Press release


In Canons B of the Mozi, Mozi made the following observation about the relationship between light and shadow: "A shadow does not move. The explanation lies in change taking place." Expounding the notion of fixed shadows, HU Shi wrote three poems, one of which goes like this:

Lo, the birds are flying across the broad river,
Casting their shadows upon the water.
Now that the birds are gone,
And the water keeps flowing forever,
Why haven't the shadows moved hither and thither?

In a particular space, persons and events keep forming ever-changing shadows. Although the new shadows are not identical with the previous ones, the latter, seemingly invisible, are unchanged and still fixed where they have been. Hu Shi expressed the similar sentiment, in poetical terms:

I felt some inklings of love for her,
A moment to last the ten years to come, not to alter.
These memories come back to me again and again,
So much real even though they are forever bygone.

As LI Ao well said, "The wise and the self-achieved don't lament the bygones. 'It has not really disappeared that which faded like this.' As long as you don't interpret the bygones as complete vanishment, everything that seemingly vanished does truly exist as a being that transcends nothingness."

As Mizuma & One's first show in 2012, Shadows Fixed presents a dozen young artists who through personal experiences have witnessed the drastic changes taking place during the 30 years of China's reform era. For the majority of these artists, their childhood encounters with history and past experiences had to depend on the oral histories and textual records of their parents' generation. Despite this artificial vacuum of culture, the artists' childhood reminiscences have become even crystallized as they turned to their 30s. In the wake of China's economic growth, these artists have become more culturally confident and began to re-savor and meditate upon their personal journeys and experiences. On account of the discourses of globalization and fractures of contemporary culture, some of the artists have been endeavoring to seek the historical threads of cultural metamorphosis against the backdrop of the complexity of contemporary social reality; in terms of artistic expressions, some artists have been gradually falling back on the studies of artistic forms per se, which, as exemplified in the Malus spectabilis-patterned Glass, has allowed the warmth of lived experiences to be preserved in increasingly pure forms.