Why did you choose to showcase this aspect of China’s intangible culture?
Guan Huijun: China’s cultural heritage, and Sichuan’s in particular, has a distinctive charm and a rich historical significance. In today’s rapidly developing cities, it’s a challenge to get the public, especially young people, interested in understanding, studying, and passing on traditional forms of culture, and that’s why we chose intangible heritage as our theme. Digital art, meanwhile, is emblematic of the internet age—it’s a new force that lets us keep pace with the times. We were thinking: can we use an up-to-date means of expression, something that has a certain uniqueness and memorability, to increase local connections so that everyone can better understand and participate?
Thijs Biersteker: My piece is centered on trees. Nature has always been a very important theme in Chinese art. From Li Cheng to Fan Kuan, trees have been central. As an artist I use technology as my paint to weave together art, data and nature.
Stefan Reiss & Alexander Janke: We chose to focus on kite making. The kite was invented by two of China’s great minds, the philosopher Mozi (470-391 BCE) and the engineer Lu Ban (444-507 BCE). Mozi lived a century later than Confucius and wrote about the use of kites in China during his lifetime. At first kites were mainly, though not only, used for military purposes, e.g., for measuring distances, calculating wind power and direction, and lifting fireworks or observers.
Our main interest in the kite comes from the fact that it’s Chinese in origin and was a philosophical invention put to military uses. Over the centuries it spread out over the globe and was used for different activities, from sports and leisure to religion.
Lien-cheng Wang: I wanted the elements I chose to relate to people’s lives and to cut across time and space. So I chose four themes that could do that: “Nature,” “Humanity,” “Food,” and “Animals.”
王连晟: 我希望所选择的元素是更贴近人们的生活，是具有超越时间性的。所以我选择四个”自然”、”人文”、”食物”、”动物” 贴近人们的元素做为发展。