Vancouver Art Gallery
The Great Survey of Papercuttings in Yanchuan County
(This is the original newsletter for this exhibition.)
Lasting several years and still ongoing today, “The Long March – A Walking Visual Display,” aside from having contemporary art go to the countryside “from a top to bottom, outside to inside” approach, has also tried to create a fundamental connection between artistic creativity, display, narration, and history and the contemporary from the perspective of visual culture by continuously constructing a subjectivity “from the bottom up.”
For half a year in 2004, the Long March team, in conjunction with the Yanchuan County government, worked in the field covering over 1,940 square kilometers and surveying over 180,000 people to conduct a thorough investigation of the state of papercuttings in one Chinese county. Papercutting samples and survey forms were collected from 15,006 individuals throughout Yanchuan County, which along with documentary film material, sound recordings, textual documents, photographs and images, as well as objects produced throughout the survey process combine to form a vast visual and textual archive entitled “Long March Project – The Great Survey of Papercuttings in Yanchuan County.”
The entire archive is currently on an international touring exhibition with previous stops at the 2004 Shanghai Biennale and the 2004 Taipei Biennale. For the stop in Vancouver, the archive will participate in an exhibition entitled “Classified Materials: Accumulations, Archives, Artists”, which will examine how artists employ, transform and challenge the processes of ordering and classification through which conceptions of the world, and our individual positions in it, are deeply embedded.” The exhibition will include works from the museum’s permanent collection along with contributions by contemporary artists from Vancouver, Asia, Europe, the United States and the Middle East.
Today, through the form of a survey, the development and changes of folk culture and local customs are being brought to the international museum space and has entered the site of contemporary art. This type of connection between inside and outside, and the interactive movement between the top and the bottom and between the local and international is the unique to the structure of Chinese modernity. “The Great Survey of Papercuttings in Yanchuan County” is a social project that mobilizes contemporary artists, grassroots cadres, and art officials to once again return to the villages, combining art with the methodologies of anthropology and science to conduct a comprehensive survey of an entire county.
The Long March is proud to present, in its first North American showing, “The Great Survey of Papercuttings in Yanchuan County” at the Vancouver Art Gallery from October 14, 2005 – January 2, 2006.
36 Survey Forms
Installation and Presentation
Time: October 14, 2005 – January 2, 2006
Location: Vancouver Art Gallery