About Intrude Art & Life 366 and the Zendai MoMA

Zendai Museum of Modern Art invites you to Intrude: Art & Life 366 in Shanghai. Intrude: Art & Life 366 is an unprecedented event in the city of Shanghai. Starting January 1, 2008 and ending on December 31, 2008, Zendai MoMA will present a cultural event to the people of Shanghai every single day of the year. This cross-cultural and interdisciplinary project is called Intrude: Art & Life 366 and aims to intervene in people’s daily lives, engage them to take part in art happenings and stimulate the public debate on art. An event of this scale and influence has never taken place in China before.

Curated by the director of the Zendai MoMA, Mr. Shen Qibin, Intrude: Art & Life 366 is a interdisciplinary project that connects culture and daily life in many forms and through different media. With a total of 366 events happening throughout the year, the events will be very diverse and will come from different cultural fields — exhibitions, site-specific installations, performances, concerts, film screenings, debates, etc. In order to present their work differently, artists will explore new concepts and venture out into the public sphere

Intrude: Art & Life 366 will present 366 different cultural events, taking place in public and private venues like parks, gardens, squares, shopping areas, etc. 100 Chinese and 266 international artists will participate, including local and internationally well-known artists and curators like Gu Wenda, Wang Jianwei, Yang Fudong, Xu Zhen, etc. There will also be collaborations with local and foreign institutions like the National Acadamy of Art in Hangzhou, the Centre for Contemporary Art & Politics, College of Fine Arts University of New South Wales in Australia, Institut pour la Ville-en-Mouvement in Paris etc.

Intrude: Art & Life 366 was created as a long-term project, continuing beyond the 366 days of events. All of the events will be methodically archived and will be presented in the future as international touring exhibitions. In addition, Zendai MoMA will regularly publish catalogues with scholarly essays on the projects and related ideas and issues, and magazines to inform people on the progress of the project.

ABOUT Zendai MoMA - Founded in 2005 and located in Pudong New Area in Shanghai, Zendai MoMA exhibits and collects innovative contemporary art from China and around the world. Zendai MoMA’s diverse program covers a broad spectrum of cultural activities, including film screenings, talks and educational events, theatre and music performances, and exhibiting visual and new media arts. The museum facilities include 4 galleries, a classroom, a gift shop/bookshop and a café. Covering 3000m2, and located in one of the fastest-developing areas of Shanghai, Zendai MoMA functions as a bridge between the local and international community, connecting both to the world of arts.

Eye to Eye project Summary

This project was created specifically with the intentions of Intrude 366 in mind and took place on Dec. 18, 2008 in Thumb Plaza in front of the Zendai Museum in Shanghai, China.

“Eye to Eye” is a North American expression that means two individuals (or groups) agree to acknowledge each other’s viewpoints. It is a courageous act to see “Eye to Eye”. It
causes one to open oneself to the possibility of new thinking. It is a step towards standing on common ground and arriving at mutual understanding In this time of cross cultural exchange, it is more important than ever that this concept of seeing “Eye to Eye” be promoted.

For Intrude 366, four American artists using the simplest of means, and drawing on over 2000 years of Eastern and Western art history, will construct a strand
comprised of 734 visual representations of eyes sourced from centuries of evolving culture. (366 on front and 366 on back)
In “Eye to I”, we will use standard 4.25 inch long shipping tags as surfaces. Onto the front and backside of each tag’s surface we will print or paint image of eyes culled from the canons of art history: From anonymous portraits painted in 3rd century c.e. Central Asian cave paintings to the expressive eyes of Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, to the stylized eyes of
Warhol’s celebrities, and to the piercing eyes of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits, each of the participating artists will select eye imagery, enlarge them to fit the each side of a standard tag and transfer them to the surfaces using traditional and non-traditional painting and printing techniques
such as linoleum block prints and Xerox transfers. Strong visual impact and unity will be produced through the use of the standard surface and by maintaining a restricted palette of
blacks, reds, and golds. Each tag will have one Eastern eye and one Western eye - adding another layer of the original concept of Eye to Eye. The resulting Eye to Eye strand will be held out at chest level with one of the participating artists holding the first tag at one end and a partner artist based in Shanghai holding the first tag at the other end. This will result in approximately meters of these historic images being exhibited. Once the entire strand is on display, pedestrians will be invited to cut a tag from either end.

As this performance takes place the three accompanying artists will be documenting the performance through video and photography and inviting the public to participate, facilitating the cutting away.

Each cut tag that people take away will serve as a talisman towards seeing eye to eye. With each tag that is cut, the two representatives from the East and the West will take one
step closer to each other. When all 366 tags have been cut and given away, the two artists will stand firmly and confidently, physically and emotionally: Eye to Eye.

In Summary, the Eye to Eye project collapses the past with the future. It places us in the present to combine images that may be obscure with images that have saturated contemporary culture. Eye to Eye underscores the commonality between East and West.

Using the simplest of means, Eye to Eye offers profound possibility for forging a rich collaborative cultural vision for the future.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Traces of Intrude: Art & Life 366 - The Stats

Public space:
including over 100 subway stations,squares, parks,shopping malls, restaurants,streets,etc.

Nonprofit alternative space:
in which over 200 art projects were executed.

Business sites:
in which nearly 100 art projects were executed.

Non-public space: including students' dormitories, ordinary people's homes and artists'
studios in which over 20 art projects were executed.

Virtual space: including the Internet, television and newspaper via which nearly 30 art
projects were executed.

Total mileage covered: 10,000 kilometers

Total investment: Budget investment: 12 million

If donations from artists, art organizations and foundations are taken into account, the
total investment has reached 20 million.

Number of proposals and artists:
Number of proposals received > 1,000

Number of artists and organizations participating: several thousand

Media coverage:
Television: 10 television stations including CCTV, STV and OTV paid special attention to
the project and the total amount of time of project-related contents shown on TV reached
400 minutes.

Print media: the circulation exceeded 10 million

Internet: online media reports reached 1,000 minutes

Number of participants: Nearly 10,000 person time

We would like to extend our gratitude to all the people who participated in and contributed to Intrude: Art & Life 366.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Support Art and Culture: Speech of Mr. Dai Zhikang,

I Support Art and Culture
Speech of Mr. Dai Zhikang, president of Zendai Group,

at the closing ceremony of Intrude: Art & Life 366
(Intrude's December Magazine)

I was involved in the conception and planning of Intrude: Art & Life 366 from the very
beginning. But at most times I preferred to be a viewer, who also participated in the
project from time to time. As a viewer, I feel that I'm not in the position to make detailed
comments. Just now three ladies from the project team shared with us their Intrude
stories. I am deeply touched, to be honest. It may take quite a long time for people to
realize and recognize the significance of something new in history such as Intrude. Hence,
as long as we've made our contribution, that's enough.
Intrude: Art & Life 366 was supposed to be something fun. It's quite out of my expectation
that members of the project team would feel so exhausted. But I believe the efforts were
paid off. With 366 brilliant art projects, Intrude did bring merriness and inspiration to the
In November this year, I went to Cuba, a country strongly against the U.S
I found that people in Cuba actually led a very happy life. When people in the U.S., the richest country in the world, were seriously affected by the global financial crisis, their life seemed less
happy than that of people in Cuba. When coming back, I found that due to the crisis, most
people in our group also looked a bit down, not as happy as people in Cuba. It occurred to
me that a capitalized society did bring people sense of security, but it failed to bring people
sense of happiness. This was exactly where art could play a role.
I just came back from a meeting held on Lu Mountain today. There I saw a sentence
excerpted from Analects of Zhuxi, a prestigious philosopher in Song Dynasty, engraved
on a rock. It read Uphold Justice, Annihilate Desire. It promoted me to think about one
question: Was excessive desires the root cause of the current problems? The authorities in
ancient China did everything within their capacity to depress the desires of human beings.
Why did they do that? That's because they were intimidated by a world where all kinds of
human desires were liberated. They tended to regard human desires as a horrendous devil
which was better to be sealed in the bottle.
Things that seem weird and somewhat funky in the view of the mainstream ideology, after
all, may not be that weird and funky, if we're willing to view it from another perspective.
On the plane back to China I read some biography of Che Guevara. In the Cuban society,
the rich were labeled as anti-revolutionary and bad guys. Only revolutionists like Che
Guevara and Castro were deemed as real heroes who fight against the rich and help the
poor. In a society like that, it was a dangerous thing to be rich. Nevertheless, orders of the
world outside Cuba were totally reversed. In China in particular, capitalists have become
shinning stars in the society and it seems that most of them actually quite enjoy being
in the spotlight. I used to be a poor guy myself. Hence, faced with such reality, I keep
wondering who are more important, the revolutionists or entrepreneurs. But one thing
for certain is that neither the entrepreneurs nor the revolutionists could shed light on the
essence of life.
That's why I would like to give my full support to the development of culture and art.
Compared with earning more money and being ranked higher on the fortune list, I believe
it's more important to make some contribution to the development of culture and art.
Based on such a standpoint, Zendai's support for art and culture will continue despite all
the difficulties.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Intrude Keeps Walking : from December's Intrude Magazine

It seems that scenes of the inaugural press conference of Intrude: Art & Life 366, which was held at Shile Boutique Lifestyle Center in December 2007, were still vividly remembered. Celebrities from theart scene were present, attracting wide attention from the media as well as the general public. Mr.Shen Qibin, chief curator of Intrude, gave a keynote speech at the press conference, which outlineda beautiful and exciting art map for the city of Shanghai. One year later, at this same familiar place, the grand closing ceremony of Intrude: Art & Life 366 was held, symbolizing that the spectacularyear-long art project came to an end.
According to Mr. Shen Qibin, "Intrude is a five-year project." It will continue in 2009, yet in another form. A Starting Point: Intrude Art & Life 366, Dynamics of Change and Growth Jan. 1st-Dec. 31st, 2008, retrospective exhibition of Intrude to be presented at Zendai MoMA in January 2009, will kick off a series of art events which are deemed as review and continuance of the project. In addition to brilliant videos, installations and paintings contributed by our Intrude artists, A Starting Point will also feature the display of project-related documents. Moreover, details about publication of Intrude archives and international tour of Intrude retrospective are also under discussion. We believe that within the next 4 years Intrude will enjoy the spotlight on a grander international stage. After 2008, Intrude keeps walking!

As all good things must come to an end, Intrude magazine is now presenting its final issue. During the past twelve months, the magazine has offered a great platform for the general public to learn more about Intrude. Besides project description, the magazine also features interviews with artists, feedback received and interesting stories behind the scenes.
Now it's time to say goodbye.
We would like to thank you for your appreciation and support to the magazine and the whole project.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another Approach to Eye Symbology

I agree with Alicia, when she earlier mentioned in this blog, that the fascination with the visual impact of the eye as symbol, continues to inspire and challenge.
Instead of using it to represent cultural viewpoints, as we attempted in Eye to Eye, I have been exploring eye symbols that exist in Eastern and Western popular iconography to represent philosophical ideas.
In this case, the ideas of Materialism vs. Spiritualism in our current day.
As financial entities continue to topple and the West is slowly weaned from the opiate of compulsive consumerism, other parts of the world are experiencing a surge of materialistic opportunities to“ buy their dreams”.
At the same time, religions compete with all the shiny new products for the attention of the populace.
Individuals that are more in tune with spiritual pursuits try to find a balance between the two in this topsy-turvy world we all share. To attempt to "be in the world but not of it" is a bigger challenge today than ever before.
For this conceptual exercise I selected the “All-Seeing Eye of God” from the Great Seal of the United States that embellishes the American one dollar bill to represent Materialism…the “Almighty Dollar” that expresses, albeit tongue in cheek, the will to do anything to amass large quantities of it.
And other “all-seeing eyes” are from the East… painted ones that embellish the crests of Swayambunath Stupa and Bodnath Stupa in Kathmandu,Nepal to represent the idea of Spiritualism.
I am working here in mixed media with water soluble printing ink on printmaking paper to create these images. As contemporary cultures worldwide are in such a state of flux, East and West is used just to denote the source of the imagery, not to attribute the exclusive label of spiritualism and materialism to Eastern or Western points of view.
I hope you enjoy considering the philosophic overlays as they wrestle for your attention.

Deborah Garner
Images by D.Garner
Top image: Annuit Coeptis
Bottom image: Silentium Altum