Rockbund Art Museum 上海外滩美术馆

“Wandering in the Paintings, Waking from a Dream” Experimental Kunqu Performance and Talk “游画惊梦”实验昆曲演出及演后谈

Event Information

Date: 27 May 2023
Time: 11:00 13:00
Venue: Rockbund Art Museum
Speaker: Xiaochuan Liu, Jiaxing Wang, Haibao
Language: Chinese


日期: 2023年 5月 27日
时间: 11:00 13:00
场馆: 上海外滩美术馆
主讲人: 刘小川,王佳鑫,海宝
语言: 中文

The artist Wang Evelyn Taocheng loves the beauty of harmony, and she is particularly fond of kunqu for its unique colours, costumes and expression of secular life and human stories and emotions. On the evening of 27 May, we introduced kunqu to the "Contrasts of Difference" exhibition. The Bund Museum of Art will be transformed into a flowing garden with the graceful water sleeves and soft chanting of the kunqu opera "The Peony Pavilion". Under the artist's exhibition design, the exhibition on the second and third floors of the museum is like an unfolding scroll, and on this fine evening, the performer will take the audience into the scroll, moving in front of the different paintings by Wang Evelyn Taocheng, and guiding them through the "yimingliang'an" layout of the Chinese aesthetics. The audience will be guided through a Chinese aesthetic of "one bright" and "two dark" exhibition halls, which subtly echoes the plot of The Peony Pavilion, as well as the virtual grass, trees and pavilions of the singing performance, allowing the audience to experience the interplay of time and space beyond the artist's paintings. This experimental kunqu performance will form a "contrast of contrasts" with the artist's work itself. As Eileen Chang said, "Sadness is a kind of completion, while desolation is a kind of revelation." Wang Evelyn Taocheng's paintings are themselves poetic, fragmented and multi-layered narratives that are a mix of emotion, poetry and autobiography, conveying her "bleak" experience of life between ancient and modern times, eastern and western cultures, and binary genders, which have some resonance with the Chinese literati who composed kunqu in the cracks; while Duliniang breaks through the confines of The experience of love, in which Du Liniang breaks free and dies for "love", corresponds to a kind of "tragedy" of ideal and self-fulfilment. In this performance, performers Liu Xiaochuan, Haibao and Wang Jiaxin will present excerpts from the first book of The Peony Pavilion, namely, "A Visit to the Garden", "A Dream of Fright", "A Dream in Search of Love" and "A Separated Soul", creating a utopia with the audience that is free from the constraints of time and space: Du Liniang and her maid Chunxiang visit the garden to enjoy the spring. They fall in love at first sight and meet by the rocks on the lake. The next day, Du Liniang went to the garden alone to relive her dream, but the twelve pavilions were bleak and cold, with no one in sight. As a result of this dream, she became ill from spring to mid-autumn and died of depression. Following the spectacular performance of these eight tunes, performer Liu Xiaochuan will discuss new ideas and academic contexts for the fusion of tradition and contemporary, Eastern and Western culture and art, starting from the current globalised literary and artistic context, and share his own exchanges with overseas scholars on the poetics, choreography, drama, art history and anthropological values of kunqu. The three performers will also interact with the audience in a Q&A session, offering interpretations of Kunqu's rich cultural issues and stage language, sharing discussions on how to explore the collision of Eastern and Western aesthetics and ideas.


Evelyn Taocheng Wang: An Equivocal Contrast 王伊芙苓韬程:参差的对照