The Farm @ K11 Shenyang

Exhibition Name: The Farm

Curator: Jérémie Thircuir

Artists: Bi Jianye, Fu Jingyan, Gong Jian, Gao Rong, Geng Yan, Lin Zhipeng (No. 223), Pan Wangshu, Qin Siyuan, Shen Linghao, Thomas Sauvin (Beijing Silver Mine), Song Yuanyuan, Tong Kunniao, Wu Junyong, Xu Bing , Zhao Dajun, Zhao Qian, Zhang Xiao

Exhibition time: 2020.01.10-2020.06.28

Venue: chi K11 Art Space, Shenyang K11 Shopping Art Center, 4th floor

China is a fundamentally agricultural civilization. Chinese cities, the Chinese language, and the Chinese nation are inextricably tied together with agriculture; its advancements and innovations allowed the prosperity of the country over the course of its history. 

Agricultural civilization and civilization itself are indistinguishable. Historians and archaeologists have argued that written languages emerged primarily due to the need to record harvests – an issue that nomadic cultures that preceded the farmers didn’t have. Whereas nomads don’t have a fixed place of settlement, the needs of agriculture spurred the first cities; and our sense of time, seasons and calendar emerges from agriculture as well. 

Our communities and relationships organize themselves not only around farming, but the joy of the harvest cycle. Major holidays around the world, from Chinese New Year to American Thanksgiving, emerged from it. Food brings us together, bonding us with our family members and friends, linking us to our history, and defining us and the sort of lives which we hope to live.

Today, with a global climate crisis, a world population expected to reach 10 Billion by 2050 and an ever increasing urban population, issues related to food and its production become fundamentally important; we need to produce more with fewer resources, in a more sustainable way.

China has succeeded in feeding 18.5% of the world’s population using only 7% of the arable land area. After decades of focus on urban development, the future and growth of China are now shifting towards the rural and the modernization of agriculture.

The agricultural practices that have defined humanity at large are undergoing an unprecedented transformation, as our diets become more diverse and stable than ever before, agriculture involves technological practices, and the climate becomes unstable and unpredictable. Farming exists at the junction of nature and culture, where we find ourselves as human beings. 

Although agriculture is everywhere, it is also invisible and hard to perceive for many of us who reside in the cities. Today, the farmer is at the frontline of the challenges of the 21st century with the task of feeding humanity. Understanding the challenges of farming today is fundamental to understanding the world that we inhabit on many levels: ecological, biological, economical, sociological and many more…

This Exhibition will showcase how leading artists envision the farm and its ecology. It will navigate between educational and playful content, between knowledge and entertainment, from historical images to artworks using the latest technologies.