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Peipei Han: Her Curation Process & The Chinese Contemporary Art Scene


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platz-1
Platz # 1 by John Monteith

Peipei Han: Her Curation Process & The Chinese Contemporary Art Scene

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Peipei Han: Her Curation Process & The Chinese Contemporary Art Scene

Installation view of Parallel Universes: Parafacts and Parafictions.

Peipei Han is an independent curator and the former Associate Director of PHOTOFAIRS. She has previously curated design exhibitions in her home city of Beijing and in recent years, also a wide range of art exhibitions in Shanghai. She has also written various articles on the subject of contemporary art for international publications. She completed her MA from the University of the Arts, London in Media, Communication and Critical Practice. Ms. Han joined the Shanghai edition of PHOTOFAIRS in 2015 and has been instrumental in positioning the fair as the leading platform for contemporary photography and moving image in the Asia Pacific region.

Peipei Han

Installation View of 2487-2020-1-20-1 by Aspartime.

Her latest curatorial project Parallel Universes: Parafacts and Parafictions explores the dynamics between different genres and mediums. In understanding and reinterpreting the world around us, the participating artists present their visions through fictional readings of reality.

This week, The Artling spoke with Peipei Han about the Chinese contemporary art scene, her curation process, as well as the themes explored in the beautiful former colonial building in which the show is set. 


What drove you to pursue a career as an art curator?

It has been an organic career development, as working in the arts industry for many years and being exposed to artists and their works, you would naturally think of putting together exhibitions for expressing a theme. I would not call myself an "art curator" per se, because it would mean limiting the range of work, I would prefer more of an exhibition producer-type of role that brings together art, design and architecture. 

Installation View of Platz # 1,  Platz # 2 by John Monteith. 

Can you tell us about your curating process for Parallel Universes: Parafacts and Parafictions? How did you select the artists or art works included in the exhibition?

The idea of the theme of the exhibition came about from a book that I was reading a while ago, titled Fiction Practice, Prototyping the Otherworldly. It explored the usage of fictional narratives as a way of viewing and reflecting on reality. And for me, the interesting part is everything in between fiction and reality as well, and what is considered fictional in this world may well be the reality of another. Artists' works are based on their experience in this world, reimagined and reinterpreted, they create a parallel world of their own.

Parallel Universes: Parafacts and Parafictions questions the definition of our reality and the existence of another world. In what way is digital art similar to exploring an alternative reality?

While all mediums can portray alternative realities, digital art is probably seen as the art form of the virtual world, and anything else is considered too conventional to depict themes as such.

Are there any art trends or mediums you are excited about and would love to see more of? 

More large scale installations and moving image pieces that generate a greater contrast within the exhibition space.

Installation View of Garden by Li Tao.

Parallel Universes: Parafacts and Parafictions is set within a beautiful former colonial building. How was your experience bridging the unique architectural elements and artworks together?

Much consideration was given to the placement of the artworks as it is not a usual white box gallery or museum space, the building has very strong characteristics and this is what makes the exhibition setting very special but also quite challenging. It is very exciting to work with such a unique space and to create a synergy between the works and the architecture. It was not intentional but in the end the artworks whether from the material, the theme, the visual aspect or the meaning of the pieces can all link their way to fit in.

Installation View of Wall & CMYK & CUT by Gao Lei.

Installation View of Wall & CMYK & CUT by Gao Lei.

How are the themes explored in Parallel Universes: Parafacts and Parafictions relevant to today’s society and/or art scene?

What is real and what is fictional is no longer clearly defined and separated in today's society where truths can be alternated and fictions created based on facts. The necessity is no longer questioning the veracity of one reality but to accept that different realities appear in a multiverse and it is a complex system of different worlds juxtaposed and existing all together at once. 
 

Where do you see the Chinese contemporary art scene heading in the next 5 years?

It is definitely developing at a hyper speed at the moment, with Shanghai leading the art scene and Beijing also as the essential hub, across the country other cities such as Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hanghzou and many more have also picked up the pace in the proliferation of contemporary art, the scene will be much more vibrant and diversified. And with all these hubs for art and culture, it draws international attention to China, for the coming years Chinese contemporary art will be at a more prominent position on the global stage.

Installation View of A bunch of fire by Chen Xiaoyi.

Installation View of Nomadic Sight 6-3 by Ren Bo.


Peipei Han's Top Picks
 

Platz # 1 by John MonteithIconLink
platz-1
2487-2020-1-1-1
how-to-walk
blueprint-3
armada-6

If you are in Shanghai, Parallel Universes: Parafacts and Parafictions curated by Peipei Han is on view at Design Republic Commune through the 9th of January 2022. You may also view the full curated collection online here. For inquiries, please contact Terry Chong at Terry@theartling.com.


Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors.



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