Aranya Plein Air Art Project
Aranya Plein Air Art Project
Jul 7 – Oct 29, 2023
Aranya Art Center
Beidaihe, China

Aranya is pleased to present the inaugural Aranya Plein Air Art Project (APA), which includes works by 21 Chinese and international contemporary artists who dialogue with nature in the valley of Aranya · Jin Shan Ling. APA 2023 features new commissions by 9 participating artists, and is open to the public from July 7 through October 29, 2023.

Literally translated from French as “full of air,” “plein air” is a poetic expression of the concept of the “outdoors.” The artistic technique of working “en plein air” was popularized in the 19th century, and practitioners advocated painting outdoors and leaving the world of the indoor studio behind. As a technique, it enabled pioneering developments in the French schools of Naturalism and Impressionism, revolutionizing centuries of painting traditions and celebrating the artist’s practice of working with and in nature. Nature has become an important motif for generations of artists and continues to serve as a muse, object of inquiry, and even collaborative partner for many contemporary artists.

From depicting nature, to capturing nature’s luminosity and darkness, to using nature directly as a material, artists have since pushed the limits of media and continue to expand art’s boundaries and possibilities. Aranya·Jin Shan Ling is located at the foot of the Great Wall, which symbolizes a constantly evolving boundary that shifts with the progress of history. In their respective practices, the participating artists in the exhibition strive to blur, break, and challenge the inherent boundaries between nature and technology, tradition and modernity, as well as time and space. In addition to sculpture and installation, a diverse range of artistic forms will also be presented, including painting, sound, performance, and text-based art, enriching the public’s perception and experience of art in the outdoors.

In recent years, Aranya·Jin Shan Ling has cultivated three hiking trails that still preserve a pristine natural landscape. The works on display along the trails barely intervene the nature, allowing the viewers to not only experience the art project, but also to explore and discover the mountains and the land where Aranya·Jin Shan Ling resides.

The inaugural Aranya Plein Air Art Project is organized by Damien Zhang, Artistic Director, with Liangjiao Gao, Ruoyu Jiang, Jiaming Wang, and Yiyang Wu from the Exhibition Department of Aranya Art Center.

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