Echoes and Signals
Echoes and Signals
3 Feb 2024
Shanshui: Echoes and Signals is a thematic exhibition with works drawn from the M+ Collections to explore the complex connections between landscape and humanity in our post-industrial and increasingly virtual world. Shanshui, the Chinese literally meaning ‘mountain and water’ and commonly translated as ‘landscape’, is a cultural legacy integral to Chinese philosophical thinking and poetic imagination and has motivated a millennium-long tradition of ink painting across East Asia. Attuned to the interplay and resonance between stillness and motion, as well as space and time, shanshui offers a powerful framework for understanding humankind’s relationship to nature.
The exhibition reimagines shanshui through sculpture, moving image, sound, design and architecture, and ink painting, searching for signals and resonances across contemporary mediums. Exceptional works on paper and canvas by artists of different generations—such as Yang Jiechang, Xu Bing, Zao Wou-Ki, Wesley Tongson, and Guo Hongwei— demonstrate formal and conceptual experimentations with landscape in printmaking, ink, and watercolour. The dense telecommunication networks that overlay our physical world are made perceptible as a new kind of landscape through an iconic LED installation by Tatsuo Miyajima, a selection of electronics from M+’s design collection, and major video installations by Liu Chuang, Amar Kanwar, and Nguyen Trinh Thi. Other highlights include a sculpture garden featuring Isamu Noguchi’s galvanised steel sculptures, activated by Vivian Wang’s site-responsive sound installation.
Over the course of its two-year display period, Shanshui: Echoes and Signals will be punctuated by regular rotations of works by major international artists, architects, and moving image makers. A range of curatorial and public programmes, as well as special moving image presentations at M+ Cinema, will expand the speculative thinking and visceral experience of landscapes beyond the galleries.
Image at top: Yang Jiechang. Black & White Mustard Seed Garden (Tale of the 11th Day Series) (detail), 2009–2014. Ink and mineral colour on silk mounted on canvas. M+, Hong Kong. © Yang Jiechang. M+, Hong Kong