Leave prints for future viewers to see how artists of our time think
Updated 22:59, 01-Aug-2019
By Li Qiong
[]
03:15

In Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai, many people visit galleries for exhibits by great artists, while others look for new ways to attract visitors.

It's been five years since the Red Brick Art Museum launched its first exhibit in 2014. To look back at its development, the museum is displaying its most important collections, featuring 17 artists from around the world.

"Tomorrow Resonator" by Olafur Eliasson. /CGTN photo

"Tomorrow Resonator" by Olafur Eliasson. /CGTN photo

"Thousand-Armed Guanyin" is the first piece of artwork acquired by the Red Brick Art Museum. Buddhist instruments, animals, plants, daily necessities and even waste items – the images can arouse different interpretations from various minds. Some say it's a reflection of the diverse and complex cultural contexts of the contemporary world. 

To the museum, it means so much more. "This piece is all-encompassing in terms of contemporary art,” said Yan Shijie, curator of the Red Brick Art Museum. “We used its name – the 'Thousand-Armed Guanyin' – as the title of the exhibit to express hope that our future collections could be richer and more comprehensive."

"Untitled 2010": No. 1, Jianguomenwaidajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing (R) and No. 100, Century Boulevard, Putuo District, Shanghai (L) by Rirkrit Tiravanija. /CGTN photo

"Untitled 2010": No. 1, Jianguomenwaidajie, Chaoyang District, Beijing (R) and No. 100, Century Boulevard, Putuo District, Shanghai (L) by Rirkrit Tiravanija. /CGTN photo

It took seven years to prepare. When the museum first opened, the contemporary Eastern aesthetic of its buildings and gardens quickly made it popular among art lovers. 

However, Yan believes that art museums should be more than just places for exhibitions. "We have been exploring ways to develop the museum over the past five years. And we've decided to make it an art wetland, not only in terms of construction, but spirituality as well. The internet takes up too much of everyone's time nowadays. They need an escape from it and feel the air, the wind, as well as art."

"The Unspeakable Openness of Things" by Olafur Eliasson. /CGTN Photo

"The Unspeakable Openness of Things" by Olafur Eliasson. /CGTN Photo

Yan also believes that contemporary art museums have to be open to different artistic styles from all over the world. “They are like warehouses of art pieces. We need to leave prints for future visitors – 10 years or 20 years from now (on) – so people can see how artists of our time think."