PLAY(S)-International Digital and Multimedia Arts Exhibition
Commissioned by the Ministry of Culture in China
Within the 3rd China International Animation and Digital Arts Festival (CICDAF 2006)
Curator: Xiaoying Juliette Yuan
Press preview: September 27, 2006 | 9am-4pm
Official opening: September 27, 2006 | 4pm
Duration: September 27 – October 5, 2006
Venue: International Convention and Exhibition Center, Changzhou, Zhejiang Province, China
Organisers: Ministry of Culture in China
In English, the word “play” carries a multiplicity of meanings. On the level of pure form, it can be both verb and noun. At the same time it conveys activity, as well as the circumstances and purposes which make the activity possible. On a deeper level, it can imply “to play”, “to participate”, “to perform” as well as “game”, “contest”, or “drama”.
Regardless of whether we are looking at form or meaning, “play” is an apt synopsis of this exhibition. Relative to most art festivals, this exhibition, from its creation to execution, has been a more casual affair. We have purposely avoided pigeonholing the exhibition as “academic” or “commercial”. Rather, our thought has been to choose meaningful works for exhibition, letting them flow together naturally and allowing the result to speak for itself.
Since its emergence some fifty years ago, digital and multimedia arts have been researched under the rubric of “arts”. So it is their identity as “arts” that has, in large part, formed the basis for their appreciation and development. Only when art first breached the fixed boundaries of traditional media, did media become something one could really “play”. Likewise, the emergence of high tech new media has blurred the traditional demarcations of “art.” The work of artists will never be as simple or straightforward as it once was. The world can no longer be so neatly divided up. Under this new artistic formula, anything and everything can make sense. Art meanwhile relies on these innumerable variations of form and method to carve out a larger space of existence within contemporary society. No matter whether gauged against art or society, it is a dramatic development we are experiencing all the more symbolic of our epochal change.
Most of the works displayed here are based on principles of interactivity. They are meant to be viewed and appreciated, but they also invite your participation. They use “game play” as a way to “play art.” However, the goal of this exhibit transcends simple notions of “play”. We hope that the viewer will experience the deeper narratives and philosophical import represented by these works. We also hope the viewer will not overlook the artists themselves: their self-conception as well as their interpretation of the life and times around them.
Xiaoying Juliette Yuan