Zeyao – Exhibition – Reading Quote

  1. Here, communication lies at the heart of exhibitions, whereby the communicative medium is not a neutral transmission of information but something that contributes to the positioning and controlling of the spectator in a space of display (p.90).

Comment: Communication is the key. The flow of the exhibition and the position of different objects can convey a lot of things to the visitor. When a curator creates the exhibition, think about what is the storyline that you want to tell the visitor.

2. They (Exhibitions) are political tools for maintaining the status quo – modern ritual settings that reinforce identities, whether these be artistic, avant-garde, gender, racial, subcultural, regional, national, international, global, etc (p.91).

Comment: The exhibition is similar to a piece of artwork. When you create it, think about the concept behind it. The exhibition as a collection of different exhibited work needs a bigger size’s concept for it.

3. Connections and movements between spaces, things, and viewers are manifested, navigated, and transformed through “relational techniques.” (p.95)

Comment: This recalled what I commented under the first quote. I believe that curator plays an important role to make the presentation of artworks better. David Shrigley says: “the first job that an artist needs to do is to fill the space.” It can be applied to curator’s role as well.

4. Yet his argument – that the invisibility of the curatorial hand can reinforce the “belief that art speaks for itself” and that curating is a “necessary, if insufficient, medium through which the communication between art and its audience takes place”

Comment: Agian, communication. The role of the curator can let art speaks for itself. It can connect the audience with the artwork.

5. Rather than texts waiting to be read, exhibitions have the potential to activate discursive processes that enable dialogical spaces of negotiation between curators, artists, and their publics.

Comment: I think we talked about this in class that there are 3 important parts of an exhibition: the curators, artists, and the audience. To connect these 3 components together and arouse a discussion is really important for the curator.

Exhibition Reading

“As well as being linguistic or semiotic, exhibitions are spatial” , to me this sentence means that it is very important how we design the space of an exhibition, where art pieces have a relation to each other. The design of the space has meaning and importance , just like the art pieces themselves.

” the exhibition is not a form of self-portrait, a curator’s courting of the gaze” which means in a way that the curator is also an artist, who expresses him or herself in the design of the exhibition by the way he or she choses the art pieces in relation to each other

“critical engagement with the potentialities of curating as a space for exploration” to mea means that the exhibition has to be a space to explore for the users




Week6: Final Project Proposal – Ribirth

I believe that in the past few decades, the artistic expression of tattoos has suffered a lot of misunderstanding in China. There is always a prejudice against people who have tattoos or tattoos on their bodies. However, I believe that tattoos should not be equated with certain intrinsic images. The tattoos on everyone should be the mark of growth or life. There should be a story behind each tattoo; each tattoo should be an embodiment of the individual spirit. I will interview people with tattoos to collect information. This exhibition will show the audience the stories behind the first tattoos of people with tattoos using photos, recordings and videos. I hope that through these expressions and stories, viewers can make changes to tattoos or to people with tattoos.

The design of the exhibition ticket: I think that the tattoo is a manifestation of the individual experience, and with the indelible characteristics of the tattoo, I will use the “old school” style clock on my ticket as my main design element.

The content of the exhibition mainly consists of three parts.
First: I will shoot the interviewees. I will combine the interviewee’s face with their first tattoo in a photo, which will be in black and white. Photo I am considering whether to use Polaroid. The photo will be attached to the background panel.

Second: I will interview these people and make videos. The recording will be placed on the opposite side of the photo using the projector.

Third: Play background music: I will record the tattoo studio and edit the interview recording to mix the noise of the human voice with the tattoo equipment.

Week 5 – Assignment 2 – Reading Response – Matthew Couch

  1. “Here, communication lies at the heart of exhibitions, whereby the communicative medium is not a neutral transmission of information but something that contributes to the positioning and controlling of the spectator in a space of display.”
    • This quote is very relate-able to another class I am also taking at the moment: Organizational Communication. The class discusses communication within an organization, but a museum/exhibit can also be considered an organization, and some of the ideas shared in the class can be applied when creating an exhibition.
  2. “‘Professionalisation and differentiation within the art world have turned ‘curating’ into a hierarchically structured job description covering a wide range of activities.'”
    • This quote is interesting due to another previous quote where it is said that the hierarchy is always changing. Before reading this I only knew of a curator as the person introducing the exhibits.
  3. “… instead hr or she is seen to be responsible for extracting art from its position or circulation, opening up a space where individual works of art gather new meanings and values by virtue of their regrouping for public consumption.”
  4. “Watkins draws on Oscar Wilde’s idea that objects are transformed into art by the critic writing about them, in which it is the eye of the beholder that produces the work of art.”
    • This quote is very interesting to me. Someone might create something and believe it to be art, but somebody else seeing it might view it as trash. But should a little more respect be involved? Is everything not actually art in some form or fashion?
  5. “Rather than texts waiting to be read, exhibitions have the potential to activate discursive processes that enable dialogical spaces of negotiation between curators, artists, and their publics.”

As a whole, these chapters from the book really open my eyes to the current exhibition world. My previous understanding was very basic and limited, similar to how exhibitions and curators used to be. Reading this also inspires me a bit for my final project — how can I, as the curator, be involved and enrich the experience? Having an interactive exhibit by itself is nice, but this article has made it clear to me that I myself can also be a “part” of the exhibit as well. I can be a piece of the art.

Week6: Reading Response – Ribirth (Liu)

1.”The exhibition, as as a specific cultural form, is the foremost intermediary through which ideas and knowledge around art are now produced and disseminated.”

I think this sentence is a good example of the important and special status of the exhibition in the art communication. As an important presentation mode of art works, exhibitions can bring more than just visual experience to the audience, but also spiritual inspiration and impact. Exhibitions often create space and time for the audience, making it easier to inspire people to think.

2. “the curatorial is always dialogical, with the resultant exhibition form being a condensed moment of presentation exposing to varying degrees the processed of cooperation,exchange, and agonistic coproduction that have made it possible.”

I think this sentence leads me to think better and more comprehensively about the role of the curator in the exhibition. Exhibitions are usually collections of different works by different artists. How to find the commonality of different works while highlighting their characteristics makes it possible for art works to communicate with each other and to have dialogue with the audience. It is a very difficult but important direction of thinking.

3. “the contemporary art museum now tends to place it emphasis on the research and mediation of temporary art exhibitions rather than focusing on its collection. This privileging of one-off, short-term exhibitions within museums indicates a growing specialization.”

I think this sentence is quite right. In the Museum of Contemporary Art that I have been to, I can easily find that today’s museums are no longer constrained and exhibited, they pay more attention to the visual presentation of a particular topic or field and the interaction of the audience. Short-term exhibitions make art works more impactful and contemporary, and more able to meet the preferences of different groups of people.

4. “The exhibition is now a form of self-portrait, a curator’s courting of the gaze, in which an exhibition’s meaning is derived from the relationship between artistic positions as presented by the curator.”

As with the second part, the words also emphasize the importance of the curator for an exhibition. The same art works handed to different curators will certainly show different results, but how to express curators’ thinking about art will become the key to the success of the exhibition.

5.“rather than texts waiting to be read, exhibition hace the potential to active discursive processes that enable dialogical spaces of negotiation between curators, artists and their public”

I believe that exhibitions are a collection of various art forms and a collection of various cultural media. Think about the relationship between the artist, the curator and the public and find the balance between the three, let the art work speak, let the audience think and communicate.

Week 5 – Assignment 1 – Final Project Proposal – Matthew Couch

“The Museum of Cigs”

General info:

The Museum of Cigs is all about cigarettes, but one of its main aims is to highlight the health risks and hopefully draw more awareness (especially since the smoking culture in China is so different from my home, America). I decided to do this after realizing that most of my Chinese friends that smoke don’t even seem to know about the health risks, or, if they do know, they don’t think they are that serious, leading them to not care. I have started smoking and quit many many times, even with all of the disgusting images that are put on boxes of cigarettes now to try to get people to quit. I hope this will not only help other smokers, but help myself to finally quit for good.

Ticket idea:

cigarette box (also serves as a souvenir).

Content idea:

There will hopefully be a few little parts that make up the museum itself. The first is my diorama project (that will be expanded on if possible). This is one of the interactive pieces. People can watch the video of the cigarette slowly burning out in a dark room. My intention is for them to be captivated by it; just spend 10 minutes (might be sped up) watching the cigarette slowly fade to nothing. It acts as a sort of metaphor for life itself.

Another section I would like to include is a video or some interactive website that can be used (touch screen) showing the effects cigarettes have on the lungs. While it might be graphic and uncomfortable for some, it is something hard-hitting like this that can help easily get my point across.

I would also like to include a bit of history, whether it be old cigarette boxes, old advertisements, or anything else. This will lead into a vision for the future — one where cigarette smoking doesn’t decline, and one where it does (specifically in China, maybe only Shanghai as well).

Overall, the museum will be mildly unsettling, but this is what is needed as the topic is very serious. I might try to include some actual cigarette smoke interactivity, but I’m not sure on the details right now (also there’s smoke alarms).

Week 2: Historical Site – Apartment – Matthew Couch

This museum takes into the world of an American student studying in Shanghai, China. Pictured below is the original, clean room that he lived in from August 28, 2018 until May 28, 2019 during his senior year at NYU Shanghai. The current state of the room is the same as how he left it when he returned to America — dirtier than before, possibly even causing a deduction in his returned security deposit. This bedroom isn’t the only one, however. It is the largest of three bedrooms in what used to be a 自如 apartment. The other two rooms constantly had people moving in and out, and none of the roommates ever met each other or said anything. When entering Matthew’s room in the museum, occasionally one might hear recordings of his Chinese roommates talking to a friend. Apart from this, the museum is relatively silent. The kitchen serves guests of the museum the exact same food that Matthew had made plenty of times: two eggs, one piece of bacon, and two sausages for breakfast, and a bowl of 火鸡面 Korean ramen noodles with added pieces of chicken breast. The building itself is what is considered a 老房子, the only one of its kind left in 2115. What was once a gas station next door has been turned into an electric car charging station. The ticket to get in to the museum is a blue magnetic key, the same that was used by Matthew in 2018 (keys now are on a chip inside of one’s body, so the key also acts as a souvenir in a way). There is then a password to get into Matthew’s room specifically, which guests can only obtain by reading about the life of Matthew in Shanghai that is located in the public living area. It might come as a shock to guests that people actually had to learn more than just their native language in the past to communicate, seeing as 2115 has automatic real time translators available. The museum itself is very small, but it is meant to serve as a time capsule of some sorts; a direct snapshot of a normal person’s living arrangements one hundred years ago.


Week 6: Reading Response

“They[exhibitions] are political tools for maintaining the status quo- a modern ritual setting that reinforces identities, whether these be artistic, avant-garde, gender, racial, subcultural, regional, national, international, global, etc.”

“For her[Bismarck], the curatorial represents a “continuous process of negotiation in which the positions taken vary in relation to the other subjects or objects involved in exhibitions, take on new directions, and appear in various constellations.”

“The curatorial is always dialogical, with the resultant exhibition form being a condensed moment of presentation exposing to varying degrees the processes of cooperation, exchange and agonistic coproduction that have made it possible.”

“The exhibition is now a form of self-portrait, a curator’s courting of the gaze, in which an exhibition’s meaning is derived from the relationship between artistic positions as presented by the curator.”

“In some cases, the curatorial framework and its structural constellations are made more manifest than others within the final exhibition form.”

This essay talks about how an exhibition’s discursive, pedagogical, and dialogical approaches can help the overall curatorial, how as a curator, you become part of the art by subjectively deciding how and where to place the arts. This is something that is so important that seldom thought about.

Week 6: Final Project Proposal

Final Project Proposal

“The Beyond” is an exhibition that imagines the “feeling” at the moment of death. It is a feeling that all of us will experience but only a few got the chance to come back and tell. As many religions describe the world after this life, this exhibition is not about religion. “The Beyond” is based on scientific discoveries, clinical researches and real accounts of near-death experience. It is an effort to satisfy the curiosity of every human being with recreations of near death experience. The exhibition consists of two parts.

Part One: Floating body hologram Diorama

Through the special mean of a hologram pyramid, a floating human body is shown. A sense of weightless, floating, out-of-body experience is accounted by almost every experience near death.

Part Two: Deep Meditation Experience

The audience is invited to lie in a coffin while hearing binaural beats in the earphone for at least one minute. The binaural beats are to evoke deep meditation. It has proven in clinical research that it creates a creative mental state that many uses to create a near death experience.