Director of Programmes Riyas Komu, KBF President Bose Krishnamachari and Biennale's new long-term patron T V Narayanan Kutty at function organized by the Kochi Biennale Foundation to felicitate Mr Kutty in the city on Monday. Image courtesy Kochi Muziris Foundation.

Kochi Biennale 2014 curator Jitish Kallat, Biennale Director of Programmes Riyas Komu, KBF President Bose Krishnamachari and Biennale’s new long-term patron T V Narayanan Kutty at function organized by the Kochi Biennale Foundation to felicitate Mr Kutty in the city on Monday. Image courtesy Kochi Muziris Foundation.

The press release states that the biennale aims to “create a discourse on all the conflicts that the world is currently confronted with”. Curator Krishnamachari writes in his concept note:

This biennale in China […] postulate[s] different themes, including spiritual and social consciousness, an examination of political narratives and critical global engagement and an acknowledgment of a collective responsibility therein. […] A light to be seen through art’s eyes.

Placing Yinchuan on the map

Founded in 2015, MOCA Yinchuan is the first contemporary museum along the Yellow River in northwest China. When asked by DNA India about his hopes for the city, Krishnamachari says:

I want to place it on the global art map just the way we put Kochi. If things fall in place, Yinchuan will become an international destination for art. Kochi was on the tourist map of India, but now it is more than that. It is on the itinerary of every art lover in the world. I hope to do the same with Yinchuan.

Michele Chan

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Related Topics: biennales, artists as curators, curatorial practice, connecting Asia to itself, events in China

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