“The imagination (as a productive faculty of cognition) is a powerful agent for creating, as it were, a second nature out of the material supplied to it by actual nature.” —— Immanuel Kant
As humans, our imagination is possibly the most important ability we hold. From technological innovation to cultural advancements, the human imagination has allowed our species to advance and thrive, to achieve what was once believed to be unachievable. With such a powerful tool at our disposal, we have the responsibility to use it to forge a better world for future generations. In modern times, issues such as environmental pollution and unsustainable practices are matters that perhaps most pressingly require the attention of our imaginative minds. Rather than conjuring a “second nature,” our imagination should now be used in search of solutions on how to bring about positive changes to our actual nature.
Imagined Community is an art-and-design festival that looks to encourage just that. Organized by OCT Loft, Shenzhen’s burgeoning art district, and curated by TOPYS, the event brought in experts versed in urban planning, art, and Chinese culture to examine how humans can better co-exist with our environment. Through panels, workshops, and an art exhibition, the three-month-long event invites visitors to meditate on the possibilities of urban space, the meaning of community, and how creativity may help address a number of today’s environmental issues. Curator Huang Yongmin’s vision for the event is simple: “I want to restore harmony to the relationship between people and people, between people and nature.”
由深圳华侨城创意文化园（OCT-LOFT）主办、全球先锋创意内容平台TOPYS策划的2020 OCT–LOFT创意节「想象的共同体（IMAGINED COMMUNITY）」，就此问题进行了一场持续三个月的头脑风暴。集结了国内艺术、城市建设、文化等领域专家，围绕“将人变成人们，让环境变成场所”的话题，对空间、社区、社群进行探索。在为期近三个月的活动中，通过举办展览及数场讲座和互动工作坊，力图用创意的角度对城市议题进行重新诠释。对于本届创意节策划人兼TOPYS创始人黄永敏先生而言，“回归人与自然、人与人的美好关系”，是举办此次活动的初衷。
Adjacent to Shenzhen’s Yanhanshan Country Park, OCT Loft was an industrial complex that completed its transformation into the city’s creative hub in 2004. The lush green forests that surround it on all sides and the site’s dramatic renovation make it an especially fitting location for the environment-focused festival. Inside the event, viewers will immediately find themselves face to face with the centerpiece of the exhibition. An imposing square box that sits four-meters high rests in the center of the room while projectors play videos of natural landscapes and abandoned buildings across the box’s interior and exterior surfaces. Around the room, a circle of mirrors refracts and reflects the visuals being projected across the box. Alongside the moving images, haunting sound design and an opening on one side of the cube allow visitors to immerse themselves in this digital wilderness.
整个深圳华侨城创意文化园（OCT-LOFT）场地在2004年改造自上世纪八十年代旧工业厂房，紧邻燕晗山郊野公园的地理位置，让其包裹在青葱的绿林涧地。而今年举办的 “想象的共同体” 活动正是在园区北区的C2展厅内进行的，该展厅由废弃的纸包装厂改造而成。
This artwork, created by Japanese artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, is s.asmbli[wall], is. True to the name, which is a deconstruction of the term “subassembly,” the installation mashes together various mediums in frenetic fashion. Dilapidated buildings and thick overgrowths flicker across the screens on endless loops. It’s designed to not only allow visitors to experience the work but for themselves to be a part of the work: when viewers enter the box, the shadow they cast on the surrounding walls is an intended part of the experience.
With its dizzying formation of light and shadows and the seamless blurring of man, nature, and urban structures, the installation asks viewers to ponder on our strained relationship with Mother Nature. “The balance between man and nature has been disrupted,” Kurokawa says. “My work explores whether or not that balance can be restored.”
这部名为《s.asmbli[wall]》的作品来自日本先锋新媒艺术家黑川良一（Ryoichi Kurokawa），并授权TOPYS在OCT-LOFT C2展厅进行设计。从概念、指导、到编程和各媒介之间的运算均由他和工作室共同完成。并邀请了LOXOSconcept (Matera 2019), MUTEK, Scopitone/Stereolux, TodaysArt工作室参与联合制作，最终由Nicolas Wierinck艺术办公室出品。
In other sections of the festival, the convergence of architecture, man, and nature is examined in less visual formats. The opening ceremony invited urban-planning experts who are looking to influence change in more tangible ways, including Liu Daizong, director of the Sustainable Cities Department at the World Resources Institute, Dong Hao, the co-founder of Crossboundaries Architects, and Kai, the Shanghai director of the renowned architecture studio Sasaki. Together, the three shared a number of successful case studies of how smart urban development has had a positive impact on cities in China.
Over the past four decades, Shenzhen—once an unassuming fishing village—has been spurred on by unparalleled economic and technological growth, cementing itself as a first-tier city in China. Despite its explosive development, many industries and fields remain in their nascent stages, including the art-and-design scene. But in such a fast-changing urban environment, it’s even more important to tap into the potential of creatives, leveraging their ideas for clever solutions in maintaining a balanced relationship with the natural world. As China looks to the future, forward-thinking creatives, artists, and designers will play an even bigger role in establishing this harmony.
In 2020, humanity is facing countless new challenges and uniting as a species is perhaps more important than ever. Though Imagined Community is largely anchored to the theme of imagination, the second part—community—shouldn’t be overlooked. Encouraging mutual understanding, respecting one another, and working together towards joint goals remain foundational to the event’s original vision. By sticking together as a community and making use of our collective imaginations, then positive change is possible.
From December to the end of February, Imagined Community is open for free to the public. Visitors can drop by and take part in this open dialogue on how we can better co-exist with the natural world. “The beauty that we appreciate all stem from nature, and the tacit understanding of our relationship with nature,” says Huang. “What may seem mundane is often the most valuable, and by understanding that, I hope we can see more ‘beautiful’ spaces pop up in cities, even if it has to begin on a smaller scale.”
Event: OCT Loft Creative Festival 2020: Imagined Community
Date: 2020.12.05 ~ 2021.02.28
Address: C2 Space, North Area, OCT-LOFT, Nanshan District
活动: 2020 OCT – LOFT创意节「想象的共同体」
时间: 2020.12.05 ~ 2021.02.28
地址: 深圳华侨城创意文化园北区 C2 展厅