新冠肺炎疫情，讓整個世界都蒙上陰影。若人在異鄉，情況更是雪上加霜，心底必定倍感傍徨。中國當代藝術家曹斐以這段時期自己身處異鄉的經歷為主題，通過藝術作媒介反思環境與生活轉變。她將於11月11日至15日在上海西岸藝術與設計博覽會中首次展出最新藝術作品。作品名為《不安之島》（Isle of Instability），記錄了藝術家自今年3月以來與家人居家隔離生活的時光。觀眾可透過這一作品，感受她對這次全球疫情以及人類因此而共同面臨的困境所進行的思考。
The outbreak of COVID-19 has cast a shadow over the world. The situation is deemed to be even more unbearable for those who are living in a foreign land. With her own lockdown experiences in a foreign country, Cao Fei, a Chinese contemporary artist, presents audiences with a personal reflection on the global pandemic and the limitations felt on a shared human scale. She will premiere her latest artwork, commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary, in Shanghai at West Bund Art & Design from 11 to 15 November 2020. Open to the public and located within the Audemars Piguet space at the fair, the timely work, titled Isle of Instability, responds to the artist’s time living in isolation with her family since March.
Cao Fei is one of the most innovative Chinese artists working globally today. She mixes social commentary, popular aesthetics, references to Surrealism and documentary conventions in her films and installations. Her works reflect on the rapid and muddled changes that are occurring in Chinese society today and often deal with themes of anticipation, questioning the possible collapse of our future while proposing an escape, or a solution, through the potential of humanity: its dreams, imagination, creativity and the individual in relation to the collective.
早在全球新冠疫情爆發之前，愛彼當代藝術創作專案（Audemars Piguet Contemporary）就與曹斐啟動了全新的藝術創作委託專案。2019年10月， 曹斐造訪愛彼發源地瑞士布拉蘇絲，曾確定了具體的藝術創作計劃，但隨著全球疫情日益嚴峻，世界各地開始實施國際旅行限制，曹斐與家人不得不滯留新加坡，無法返回北京的家中，在這種情況下，曹斐與愛彼當代藝術創作專案團隊為這一專案重新選定新的主題，以反映當下的世界現狀。《不安之島》記錄了藝術家在社交隔斷期間的心路歷程，從中折射出了全球社會共同經歷的危難時刻。
Audemars Piguet Contemporary was engaged in developing a new artwork commission with the artist well before the onset of the global Covid-19 situation. In October 2019, Cao Fei visited the home of the brand, in Le Brassus, Switzerland, to finalize plans for the artwork. As worldwide cases of Covid-19 grew, Cao Fei and her family found themselves in Singapore unable to return to their home in Beijing due to international travel restrictions. Together, Cao Fei and the Audemars Piguet Contemporary team agreed on a new subject for the commission to reflect the current state of the world. Isle of Instability documents the artist’s personal experience living under lockdown and in turn our shared global experience of confinement.
Isle of Instability was imagined and produced in Singapore, away from the artist’s home, studio and day-to-day habits in Beijing, with her daughter serving as an assistant and actor. This artwork explores the limitations and emotions felt in isolation and the psychological and physical implications on herself as well as her family. It also offers solace to the public and the opportunity to converse about shared experiences and the ways in which humanity deals with uncertainty.
面對著不安與迷茫，曹斐表示，「在異國他鄉，那些對於我來說不熟悉的文化，漸漸變得熟悉，不熟悉的食物，也變成了佳餚，迷宮般的後巷，變成熟悉的地圖，鄰人，成了熟人，我也從客人變成住民。 我們都迷失在不斷的變化中，確定性已成為一種奢侈。 真實錯位，萬物懸浮於真空。」
Situating in a foreign land during turbulent times, Cao Fei expresses that “Being away from home for so long, the foreign culture became familiar, the exotic cuisine became my go-to delicacy, the labyrinth of alleys became my daily routine, the strangers next door became my friendly neighbours, and I, once a guest of this country, became a resident. Lost in transition, certainty has become a luxury.”
愛彼當代藝術創作專案策展人Denis Pernet 指出，「曹斐將充滿挑戰的經歷轉化為一次獨特的創作機遇。 她的作品探索了在疫情封城期間人們日常生活的社會現實。 與藝術家共同適應全新的境況，也是愛彼當代藝術創作專案委員會的與眾不同之處。 我們深刻體會和感受到藝術家滿懷好奇和熱忱地記錄著當前現實。 」
Denis Pernet, art curator of Audemars Piguet Contemporary, comments that “Cao Fei turned a challenging situation into a unique opportunity, creating work that explores the social realities of daily life under lockdown. The process of adapting to a new situation alongside the artist is also what distinguishes this Audemars Piguet Contemporary commission. The artist’s infinite curiosity for documentingour present reality will be shared and felt above all.”
《不安之島》“Isle of Instability”
Date: 2020. 11. 11 – 11. 15
Audemars Piguet space, Hall A of the West Bund Art Centre
2555 Long Teng Avenue, Xuhui District, Shanghai
Photo courtesy of the artist and Audemars Piguet