The 2021 Chengdu Biennale, which opens in November, consists of a main themed exhibition at the new Chengdu Art Museum and ten parallel exhibitions at other venues around the city. One of these parallel exhibitions, to be held in the exhibition space at the Chengdu University Department of Art, is curated by MA alumna Shulang Zou in collaboration with He Xi, and features two alumni artists, Jan Dickey (MFA 2017) and Lauren Trangmar (BFA 2014).

The exhibition is titled “Interdependency: Meeting the Universe Halfway” and will be on view from Nov. 9 – Dec. 26. The curators write:

Since Covid-19, we are entering into an era with unspeakable uncertainties and fluctuated social and political changes. Long time quarantine because of the pandemic, has redefined our relations with our living, working, and social space. Habitation seems like a curse. Isolation, loneliness, and domestic abuses are some of the side effects which we have not fully addressed. The unfinished quality of the exhibition walls in Chengdu University Art Museum space offers an uncanny fitting environment to review our relationships with our planets and our companions, both physically and metaphysically.

Artists who have long sought the meaning of natural environment, human psychology, technology, relationships among beings, and space have been invited to Interdependency to reinvestigate the ties, bonds, and fissures between and within our interdependent world. Since the pandemic, anthropocentric perspective in understanding the world has become naive; the worldwide quarantine experiment provides a notable apparatus to see the universe from alternative perspectives. This exhibition borrows the conceptual framework from Karen Barad’s agential realism, using diffraction as our methodology to address the intra-actions between contemporary art, environment, emotion, space, and technology.