"The Beauty of Xiao Yao"
From the concrete jungles of Shanghai, China’s acclaimed multimedia artist collective brings you a new exhibition “The Beauty of Xiao Yao 逍遥”. On May 28th and 29th, Lotus Arts De Vivre brings you the latest exhibition from the island6 arts collective, Liu Dao. Their latest show shares an introspective look which explores the great balancing act of life in relation to ancient Chinese philosophies of harmony and what this means in modern times.
This artistic testament to the spiritualism and mysticism of the ages is revitalised through Liu Dao’s multimedia mixed art, questioning the personal connection to our surroundings and the fundamental principles of our relationship to nature.
Nature within the Chinese culture has inspired the greatest of China’s literary and artistic offerings, it’s gloriously varied and vast landscape continues to capture the imaginations of people worldwide. One of the fundamental principles of Taoism is that nature is complete and perfect and in order for man to attain this same level of balance and harmony, man must learn to live at peace with their surroundings. Given the technological advancements and the nature of rapid development in the face of globalisation it may seem that we are moving further away from our goals of inner peace. Liu Dao have come up with a solution- an amalgamation of nature and technology. Like the two opposing forces of Yin and Yang 阴阳, which represent polar opposites, it is only when these two forces come together that balance is created. Liu Dao’s latest themed work is inspired by finding a way in which modern living and nature can come together to create meditative moments which you can enjoy and ponder upon. Confucius said “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.”
Another doctrine of Confucius was the ancient Chinese philosophy of Tian Ren He Yi 天人合一. The famous Scholar, Ji Xianlin 季羡林, interpreted the four Chinese characters of Tian Ren He Yi 天人合一 to mean nature, human beings, mutual understanding and oneness1. The idea of living in harmony with nature was thought to bring the soul balance. This theory of monism and philosophy of unity, clashes with a very modern ideal of conflicted dualism. Why must everything be nature vs. technology? Past vs. present? A harmonious dualism is key to Liu Dao’s latest work, which follows the path of Eastern ideals, in which one cannot exist without the other, therefore conflict is futile and balance is crucial. The fruits of this symphonic ideology are seen in artwork where nature and technology are brought together in scenes of soothing LED flickering lights amidst natural backdrops.
The unrelenting wheel of time turns and with it, the never ending cycle of change rolls along side like a faithful companion. Considering the journey we go through in our own momentary existences, aspirations for happiness and purpose drives us forward. Liu Dao’s latest artworks offer you a peaceful juncture to take your time, recollect and enjoy a world where time stops. Magical instances are forever captured, in the form of innovative video animation amongst a background of tranquil jian zhi 老子剪纸 trees. Get lost amongst the technological forests planted by the island6 Artist collective and enter into a world of harmony. Where traditional art meets modern technology and the balance between historical artistic practices such as Chinese papercut 老子剪纸 melodically intertwine themselves with the technology of the future owing to the hands of island6’s skilled technical team. In “The Beauty of Xiao Yao 逍遥” we bring you a world of possibilities, displaying the exciting fruits of change and the promise of wonder, owing to a marriage between past and present, bringing forth an exciting future where anything is possible.
(1) Chinese thought in a global context: a dialogue between Chinese and western philosophical approaches edited by Karl-Heinz Pohl