Rockbund Art Museum 上海外滩美术馆

Hu Yun: Mount Analogue 胡昀:远山

23 March 2024 – 25 August 2024
2024年 3月 23日 – 2024年 8月 25日

Shanghai-born artist Hu Yun is renowned for his profound insights into narratives, histories, and nuanced perceptions. Over the last decade, he has meticulously "followed" pivotal historical figures instrumental in disseminating knowledge concerning natural history and religion in Asia. These fields burgeoned globally during the 16th to 19th centuries amidst Western modernity and colonialism, profoundly influencing the exchange of goods, species, and people between Europe and its colonies. The routes traversed by capitalists, naturalists, and missionaries often intersected with colonial trade and naval expansion paths, with ports like Shanghai emerging as crucial nodes in this expansionist and capitalist milieu. It was within such a context that some of the earliest museums came into being in Shanghai.

Hu Yun's first solo museum exhibition in China, Mount Analogue, marks both a mid-career retrospective and a site-responsive intervention. It is situated within the edifice presently housing the Rockbund Art Museum, which in 1933 served as the location for China's first natural history museum – the Royal Asiatic Society Museum. Mount Analogue intricately interlaces historical events, personal narratives, and natural elements, aimed at interrogating historical accounts that oscillate between the visible and the invisible, stimulating introspection.

The exhibition's title is a homage to an incomplete adventure novel by René Daumal, a 20th-century French polymath. Daumal's narrative chronicles a group of adventurers questing for a mystical mountain accessible only through an elevated spiritual state. This mountain serves as a metaphorical conduit between the terrestrial and the celestial realms. Through the protagonists' odyssey, their tribulations, and the spiritual and philosophical epiphanies they encounter, the novel probes the interstices between reality and transcendence, the corporeal and the metaphysical, and the perceptible and the imperceptible.

The exhibition layout mirrors Hu Yun's artistic ethos, positioning the entrance at the long-neglected "back door" of the 1933 museum. Deliberately fragmented and reconstituted, artworks spanning the past decade are scattered across the museum's fourth, fifth, and sixth floors, as well as the interconnecting staircases. Evocative of the aftermath of a big bang, 22 pieces are intentionally disarranged, challenging linear historical narratives. For Hu Yun, historical accounts are endlessly substitutable, mirroring the iterative nature of his own creative process.

Mount Analogue embraces the fluidity of established histories, serving as a tribute to materials, imagery, voices, and texts that fortuitously eluded processes of accumulation, classification, and categorization. Upon entering the gallery, visitors embark on a self-guided expedition through historical narratives. Recognizing that historical understanding is inherently subjective, each perspective is deemed equally valid, debunking the notion of an "objective" historical truth. By incessantly tracing, scrutinizing, collecting, editing, and re-editing both tangible and intangible materials, viewers are encouraged to engage in contemplation about faith, historical narratives, adventure, systems of knowledge, and self-discovery within the intermediary zone between reality and imagination.

Hu Yun (b. 1986, Shanghai, China) is an artist currently based in Shanghai and Belgrade, Serbia. In his practice, Hu Yun revisits historical moments in order to provide alternative readings, a process that also informs the artist’s self-reflection on his native and personal ties. His selected solo exhibitions include Another Diorama, NUS Museum, Singapore (2019); Our Ancestors, Goethe-Institut Open Space, Shanghai (2012);  Images of Nature, Natural History Museum, London (2010). His works have been exhibited in Curtain, Para Site, Hong Kong (2021); Study of Things, Times Museum, Guangzhou (2020); When the Other Meets the Other Other, The Cultural Centre of Belgrade (2017); Museum ON/OFF, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016); Copyleft: China Appropriation Art, Power Station of Art, Shanghai (2015);. Hu Yun has also participated in the 10th Asia Pacific Triennial, Brisbane (2021); 6th Singapore Biennale (2019); 11th Gwangju Biennale (2016); 4th Guangzhou Triennial (2012); 7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (2012). He is the co-founder of art e-journal PDF (2012-2013).

上海艺术家胡昀的艺术实践体现了他对叙事、历史和细微感知的深刻思考。在过去的十多年中,胡昀一直在“跟踪”那些传播自然历史,宗教等知识论的关键人物,这些概念在 16 世纪至 19 世纪期间伴随着西方现代性和殖民主义在全球范围内扩展,对欧洲及其殖民地之间的商品、物种和人员流动产生了影响。资本家、博物学家和传教士的探索路线与殖民贸易和海上扩张的路线密切相关,上海这样的港口成为殖民和资本主义扩张的关键地点,也是在这样的时代语境下诞生了一批早期的博物馆。


展览标题取自20世紀法国作家、哲学家、诗人勒内·多马尔(René Daumal)未完成的冒险小说《远山》(又译作《虚拟山》)。小说的核心是一群探险家的故事,他们发现了一座只有通过特殊精神状态才能到达的、隐藏的虚构山峰——虚拟山。这座山被描绘成连接地球和天堂的桥梁。小说通过描写探险家的追求、他们所面临的挑战以及他们在攀登过程中的精神和哲学启示,探索了现实与超验、物质与精神、可见与不可见之间的界限。



胡昀(1986 年出生于中国上海)毕业于中国美术学院,现生活工作于上海和塞尔维亚贝尔格莱德。胡昀的创作实践是对各种历史片断进行重访的持续过程,同时以此反观自照。他举办的个展包括“微缩景观”,新加坡国立大学博物馆(2019);“我们的祖先”,上海歌德学院开放空间(2012);“自然的图像”,伦敦自然历史博物馆(2010)。他的作品也曾在“帘幕”,香港 Para Site艺术空间(2021);“格物致知”,广州时代美术馆(2020);“当他者遇到另一个他者”,贝尔格莱德文化中心(2017);“博物馆ON/OFF”,巴黎蓬皮杜艺术中心(2016);“Copyleft:中国挪用艺术”,上海当代艺术博物馆(2015)等展览中展出。胡昀海参加了布里斯班第十届亚太三年展(2021)、第六届新加坡双年展(2019)、第十一届光州双年展(2016)、第四届广州三年展(2012)和第七届深圳雕塑双年展(2012)。他也是电子艺术刊物PDF的发起人之一。

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