The role of individuals in society is often shaped by urban culture, consumerism, and social relations. The regulatory system in urban space and social life inevitably makes people fall prey to the excessive pursuit of the perfect self. How to be one's true self and let the expression of personal emotions be heard and felt? This exhibition intends to break perfectionism with a “roar."
As we head into the new year, Budweiser have joined UCCA Lab, under UCCA Group, in inviting artists Chen Yingjie, Raven Kwok × 3ASiC, Noise Temple, and XUZHUOER to present a new exhibition. Although it takes place in a kind of public space where one is normally expected to be quiet and well-behaved, this collaborative exhibition welcomes the audience to become fully immersed and be their true selves. The theme “Roar” is a nod to the coming year of the tige, with its suggestion of a powerful primal vital energy—the image of the tiger has come to represent the human yearning for something more wild and natural. The bundle of concepts represented by the Chinese character xiao, translated as “roar” here, have existed in human societies long before the invention of the written word. The character means something that is close to the very sound of the cosmos itself—the pipes of heaven mentioned above—and it was regarded as an expression of inner nature of the soul. From the Classic of Poetry, which dates back to the Zhou dynasty, to the Songs of the South compiled during the Western Han dynasty, and then later in the poem “Famous Cities” by the Eastern Han polymath Cao Zhi, the meaning of the character has shifted from describing a woman’s grief to becoming the term for a shamanic magical practice that allows commune with the spirits; only after does it become part of the literati lexicon. Later still, it is even the name of a particular form of music. The titular character has embraced the many layers of its meanings and has been put to different uses throughout the long course of Chinese literary and cultural history, coming to represent the action of a broad mind, free from the limitations of petty social mores.
The roar is often featured in the early Chinese literary corpus: the sound of the wind was described as “a roar, like a song.” The most frequently mentioned animal roar was that of the tiger, known by the epithet “wind-roarer.” In phrases such as “the tiger roars in the piping wind” or “the tiger’s roar reveals Heaven’s mystery,” the ancients compare the sound of a roar to the “pipes of Heaven”—the music of the cosmos or the sound of nature. The sound was held in such high esteem because of a prevailing veneration of and yearning for the essence of nature. A line in the Zhuangzi makes this primal interconnectedness still more explicit: “Though Heaven’s mystery is not displayed, the five organs are all in readiness; this is called the music of Heaven, wordless yet delighting to the heart.” The roar forges a connection between the human spirit and the spirit of nature, and the human “roar” becomes an expression of the natural that goes beyond language.
The design of the exhibition space for “Roar” employs linear elements to create matrices of varying density; closely woven visual impression combines with the physical experience of being swept along to mimick the fast pace of urban life and the continual assault of incoming information. Empty space that originally serves as connective corridors is designed to create a powerful contrast, so that each time the audience emerges into the spaces where the works are on display, it comes with a sense of enormous release and expansiveness. The works become entryways to an alienated reality: some depict natural imagery, some are exploratory exercises using algorithmic programs, some draw on myth and legend for their subject matter, and some are confabulations of light and color. Visuals, light and shadow, sound, and even our bodies and speech are brought into play to realize the liberation of our true selves.
"Roar" will tour to Beijing, Chengdu and Changsha during the Chinese New Year in 2022.
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
200 × 260 × 5 cm
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas
260 × 200 × 5 cm
Interactive installation, generative computer program
Stainless steel sculpture, LED light, dry ice
Interactive audio-visual installation
Chen Yingjie (a.k.a. HuaTunan, b. 1991, Guangdong province, lives and works in Shunde, Guangdong province) is committed to creating easel paintings, large-scale murals, live performance, and spatial installation. He explores the combination of traditional Chinese ink painting and western graffiti art by utilizing various media of painting, striving to reach a balance between these two opposite and contradictory cultural forms, to break free from cultural constraints, and to establish his own original artistic language. He was named one of “25 Contemporary Chinese Artists You Need to Know” by the American magazine Complex, and was selected for Forbes’ “30 Under 30” List in 2020. Chen Yingjie has collaborated with commercial brands such as Volvo (2012), Louis Vuitton (2013), Adidas (2015), BMW (2016), Tiger Beer (2018), Casio (2019), and Cartier(2017, 2020).
Raven KwokRaven Kwok is a visual artist who also work with creative technology. His artistic and research interests mainly focus on exploring the possibilities of visual aesthetic generated by computer algorithms and software. Kwok graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2014 with an MFA degree in electronic arts. His works have been exhibited and screened at media art and film festivals worldwide, including Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria, 2015), Electronic Language International Festival (São Paulo, 2014, 2016, 2019), Vienna Independent Shorts (Vienna, 2014, 2016, 2017), Punto y Raya (Rekyjavík, 2014), Resonate (Belgrade, 2014, 2016), and FIBER Festival (Amsterdam, 2015).
Electronic musician and DJ 3ASiC is acclaimed among his peers in the industry. He became China’s youngest recipient of thecertificate in Visual Basic while still in the fifth grade—the origin of his musical alias. He has studied recording and sound design in China and the Netherlands. A solid academic background lends itself partly to his infatuation with and expert handling of sound and technology. He became recognized in 2020 through his improvised sound and visual performances.
Noise Temple is the audio-visual artist group comprised of musician Huang Jin and visual artist Mian. The concepts in their sound art practice mainly draw from microsound, glitch, ambient, electronic, and noise, and their visual art practice is based on elements of psychedelic, microcosmic, and zen. Their work brings cold, mechanical rhythm, orderly and delicate noise, instrumentals, and the rhythm of three-dimensional repetitions into a bold and controlled visual world, exploring an abstract world that is both hypnotic and exhilarating.
XUZHUOER’s (b. 1988, lives and works in Beijing) work includes installation, video, digital media, performance, and still photography. She has also been involved in public art projects and active in a variety of interdisciplinary collaborations. Her own work features an ongoing exploration of the very nature of her materials, a deep experience of individual psychology, the interactive exploration of subconscious thought, and a continually changing set of inquiries into time, space, and energy fields. XUZHUOER has taken part in many group shows in recent years including “Inside the Second Ring Road” (Ming City Walls Park, Beijing, 2019); “Art Nova 100” (Guardian Art Center, Beijing, 2019); “Candy Box: Group Exhibition of Young Artists” (Seatopia Museum, Qinghuangdao, 2019); and “Playground” (Sky Line Museum, Hangzhou, 2019); “Super New Year“ (Huaqiaocheng, Shenzhen, 2020); and “An Alternative Eye: Sights Between Identities and Media” (Lingang Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai, 2021). XUZHUOER has also collaborated with artists, musicians, and artist groups, including Jony J, Lu Han, Rocket Girl 101, and Li Yapeng.
Budweiser has long branded its beer around the notion of “Be Your True Self,” its mission and values all about creating and leading the fashion for a unique new lifestyle, and it has sought out ways to introduce these ideas into other arenas in creative collaborations with fashion brands, electronic music artists, urban artists, and artists on the ground wherever the brand is sold. Budweiser hopes to provide audiences with a platform for visual expression that goes beyond traditional limits, bringing them more cutting-edge art experiences and praxis related to space, music and ambience, and that through interactions of this kind, audiences might discover a fresh new enjoyment and interest in art.
Since it was first brewed in 1876, Budweiser has gone forth to conquer the world and is now available in 85 countries across six continents. Budweiser is one of the leading beers in the high-end market thanks to its outstanding quality. Budweiser is a fragrant, crisp American-style lager brewed from the finest malt and hops. That commitment to quality has been part of the Budweiser legacy for more than 140 years now, as has the commitment to being your true self and living at the forefront of new trends.