Participating Artists (in alphabetical order): Carla Chan, Mark Dorf, MY PERSISTENCE, Jia Xinyu, Liu Tong, Qiu Yu, Saša Spačal, Robertina Šebjanič & Entangled Others (Sofia Crespo and Feileacan McCormick), Su Yongjian & Ba Ruiyun, Xiao Ge, Zhang Tianyi
Ma Xin, Sun Chuffing
“We often forget that WE ARE NATURE. Nature is not something separate from us. So when we say that we have lost our connection to nature, we’ve lost our connection to ourselves.” – Andy Goldsworthy
What is Nature, this concrete and yet abstract concept? Organised by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the inaugural China Climate Action Week (CCAW) thematic exhibition opens to the public on September 10, 2022. With its theme WE ARE NATURE, this exhibition invites provocative responses to the climate emergency, bringing together practitioners from the fields of art, science, climatology and ecology, among many others, to play a leading voice in communicating the urgency of the crisis and the need for radical action. This exhibition is directed by the CCAW team and curated by Naiyi Wang.
WE ARE NATURE presents a series of newly commissioned projects, including Carla Chan’s Beyond Earth, Qiu Yu’s Vibrating Time and Su Yongjian & Ba Ruiyun’s When Breath Speaks, etc., while a series of gatherings held in conjunction with the exhibition, including a new performance commission from MY PERSISTENCE. WE ARE NATURE becomes the stage for a series of interdisciplinary engagements, presenting innovative approaches in the context of eco-anxiety that reframe the relationship between humans and nature.
Robertina Šebjanič & Entangled Others’s video installation and Saša Spačal’s sound installation highlight the inextricable entanglement between human and non-human. A call for a return to the non-anthropocentrism of egalitarian ecological relations can be found in Zhang Tianyi’s The Plant Intelligence Plan and Qiu Yu’s Micro-Sound, which cultivates a planetary consciousness that contemplates the possibilities of future evolution. Carla Chan’s generative art installation manifests a morphing space driven by real-time weather and demographic data, constantly monitoring macro relations between nature and human agency, while in Mark Dorf’s work, ‘nature’ is reconceived as a hybrid planetary system of technology-organisms, which invites us to speculate on a more inclusive ecological future.The poetic imagination offers energies that compel us to face our fragile present to generate futures beyond ‘end times’.
“The harshest of lights now shines on matters of care in the age of climate emergency. By encouraging the development of ecologically-conscious and collaborative practices in art+technology, WE ARE NATURE aims to nurture mutually beneficial relations among art, technology, and ecology through a transdisciplinary curatorial approach, providing unconventional responses to planetary challenges," states curator Naiyi Wang. Starting in 2020, she initiated Climate Care, which is among the first initiatives in China dedicated to exploring the convergence of art, technology and climate change, while seeking to evoke action on the climate crisis in all its facets. Since its inception, the Climate Care initiative has continued to promote innovative movements, launching Climate Clock #ActInTimeChina, the Climate Declaration series, with the Climate Negotiation program coming during the 27th UN Climate Conference (COP27) from November 6–18, 2022. All projects involve creative explorations of ecology, economy, and emerging (web3) technologies.
WE ARE NATURE invites pioneering practitioners from around the world to address the climate crisis that is threatening life on Earth, and reflects on the countless potentials to reimagine shared planetary futures.