Art We-Media under the Breakout of COVID-19
On 11th, March, WHO announced that the Novel Coronavirus is “a global epidemic disease”. Almost all off-line activities are prohibited from January to March, which brings great impact on the Art Circle with a sea of art spaces being closed such as galleries and museums and exhibitions delayed or canceled. However, it also offers promising opportunities to Art We-Media with a raft of online exhibitions being held.
“What attracted me then was less art itself than the artist’s life, with all that I thought in terms of free expression, of imagination and liberty to live as one pleased . . . I wanted at all costs, to escape from a monotonous existence.”【1】
Art is at the centre of the palace of civilization at birth, however, it has evolved for ages to achieve popularization, leading to increasing demands for art exchanges. The advance of industrialization and technologies diversifies the media with mass media being born and the development of internet results in abundant social media and apps. All those offer the public instant and diverse information channels; while the instant feedback “transmitter-- information--receiver-- transmitter” is also accomplished. Thanks to the innovation of the public and the reader-centered theory, a prevailing modern theory, receivers’ feedback is cast much more concern. Therefore, the crowd, now, can receive information selectively as well as proactively instead of passively and give feedback and collate information, which subsequently brings out a new medium. In 2003, it was denominated as “We-Media”.
Compared with traditional mainstream media, We-Media has greater flexibility and immediacy, with fast transmission speed, abundant audience and abroad coverage. Therefore, We-Media has gradually become indispensable media in daily life. The same is true of the communication of art. With the help of We-Media, it is possible for people at every corner of the world to have online access to appreciate art.
Through such art communication, artworks are much more available for the public, achieving social and aesthetic values to some extent.
“We didn't expect to have an online exhibition before, but the outbreak of COVID-19 was like a driver forcing us to make it, which actually an opportunity. When our online exhibitions commences, art albums’ design and related promotion of emerging artists are also under preparation.” ——Please VIEW
Kimmelman supposed that “ Art offers people profound experience.”
Exploring the online experience of art -- the idea of "Please VIEW" is in accordance with that of Coantivirus International Online Exhibition --- communality. As a promoter of online art, it is inevitable for Please VIEW to underline communality.
"Please VIEW" has noticed the public's common aesthetic habits and realized that platforms for the opinion output are limited by space, so it chooses to share the artworks in another way, say, Art We-Media. Under the background that visual culture is becoming the mainstream, rather than languages, images are preferred. In daily life, people tend to use images to convey information as they can express in a direct, vivid and concise way. From then, people can appreciate images and art diversely. And each view of a medium displays distinctive ideas and aesthetics from different individuals.
“There is a sentence that is self-evident for us: let art integrates into daily life and life into art.”
During this special period, Art We-Media becomes the tool to communicate and transmit information.
“The online Art We-Media can help people to kill the time during the outbreak of COVID-19” and art can bring human to self-reflection and empathy. It can relieve people from bad moods. Perhaps, it can lessen negative feelings when they are appreciating artworks.”
Through online Art We-Media, the sharing of artworks and exchanges of opinions are closely connected to daily life and thus, it attracts much more audience.
the Junction of Art and Life
The difference between offline and online exhibitions is whether people can appreciate artworks directly. For the audiences, online exhibitions offer them different ways of enjoying works and more communication among crowds. They can visit exhibitions at any place such as homes, streets... On the online platforms created by We-Media like “Please VIEW”, individuals can exchange ideas freely. In this way, art is not as far as before with life.
Website page of Coantivirus Online Exhibiiton
The transmitting of modern art is not entirely a mechanical copy under the background of industrial environment. In We-media, everyone can express their own opinions and feelings. Kimmelman said that “it is the basic desire of human beings and also the necessity for art to expedience life profoundly.” The spirits and practice of the art We-Media personnel from various fields fully illustrate this point.
Whereas, online and offline exhibitions are not incompatible but complementary as the space limitation is broken by the online exhibition and the lack of field experience is complemented by the offline ones.
Though lacking stereoscopic experience, online exhibition are free from space limitation. Consequently, more creative ways of curating exhibitions is on. To curate exhibitions, “Please VIEW” will consider the characteristics, the sound and influence of each artworks, topics on online platforms, also as well as discussions with artists. Besides, it has a principle that no judgment will be put behind artworks when exhibiting, and it encourages people to express their own views on works instead of being led by others’ opinions. Therefore, personal experience will lead to different feelings to a same work.
Website page of Coantivirus Online Exhibiiton
However, online exhibitions can not replace offline ones since we can enjoy works through perception and vision in an offline exhibition, which will cultivate persons’ aesthetic intuition, inspiration and imagination. People’s perception is affected by the entire environment, and human together with the surroundings is a unity. Hence, offline exhibition can provide the public with what the online ones cannot.
Mass media + Public art= Online We-Media incorporated with life— The junction of daily life and art
Compared with traditional personnel structure, the members of “Please VIEW” are not typical art professions, including those who were connected with art but once were “preschool teachers, freelance illustrators, financial analysts and editors”. But their love and distinctive standpoints towards arts bring them together. One advantage of online art We-Media over traditional one is its team and innovation.
And there are three reasons why the online art We-Media succeeds: firstly, the convenience of collecting information thanks to the development of information society; secondly, the mass coverage of online We-Media leading to instant feedback; thirdly, probably passions of art practitioners, which bring public remarkable art experience. Maybe we will struggle in life, but are try to involve in own hobbies.
'If one waits for a long time, when the earth composing you hardens, the musicians, poets, and astronomers sleeping inside one’s heart will never wake up."—Writer of Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
【1】Escapeintolife (no date). Pierre Bonnard: the Intimiste. Available at：
https://www.escapeintolife.com/essays/pierre-bonnard-the-intimiste/ (Accessed: 23 March 2020)
【2】Kimmelman, M. (2005). The accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa. USA: The Penguin Press.
1. Maurice Merleau-Ponty，M（2001）Phénoménologie de la perception：The commercial Press
2. Hans Robert Jauss （1987）Receptional Aesthetic
3. Guo Qingguang (2011):Communication
May I ask, did all the members of "Please VIEW" work from home during the epidemic? Are the intensity and difficulty of work increased?
Could you tell me more about that plan?
Could you share the recommendation list to readers?
Some shows: Fragment (《局部》) of Chen Danqing, The Thousand and One Nights 《一千零一夜》(a TV programme about books) and three documentaries: Reincarnation (《轮回》), Baraka (《天地玄⻩》) and Eat Street (《街头小吃》).
This online exhibition is about expressing the most real thoughts and showing the truest state of people during the outbreak.
Green Cao, Shirley Gong, Ikea Jiang, MedyLuo, Sunny Ho, Monica Xu
Situated in Chengdu, Sichuan, NY20+ is an art promotion organization supported by Nongyuan Culture, in committed to international art and culture exchanges and overseas projects. NY20+ conducts international Artist Residency Program, exhibition planning, school-enterprise cooperation, non-for-profit art platform and other programs.