Contemporary art explores nationhood and cultural identity

By He Keyao(chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2016-03-21 16:47:04

[Video by He Keyao]

A multi-media Irish-Chinese contemporary art exhibition has opened in Beijing, opening up an explosive discussion on nationhood and cultural identity.

The exhibition, 'Birth of a Nation', part of the annual cultural event "Irish Wave", investigates the theme of identity, the legacy of conflict and individuals' struggle to find meaning and integrity though varied forms of more than 50 artworks by artists from Ireland, Northern Ireland, Chinese mainland, Taiwan, USA and Australia.

The event is to mark the 100th anniversary of the historical 1916 Rising in Ireland that led to Irish independence. By looking back to the past hundred years, artists from both the East and the West explore different sides of their history and present great variety in both content and forms.

"If someone wins a war, someone loses the war," said Fion Gunn, artist and curator. She stressed that the exhibition celebrates diversity and differences to remind people of the common ground between all humankind and to avoid conflicts and cherish peace.

"We have a true collaborative conversation between nations, which is complex yet interesting," said Niamh Cunningham, another artist and curator.

The show is being held in the Ning Space of Beijing's 798 Art District. The venue is delicately designed and arranged, with many pathways that help to create different layers for the exhibition.

The exhibition runs in Beijing until March 20 and in Shanghai from March 19 to April 9.

"Irish Wave" is a long-term transnational program that explores how diverse cultures and ethnic groups can learn to coexist in a more peaceful and tolerant way through the presentation of contemporary art.

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