Curated by Liu Ding, Carol Yinghua Lu, and Su Wei the 7th Shenzhen Biennale has the title “Accidental Message: Art is Not A System, Not A World”.

With this motto the curators attempt to acknowledge the incidental, the unclassifiable, the organic, the inexplicable and the individual nature of art making, and that of the imaginary of our world, and to reiterate the possibility of the individual and independent spirit to overcome the systematic forces and the existing structures.

“Accidental Message: Art Is Not A System, Not A World” is conceived to include two subthemes: “Unexpected Encounters” and “What You See is What I See”. As the starting point for their research, “Unexpected Encounters” is focused on experimental art practice in China since 1989 to 2000. It is an observation of a local history, trying to look back on individual practices and art itself during this period of time.

“What You See is What I See” presents current practices from all over the world in recent years. This component of the exhibition attempts to envision a kind of connectivity that consists of individual spirits, manifested through individual artists’ creations, transcending regions, systems, mechanisms, norms and art historical narratives. “What You See is What I See” proposes not the magnification of the effectiveness of any existing system, universal order or experience of others but an emphasis on the serendipitous, organic, stochastic, internal, perceptive and instinctual growth and reproduction of art within itself.

About the Curators:

Liu Ding

Liu Ding was born in 1976 in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province. He is an artist and a curator based in Beijing. Curatorial work is integral to his artistic practice. His conceptual art project Liu Ding’s Store, begun in 2008, is a continuing project that discusses and presents the various visible and invisible mechanisms in the art system for the formation of value. Liu has shown his works in art institutions including the Turner Museum and the Arnolfini Gallery in the UK, the Kunsthalle Wien in Austria, the Astrup Fearnley Modern Art Museum in Norway, the Sao Paolo National Museum of Art in Brazil, the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, the RasquArt Center in Switzerland, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Italy, the Seoul Municipal Museum of Art in Korea, among others. He was chosen in 2009 as a representative of China at the 53rd Venice Biennale. Little Movements: Self-Practices in Contemporary Art, the project he and Carol Yinghua Lu initiated and curated together, was exhibited at the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal in Shenzhen in September 2011, and will go on an international tour from 2012.

Carol Yinghua Lu 

Carol Yinghua Lu was born in Chaozhou, Guangdong Province in 1977. She is a critic and curator based in Beijing. She is currently a contributing editor at Frieze Magazine, and sits on the editorial board for the Arnolfini Art Center’s Far West magazine. She was a jury member for the 2011 Venice Biennale’s Golden Lion Award, and is one of the co-artistic directors for the 2012 Gwangju Biennial.

Su Wei

Su Wei was born in Beijing in 1982, and is a Beijing-based critic, curator and China Academy of Social Sciences Foreign Literature Institute doctoral candidate. He was the assistant curator of Little Movements: Self-Practices in Contemporary Art at the OCT Contemporary Art Terminal. The focus of his work is theoretical practice and writing on contemporary art.

The 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale will take place from May 12 to August 31, 2012 at OCT Contemporary Art Terminal (OCAT) in Shenzhen, China.