Mountainous undertakings are viewed in manageable forms in modern China.
Xu Xiaobai, a master of penjing cultivation, spoke of how the bonsai art form can shrink a thousand miles of scenery into a single tray.
In How Far Is Heaven, a bonsai tree is chosen as a symbol for China, a nation which recreates economic developments that could take a hundred years and shrinks them into five.
A red traditional Chinese paper cut is laid against a canvas of brickwork rice paper to speak of China’s rising culture and most inspiring society that is growing and developing but not out of control.
The art collective Liu Dao sees a nation moving in unison to maintain harmony within itself and with others, currently respecting itself and its traditions in order to align its past with its future; a nation with too much experience and history to watch its journey branch off in the wrong directions, lose balance, or outgrow its own roots.
On the other side of the rice paper canvas, two goldfish composed of LED lights swim peacefully above the branches in a computer-designed animation to represent the xiao huangdi, China’s “Little Emperors.”
Some see an overindulged generation, whose magnified egos and consumer appetites will collapse the traditional family support system, but others see the complementation of personality distinction carrying the nation upward through the glassy surface into a new world above.
The artists’ group Liu Dao illustrates this generation through a network of informational computerized code, in order to praise the cultural interconnectivity they share through their modern day circuit of communication and technology.
Within the stainless steel frame we have a scene where the bliss of infrastructural development, together with excited visions of the future of Chinese culture and contemporary art, dance on the branches of tradition. [Pete Bradt]