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TERRACOTTA WARRIORS:
GUARDIANS OF IMMORTALITY
秦始皇兵马俑:永恒的守卫

Epic accounts of China’s ruling dynasties, philosophies, inventions and social customs during ancient times have been passed down through the centuries in the writings of philosophers, imperial scribes and military strategists. However, it was not until archaeologists in the twentieth century unearthed evidence – masterful bronzes, delicately crafted jades and boldly decorated ceramics – that the advanced levels of civilisation, artistry and refined aesthetics that existed in the past were more fully revealed. This provided a greater understanding of the rituals, social customs, preparation for the afterlife and quest for immortality that remained central to Chinese culture.

The greatest discovery of all was in 1974, when local farmers digging an irrigation well in Lintong district, Xi’an, unearthed fragments of the terracotta warriors. With this astounding discovery the legends of ancient China’s first emperor, Qin Shihuang, were confirmed. In their size and number, the terracotta warriors are unique in world history and signify Qin Shihuang’s quest for immortality, his affiliation with China’s mythical rulers, and his supreme imperial mandate as the son of heaven.

正是因为众多大哲学家、皇家史官和军事战略家著书立说,中国古代王朝的史诗、哲学、发明和社会习俗才得以流传百世。事实上,商朝(公元前1600年至公元前1046年)至汉朝(公元前207至公元220年)年间的文明、艺术和工艺都到达 了很先进的水平。然而,直到二十世纪,考古学家才开始发掘相关的文物证据。随着越来越多制作精湛的青铜器、精美玉器 和风格大胆的陶器被发掘出来,世人对仪式、社会习俗、 为后世所做的准备和对永生的追求有了更好的理解,要知道这些东西直到20世纪都还是中国文化的核心。

所有文物发掘工作中最大的发现是在1974年,当时西安临潼区的农民在挖灌溉井时,意外发现并出土了兵马俑的碎片。 这一惊人的发现证实了关子中国古代第一位皇帝秦始皇的记载。兵马俑的规模和数量在世界历史上是独一无二的,象征着秦始皇对永生的追求。同时,兵马俑也象征着秦始皇与中国古代神话中的统治者和神明间的源流关系,使得他能够作为天子,拥有上天所赋予的神圣权力去统驭全国。

CAI GUO-QIANG:
THE TRANSIENT LANDSCAPE
蔡国强:瞬间的山水

Cai Guo-Qiang’s multidisciplinary practice is grounded in contemporary social issues and a lifelong interest in Eastern philosophy as a means to investigate our relationship with the universe. His experimentation with the Chinese invention of gunpowder began at an early age in his hometown of Quanzhou, Fujian province. Moving to Japan in 1986 and based in New York since 1995, Cai has continued to push the boundaries of his practice and the limits of his materials, becoming one of today’s most recognised contemporary artists.

Here, a new body of work – created by exposing traditional Chinese materials such as paper, silk and porcelain to gunpowder explosions during a series of live ignitions – references the history, places and culture that served as the backdrop to the reign of China’s first emperor Qin Shihuang, and the creation of the terracotta warriors. Drawing on his understanding of ancient Chinese culture and his belief that a dialogue with tradition and history can invigorate contemporary art, Cai has created a breathtaking environment for the presentation of his work and the exhibition Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality.

蔡国强的跨学科创作手法立足于当代社会问题和他对东方哲学的毕生兴趣,并以之作为探讨人与宇宙关系的一种手段。早年他在家乡福建泉州就开始尝试使用火药这一中国发明,其使用这一创作媒介的作品受到了国际认可。自1986年移居日本和 1995年以来移居纽约以后,蔡国强一直在积极地拓展和延伸这种艺术形式自身的边界及其材料所带来的限制,并成为了最具代表性的当代艺术家之一。

《蔡国强:瞬间的山水》是一个全新的作品。艺术家将纸、瓷 器、丝绸等中国传统材料在现场进行一系列的点火爆破,作品灵感来自于中国第一位皇帝秦始皇和兵马俑的创作,是融合了历史、地理、文化等各方面因素的古代背景。基于对中国古代文化的理解和认为与传统和历史的对话可以振兴当代艺术的这一信念,蔡国强以其独有的艺术方式为其作品和《秦始皇兵马俑:永恒的守卫》展创造了绝佳的、令人身临其境的氛围。

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Making Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape

In March of 2019, Cai Guo-Qiang travelled with his team to Melbourne for the production of five new artworks, commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria for the exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: The Transient Landscape. Over the course of ten days, three gunpowder paintings – Flow (Cypress), Transience II (Peony) and Pulse (Mountain) – were produced during a series of gunpowder explosions in an old shipbuilding warehouse in Williamstown, with the technical support of leading pyrotechnicians. The two porcelain installations, Murmuration (Landscape) and Transience I (Peony), which had been sculpted and fired in Dehua, Fujian province, were covered with gunpowder and ignited to achieve the unique colouration effect.

‘I’ve used gunpowder in my art for the last thirty years. What I like most about it is its spontaneity and unpredictability. Every situation is different. There’s a sense of destiny. “What will happen when you ignite it?” It is an unknown which you will accomplish with the help of an invisible force. I’d often say a silent prayer. That’s what draws me to gunpowder.’ – Cai Guo-Qiang

蔡国强:瞬间的山水》制作历程

2019年3月,蔡国强携团队赴墨尔本,在维多利亚州国立美术馆的委托下,为《蔡国强:瞬间的山水》一展创作了五幅新作品。《柏风》、《花瞬II》和《地脉》这三幅火药画耗时十天,在领先的烟火技术专家的技术支持下,于威廉姆斯镇一个旧造船仓库中通过火药爆炸创作了出来。在福建德化雕刻烧制的两件瓷器装置——《鸟云》和《花瞬I》都在这期间洒上火药并进行燃烧,以达到独特的着色效果。

蔡说 “在过去的三十年里,我一直在我的艺术创作中使用火药。我最喜欢的是它的自发性和不可预测性。每一个情况都是不同的。有一种宿命感。‘点燃它之后会发生什么?’ 它是一种需要借助无形的力量来完成的未知。我经常默默祈祷。这就是火药吸引我的地方。”

MULTIMEDIA GUIDE多媒体语音导览

Narrated by Lee Lin Chin, journalist and news presenter known for a great love of art and design, the guide will enhance your experience of these two parallel exhibitions which explore the rich culture of China, both ancient and contemporary.

Multimedia Guides available for purchase from the Ticketing desk.
语音导览内容由热爱艺术与设计的著名媒体人、电视主播陈丽玲倾情讲述, 带您探索本次联展并解析中华文明在不同时空层面的丰富的艺术文化基因。

本展览提供中文语音导览,
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