What is Dystopia? Find out at「iArt Youth Project Exhibition」


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iArt • 废托邦

Review on Dystopia, iArt Youth Project Exhibition


Dystopia, also known as "anti-utopia", is the opposite of utopia, which means a "bad place". Whereas Utopia depicts the ideal society imagined by people five hundred years ago, dystopia gives us a look towards the darker side of society in modern literature.


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《一》林万山 影像作品

On November 16th 2019 the iArt Youth Project, sponsored by Yuan Museum, came to Chongqing for its second year with the opening of its 'Dystopia' exhibition. The project aims to prompt reflection on current societal issues from the prospective of young artists; Dystopia reflects on the digitalized age we live in. For example, as we are more and more connected on the web we are also more disconnected from reality. The project covered topics such as the dispersion of data and prevalence of 'Big Brother' societies.

2019年11月16日,“废托邦——2019 iArt青年艺术计划”在重庆原·美术馆开幕。该项目将艺术作为媒介,为城市、社会导入不同层面的思考与讨论,探讨青年艺术家在日新月异的时代和生活环境中的可能性。废托邦反映了我们所处的数字化时代。例如,随着我们在网络上的联系越来越紧密,我们在现实也越来越疏远,个人自由在科技之网中无处存活。”

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《叠态NO.2》/《叠态NO.3》蔡焕彬 布面丙烯

The openining started after 3.30pm and included an award ceremony for the young artists involved. Judges and organisers had their chance to speak before awards were given.


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Opening ceremony开幕式现场

On the first day of the exhibition, CQGuide was invited to experience an absolutely wonderful art journey.


🙋‍♀️ 体验嘉宾:Alessia Martino

Graduated from university in the UK and has been in Chongqing for 3 years. Loves to write, travel, hike and try new food. Enjoys life starting from the little things.

"As it was the first day, the gallery was crowded, but as there were 40 selected works, there was plenty to see. A series of frames with cows in zebra stripes in human spaces such the subway, airport and supermarket was one of the first things to be seen. I personally found it eye-catching and wondered if perhaps we are those dressed up animals, but I cannot say. There was also an interactive game based on the work."

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《在别处》系列 黄伟鸿 套色木刻

"On the opposite side, a multi scene- on a loop video depicting situations I think that well represent real life: a man compulsively opening the same package (think of the crazy online shopping people do) or two people doing a zombie-a-like walk (like when people walk while looking at their phones). I returned twice to this piece to deepen my reflection."

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《无尽地消磨,与时间》聂利莎 多媒体影像装置


"A bit further on, we could see plastic body parts connected with a bike frame and a screen. This was one of the silver prize winners. It was fascinating in the sense of color impact on eye, while comparing the human body to a machine and showing on the screen the mind output. This was not always clear as the mind is often abstract."

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《鲜果的自我构建》曾晨&鲜榨无责艺术 综合材料装置


"My favourite piece was a colored moving pattern in which the different strings moved at different times. It made me think of how things in life are intertwined, doing an action can cause a chain reaction of events, that can be further changed by other actions. It was very pleasant to watch."

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《熵》ENTROPY 郭耀先 综合互动装置

"Another set of frames caught my eye as in one picture a person wearing VR seems to be in love with a machine; in another one we can see a worker and a machine with apparently the same job (can be deducted by them wearing the same symbol)as they are standing in front of urinals."


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《约会》/《进化与模仿》周忠戎 数码微喷

"The first prize winner was a room with a key hole. When looking inside I saw myself, from the back, indicating the use of cameras to 'spy' on the interacting guests; another camera would show the pupil on a bigger key hole at the back of the room, making the participant vulnerable to a Big Brother situation."

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《透明社会:下一刻》许毅博 交互影像装置


Among the participants there was Phelim McConigly, a young artist from Irland, which has shown his work in Bejing prior to Dystopia.

参展者中也有来自爱尔兰的青年画家Phelim McConigly,他的作品曾在北京参展。

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Q: What do you want to convey with your art?


A: This work is called 'Foundation', I made it as my diploma work for the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. It is the plan of the former medical museum in Bulgaria that I have been working with for a number of years. I made this work in order to convey the structure of this museum that was built in 1965 and was a fuctioning medical museum until 1989.


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《Foundation》Phelim McConigly

The three paintings on the wall are from a series I painted this year called 'Problem Phase no problem'. I am basically trying to use a similar set of aesthetics as what you see on the floor piece, but it has kind of overlapped patterns or hard edges structure which are interwoven and trying to break down [into other types of imagery]during the process of painting. So it is quite an abstract painting, oil on canvas.

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《No title》Phelim McConiy 布面油画


In this special event, we are also glad to had the chance to interviewed the judge of this event Ms. Cao Xingyuan, Ph.D. in Art History at Stanford University.


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Q: What were the criteria in choosing the best art work?


A: There is no solid guideline to follow, however we are loosley adviced that the guidelines or what we need to consider when we choose good from bad are the following: Originality- has been the most important criteria for art. Even if we are living in a postmodern world we can't still get away from originality.

Two is the concept, the idea. Three is the making, therealization. If your concept can be reutilized properly to communicate with the audience fluently we get what you want to tell us, instead of asking you 'what does this really mean', 'what do you really want to say' - that would give some mines. Pluses would be 'immediately, I get it'. That kind of shock is what we are looking for in an exihibition like this. Good art will give you the impact right the way but would give you many layers of taste.


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"Overall I really enjoyed this exihibition as it takes on real problems through the eyes of young adults, catching my eyes with different colour play and structure while poking my brain here and there in different ways. Talking to Ms. Cao and Mr. McConigly made my visit even more pleasant and a learning chance. A visit to Dystopia is raccomended and it is free."

一次很棒的艺术展体验,通过青年艺术家的视角,各种奇思妙想的创作,科技与艺术的交融、裂变,给普罗大众带来了诸多思考。与曹女士和Phelim McConiy先生的谈话让我对艺术有了更为深刻的理解。推荐“废托邦”艺术展,最主要是免费向公众开放。

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- Dystopia | iArt Youth Project -

废托邦 | 2019 iArt青年艺术计划

Keywords: technology/future/humanities


Nov 16 - Nov 29

(Closed on Monday 周一闭馆)

📍Yuan Museum 原·美术馆

🎫Free 免费

You are welcome to explore the unknown future.

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