October 15, 2010. Was surprised at how happy I was to get on the plane to Madrid as I had really tired of Lyon.
Although the Lyon contemporary art museum was mostly filled with pretentious, uncreative and uninteresting objects and canvasses, there was a special small exhibit by students from an art school in Shanghai.
The exhibit was refreshing, creative and naive in a sophisticated way, with the overall theme about breaking out from traditional Chinese concepts of art and lifestyle. I was so impressed by one student's artist statement, I reproduce it here, as it speaks volumes to not just Chinese life, but all modern contemporary life. I thought I would remember the artist's name, but when I looked at the brochure, all the names were so similar and in my ignorance of discerning the differences, I just don't know which student wrote this. I remember the artwork (see photo above), and it was exceptional.
"Modern urbanites pretend to enjoy the everyday pace as they put on a smiling face, but in reality they struggle with the rush and pressure of contemporary life. Their work soaks up their life, they play high achievers by day but are sick and needy by night. Feeling lost within giant crowds, material prosperity cannot fill their spiritual voids. Anxiety and nervous breakdowns, feelings of loneliness or depression, anxiety caused by the lack of true love, the imbalance between high IQ and low EQ has led to an excessive growth of emotional disorders. They are today's fatal illnesses, spread by tempestuous and dark social undercurrents."
Not very cheerful, but when I read it I envisioned the young artist, living in China and all that that means, and was moved by his [or her] insight and somehow it made me feel very hopeful.
The weather in Lyon was dark and damp. The sun is shining here in Madrid, it's about 10 degrees C warmer as well.
We are in Spain. Earthy, alive, trembling, loud. yeah