Global Priority Worldwide Multimedia Exhibition 與世界接軌 「國際優先郵件」世界巡迴展
Under globalization, between individuals
The Global Priority Exhibition in the Pier 2 Art District, Kaohsiung, lasting for one month, is a show which aims to let people from all over the world have mutual communication through art. The exhibition organizer, Gordon M. Knox, from the USA, thinks people all around the globe are fundamentally united as human beings. He plans his Global Priority Exhibition of multimedia art so as to let people all over the world contact each other through an art network. Kaohsiung City is the second stop of his exhibition.
The Global Priority Exhibition involves Knox collecting works of art from artists all over the world. The works need to be portable, of course; and each displayed work needs to meet the regulations of the Exhibition. The exhibition focuses on the topic of globalization. The first showing of the Global Priority Exhibition, in New Zealand last year, involved over thirty artists with whom Knox was familiar, together with their artist friends - the number altogether was fifty-one artists from thirty-three countries. Taiwan is the second stop for the Exhibition. Knox is hoping, from his visit, to learn about Taiwanese artists and to include selected Taiwanese works for display in his other exhibitions all around the world.
Artists of various tribes & nationalities
Knox, who has a Master's Degree in Humanities from the UK's top Cambridge University, thinks as follows. "Humanities and Art are always connected. Art reflects human life. Each artist's work of art seems like a mirror that lets the viewers feel, after seeing the work, just as if they are viewing their own lives." In the Global Priority Exhibition, the atmosphere surrounding many works is thus pretty serious. But the works aim to show a happier side also - of human care and compassion.
Because artists come from different countries, each displayed work needs to meet the regulations of international posting. The Global Priority Exhibition involves many kinds of medium. Most works are visual images. However, there are also jigsaw puzzles, paper envelopes for searching people, images projected on to the wall from a slide machine and then something additionally painted by Knox or local artists on this wall, and so on. The works are engagingly varied.
Unfinished exhibition, endless creativity
Among all the works, one made of rubber by South African artist Andries Botha is most eye-catching. This work comprises four big pieces, imitating human skin and intended to illustrate "Example, Patriarchalism, Power, and Compassion". These four big pieces bear scars supposedly symbolizing South Africa's earlier racial discrimination and civil strife. After Mandela won the political stage in South Africa, he hoped people in that country might be "reconciled" - might forget and forgive the past. He encouraged people to open their hearts to communicate, to abandon past conflict and to let South Africa continue forwards to more improvement. The four big pieces imitating human skin depict the history of South Africa, including the distressing history of events and the different races' attitudes after Mandela came to power. The whole work is meant to have not only great visual shock value but also a serious historical meaning.
Besides many works that convey the ideas of different races, another rather interesting work is a square shape of Chinese characters that are explored by a Chinese artist, Xu Bing living in America, and a Japanese friend of his.
In letters of Xu Bing's replying to his Japanese friend, the words are seen as Chinese characters at first glance; however, when they are examined more carefully, each Chinese character is actually composed of English letters. This engaging work tests not only viewers' English ability but also their imagination.
The Global Priority Exhibition ends on 13 April in Taiwan, but then it will proceed to other countries. Within the next two years, Knox will mount his Exhibition in different parts of the United States and in Japan, Korea and South Africa. Of course, the content of the future exhibitions is not yet precisely known. Yet one thing that is very sure: the Exhibition will grow and will probably, in the future, include works by Taiwanese artists.