Performance: “Up/Down: Wang Tiande Artist Project”


  • Categories: Performance art
  • Event posted: April 26, 2009
  • Last updated: Sept. 16, 2014

Event details

From the Spencer: Several professional, tether-trained animals will munch away on fresh spring grass as part of Shanghai-based artist Wang Tiande’s Up/Down project during his three-week residency at the Spencer.

Shanghai-based experimental calligrapher Wang Tiande’s work is hailed for dissolving traditional boundaries and definitions of Chinese art. He now brings his innovative ideas to the Spencer as international artist-in-residence, and is in the midst of creating Up/Down, a two-part installation intended to address the interconnected, transnational nature of contemporary life.

Wang’s three-week residency is part of an outreach project funded by the Freeman Foundation through the Center for East Asian Studies. This is part of a larger initiative at the Spencer to create a vibrant International Artists-in-Residence Program that will bring artists from around the world to interact with the broader campus community at KU.

The first part of the project is a grass installation on the Spencer’s front lawn. The work is based on two Chinese characters: shang and xia. As a concept, shang and xia, which literally mean “up and down,” embody a wide range of contrasting relationships: China and the United States; tradition and modernity; consumer and producer. The dichotomous meaning of these two characters is further explored in the materials of the installation. Using native blue stem grass, the character will grow from a bed of fescue—a common, industrially grown lawn grass. The characters are based on an ancient calligraphic style known as seal script, and have a curvaceous appearance unlike modern Chinese writing. You are invited to drop by during the summer and watch this living installation as it grows and changes.


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