Curator and researcher Naiyi Wang joins Shaoqiang Wang (Director of GDMoA), Vicky Richardson, Stanley Wong, and Degeng Li, as co-curator of the upcoming Guangzhou Design Triennial, which will take place January 16–May 31, 2024. With its theme The Warm-beings, the curatorial team invites interdisciplinary designers, architects, thinkers, scholars, and cultural practitioners from the Global South and Global North to re-think designs for the real world at this critical moment in time. This endeavour sparks essential conversations, amplifying the true essence of design and its potential to address global challenges, while presenting the opportunity for creative exchange between the local (Greater Bay Area) and international design community and the public.
Guangzhou Design Triennial is a brand new initiative by Guangdong Museum of Art (GDMoA) that aims to be an international platform for world-leading contemporary design and design-led research. The Advisory Board members include Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development; Feng Boyi, Independent Curator; Thomas A. Geisler, Director of Kunstgewerbemuseum of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden; Han Xu, Vice President of China Academy of Fine Arts; Kan Tai-Keung, Designer; Lou Yongqi, Vice President of Tongji University; Yuan Youmin, Executive Director of China International Design Museum, and many others.
Guangzhou Design Triennial includes four thematic exhibitions, in which Matters of Care, curated by Naiyi Wang, is driven by the gathering forces of these ever present yet newly urgent matters of care: thinking through care in its multiple forms—of humans and nonhumans—while re-imagining the politics and ethics of care. Inspired by Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, this exhibition invites the most creative minds of our generation from around the globe to ruminate on notions of care, it seeks to explore care through many ways of knowing and being, at a time when a world where carelessness reigns.
At the inaugural Guangzhou Design Triennial, Matters of Care will unfold through a series of new commissions, including MOS Architects’s installation Greenhouse No. 1 / Clinic No. 1, which commingles health and nature with caring for what is happening to us. Studio Ossidiana highlights the inextricable entanglement between humans and non-humans, Platform for Humans and Birds is a map-territory for inter-species relations, where play is the most common language. A call for a return to the non-anthropocentrism of egalitarian ecological relations can be found in Terreform ONE’s HOME ALIVE, which creates a vertical ecosystem that contemplates the possibility of cohabitation with other species. Aldo Cibic’s installation invites us to speculate on a more inclusive ecological future, and offers energies that compel us to confront our fragile present and to generate futures beyond “end times.”
This diverse gathering of local and international designers and architects reflects on the entanglement of care with their creative practices, and provides a long prologue that invites others to contemplate how to care in uncertain and precarious times—a generative process that continues to unfold beyond the timeframe of Guangzhou Design Triennial and enfolds many forms of care along the way.