AS more and more immersive exhibitions with exuberant lights and sound have sprung up in town, OCT Art & Design Galley in Nanshan District held a special event on the past Friday night, inviting visitors to admire its exhibited paintings only by flashlight in dark rooms.
“In the days full of high-tech cultural events, we are curious what could be left in visitors’ brains after experiencing so many audiovisual feasts, so we created a quiet exhibition place for visitors to focus on and think about themselves,” said Liu Yang, director of the gallery’s public education department.
The gallery is exhibiting acrylic paintings, sketches, 3-D printed sculptures, embroidery on silk, pigment prints and animation videos created by Chinese artist Miao Xiaochun until April 8. Many of the works convey the confusion of the artist towards himself, the existence of the body, the presence of thoughts, the material world and society. “We picked up one of Miao’s questions — ‘Where will I go?’ — to let the participants focus on themselves and think about the question. We gave them masks to wear to remind them to refrain from speaking. The flashlights were for them to examine the details of Miao’s artworks in the dark rooms. The whole experience was much like exploring an uncovered historical site painted with murals,” said Liu.
The night-gallery activity was part of the OCT Art & Design Gallery’s annual (In)finite Gallery Night event, which also included a pantomime, modern dance, a silent disco and interactive activities this year. The gallery aims to push the boundaries of traditional art exhibitions and explore more possibilities for galleries. Last year, the three-floor gallery was transformed into a “night snack” market for the event, featuring refreshments, modern dance routines and interactive activities to tie in with its “Eating Design” exhibition.
In contrast to last year’s fun experience, this year’s event was a silent journey of self-exploration. Pantomime “Appetite of Blindness” performed by Hong Kong artists Wong Ting-pong and Tsui Ka-lok presented the various conditions of humankind in a busy city. The duo also employed tapes to create scenes of struggling. Dancer Ning Xi later gave a powerful and emotional dance in front of Miao’s video screen. The video projection was cast on her long white outfit, sending off a wild and tender energy simultaneously.
In the intervals, visitors could admire Miao’s artworks freely and interact with artists and groups including Rumor Society, Offline Group, Oneprinty and Mountain River Jump! inside the gallery. Finally, all the participants joined the silent disco on the third floor to alleviate their burden or simply free themselves without disturbing others.