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Sunday, February 05, 2023
culture
‘Matter + Spirit: Chinese/American Exhibition’ on Display in Taylor University
A picture with the name of "News" painted by oil on canvas is displayed during an exhibition hosted from Nov. 4 through to Dec. 12, 2022, in the Metcalf Gallery, Modelle Metcalf Visual Arts Center at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, US. The picture shows a family with a computer showing news about the crucifixion of Jesus.A picture with the name of "News" painted by oil on canvas is displayed during an exhibition hosted from Nov. 4 through to Dec. 12, 2022, in the Metcalf Gallery, Modelle Metcalf Visual Arts Center at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, US. The picture shows a family with a computer showing news about the crucifixion of Jesus.

An exhibition on the theme of matter and spirit is on display in the United States to show the "spiritual in contemporary life".

"What is the place of the spiritual in contemporary life, particularly in highly materialistic—and increasingly secular—cultures, such as in the United States and China? This is the central question of 'Matter + Spirit: A Chinese/American Exhibition', a collection of artworks that engage with the great diversity of issues it raises and a range of perspectives on them", said the exhibition. 

The exhibition is on display from Nov. 4 through to Dec. 12, 2022, in the Metcalf Gallery, Modelle Metcalf Visual Arts Center at Taylor University, the United States. 

Sponsored by the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, the exhibit has a collection of over 55 works by 25 different Chinese and American artists. According to the Nagel Institute, the exhibit is the product of a gathering of North American art professors with their Chinese counterparts in June 2018 in China sponsored by the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity.

“Visiting artists’ enclaves and cultural sites in Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai, they considered issues of art, contemporary society, spirituality, and their role as culture makers, critics, and seers. The works you see in this exhibition represent this encounter, its conversations, and what was summoned by the artists’ interactions—with China, with the arts scene there, and with each other,” said Rachel Smith, professor at Taylor University, who serves as the curator and project director. “Matter + Spirit presents a remarkable body of art that reflects on the perennial tensions between the material and the spiritual in human life and in society.”

“Chinese contemporary art has swept onto the international art scene and is, without question, a leading cultural force,” Smith said. “As late as 1990 there were no private art galleries in Beijing. But 20 years later there were 300 galleries in the capital, energized by the social space that opened up in Chinese society between the state and the market. 

“These forerunners focused on the effects of rapid social change and cultural globalization in China, laying the foundation for the vital and rapidly evolving cultural landscape we see today.”

According to the Nagel Institute, this project is the third of its kind; two prior projects were undertaken in Indonesia in 2008 and in South Africa in 2013.

The virtual exhibition can be found here.

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