Spring Floods and Peach Petals (春季的洪水与桃花瓣)
For the first time in Singapore, the Shanghai-based art collective Liu Dao 六岛 brings its series of multimedia artworks titled "Spring Floods and Peach Petals" to The Arts House, in a show that puts a modern, illuminating spin on the traditional art of shan shui 山水 (water and mountains) painting.
In shan shui mixed with pop art, rice paper and video, and paper cutting with LEDs, the show examines the complex mix of history and contemporaneity that marks China now. Floods of new people, technology and development wash over the cities every day. Yet the tender petals of history and tradition remain scattered gently but everlastingly all over the place.
Like their kindred spirits of dynasties past – Chinese artists and poets who have used pen or brush to make sense of their surroundings – the Liu Dao collective also aspires to the same ideals. Through the works that align contemporary mediums with the timelessness of Chinese landscape painting and poetry, the show serves as an ode to urbanism that ultimately unites man with his surroundings.
takes its title from "A Song of Peach Blossom River (桃源行)" by the 8th-century poet Wang Wei 王维. (translated by
Witter Bynner, The Jade Mountain [New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1920):
It is certain that to enter through the deepness of the mountain,
A green river leads you, into a misty wood.
But now, with spring-floods everywhere and floating peach petals –
Which is the way to go, to find that hidden source?
[Angeline Go, Brittney O’Neill, and Clare Jacobson]