currents - art and music

Featured: 2-minute time-lapse video of Song Dong's "Eating the City" in Brasilia, construction and demolition

2016 program

Curators from China, contemporary art survey in Brazil

Four curators from China visited Brazil: Bao Dong 鲍栋, Zhu Zhu 朱朱, Zhang Li 张离, and Felicia Chen. The visit was a Currents Art and Music initiative, co-hosted by Latitude and the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Relations.

During the trip, the curators researched contemporary art in Brazil, so that they can include Brazilian artists in future exhibitions in China.

Highlights of trip:

  • Inhotim, a vast complex with 27 art installations, each of which had its own custom pavilion designed by architects in cooperation with the artists. Three additional spaces were made for temporary exhibitions
  • meireles-1
    "Red Room", Cildo Meireles installation
    "Magic Square #5", Hélio Oiticica
  • The grounds at Inhotim, in the midst of a privately-owned mining district in Minas Gerais, were designed also as a Botanical Garden
    "Narcissus Garden", Yayoy Kusama
  • ArtRio – art fair in Rio de Janeiro
  • 32nd Sao Paulo Bienal – Chinese curators met with Bienal's chief curator, Jochen Volz
  • Visits to museums, met with Directors and curators, as well as galleries
  • 20 artists' studio visits, in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro
    Antonio Dias
    Carlito Carvalhosa
    Leda Catunda
    Luiz Zerbini

This was a first time for all 4 curators, and they were both surprised and impressed by Brazil's environment, culture, and especially the myriad practice and agency in contemporary art.

Curator Bao Dong published a blog of this visit in ArtForum China, which elicited great interest.

2015 program

SONG DONG in 4 cities in Brazil

Song Dong created his "Eating the City" architectural installation—and saw it devoured by audiences—in Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, and Brasilia. A production team of 16 built it each time in 4 days using crackers, cookies, candy, chocolate, and Nutella.

Exhibition of "My City" at Cultural Center of the Bank of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, including launch of bilingual book Song Dong in Brazil.

"Eating the City" in Belo Horizonte
"Eating the City" in Brasilia

Watch 2-minute time-lapse video of Song Dong's "Eating the City" in Brasilia, construction and demolition.

Photos of "My City":

"My City" at Cultural Center of the Bank of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro

2014 program

SONG DONG: REGENERATE at Baro Gallery in Sao Paulo

  • Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen were invited to Brazil to visit museums, art galleries, and artists' studios in Sao Paulo, Rio, and Inhotim. As a result of this trip, Sarina Tang was asked to curate an exhibition for Song Dong at Galeria Baro, in 2014.
  • This major exhibition is of special significance to the artist. At age 48, he is at the beginning of his fifth 12-year cycle and finds a new beginning. Song Dong profoundly feels the loss of the old neighborhoods in Beijing of his childhood, and he created this exhibition as his rebirth in a new city in a new country. His installation, "My City", represents this rebirth and follows the format of the map of old Beijing. All the materials for this installation were sourced in Brazil, with the exception of the red door, which was in fact, the door to his home in Beijing.

2012-2013 program

  • Marcelo Moscheta (born 1976) and Rodrigo Bivar (born in 1981)
  • Residencies with the artists were centered in Sichuan province, and impacted them with new experiences and diverse cultural references.
  • Leshan, the largest extant Buddha – 71 meters high, from the Tang dynasty, San Xingdui, the 3,000 year-old bronze culture and ancient towns contrasted with the Juizhaigou natural scenic reserves, and Emeishan, mist moving up and down mountains depicted by classical Chinese brushstroke artists, culminating in the sunrise floating at a parallel latitude.
  • They were also invited to make presentations of their work at UCCA in Beijing, and then at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Art in Chongqing.
    San Xingdui
    San Xingdui
  • Currents is producing a multi-year Chinese contemporary music and art project with major institutions in New York City, starting in 2012. (details below)
  • The first element of the project is the co-production of Guo Wenjing's Feng Yi Ting, which opened at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 27, 2012.
    • Four-star Review of Toronto, Canada performance by the Toronto Star, June 20, 2013
    • Review of Lincoln Center performance by The New York Times, July 29, 2012
    • "Into the Music" article by The New York Times, July 22, 2012
    • Review of Spoleto Festival performance by The New York Times, June 4, 2012
    • Review by The Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2012
    • Review by Charleston's oldest daily newspaper, The Post and Courier, May 28, 2012
    • See photos below
  • Shared and Divergent project (2009-2014): An exhibition in 2014 will feature works of art created by the artists' exchange residencies whereby Brazilian artists produce new work in China and Chinese artists do so in Brazil.
    • Barrao, a Rio de Janeiro-based artist, a sculptor using ceramic and porcelain objects, was in residence in Jing Dezhen, in October–November, 2012 (details below)
    • Leda Catunda, a Sao Paulo-based painter who is known for her works using fabrics, from Sao Paulo, was artist-in-residence at Currents in October–November, 2012 (details below)
    • Past artists-in-residence: Marcos Chaves (2011) and Caio Reisewitz (2009-2010)
  • Sarina Tang, founder of CURRENTS - Art and Music, in the media:
    • Sarina Tang interviewed by Yuhan Liu, of China Daily USA (watch on YouTube)
    • Report by Yuhan Liu at Dress Rehearsal performance, Lincoln Center Festival (watch on YouTube
    • Profile in O Estado de S. Paulo, a major Sao Paulo newspaper (see link)
    • Profile in Stream magazine (see PDF)
    • Review written by Sarina Tang for ArtInfo on the eighth edition of Mercosul, the bienal representing South America (see link)

2012-2013 Program Details

Contemporary and traditional multi-disciplinary project

Currents Art and Music has embarked on a multi-disciplinary project, linking contemporary music and art to traditional literature, history, music and art from China. This started with a new production of Feng Yi Ting, a chamber opera by renowned composer Guo Wenjing, directed by Atom Egoyan. Featuring Shen Tiemei (沈铁梅), the Sichuan opera diva, and famous Beijing opera performer Jiang Qihu (江其虎), the opera is co-produced by Currents with Spoleto and Lincoln Center Festivals. The US premiere took place in Charleston, South Carolina on May 27, 2012, and performances in New York City begin at the Lincoln Center Festival on July 24th, 2012.

Feng Yi Ting photos

Guo Wenjing
Guo Wenjing
Atom Egoyan
Atom Egoyan
Shen Tiemei (沈铁梅) as Diao Chan
Jiang Qihu (江其虎) as Lu Bu

Barrao, artist in residence

Barrao is a well-established artist based in Rio de Janeiro, working with found ceramic and porcelain vases, figurines, depictions of animals, etc. He cuts these objects, re-uses fragments and parts, transforming them into humorous re-configurations distorting and twisting their original use and aesthetic.

Barrao working in atelier in Jingdezhen
Barrao surveying ceramic objects
before they are fired in the kilns

Leda Catunda, artist in residence

Leda Catunda is a Sao Paulo based artist who uses paint and fabrics, or fragments of clothing items, sewing them into shapes that morph into wall hangings. Her soft sculptures betray an enticingly tactile multiple-perspective re-imagination of landscape. The negative space between the fully covered surfaces emphasize the organic forms which are paintings, assemblages and sculptural forms.

Leda Catunda visiting exhibition of Tony Cragg, at the new Himalaya Museum in Pudong