Taikang Space is a non-profit art institution devoted to the collection, exhibition, research, and promotion of Chinese contemporary art. It was founded by Taikang Life Insurance Co., Ltd. in 2003, and has received long-term support from the company. In 2009, Taikang Space relocated from the 798 Art District to Caochangdi, an art village in northeastern Beijing, where it remains today. Over the fifteen years of operation, Taking Space has gradually developed its academic concept: under the rubric of “retrospection and encouragement”, it aims to investigate historical material about art from a contemporary perspective, while maintaining a simultaneous concern with nuanced art practices that point towards the future. As a platform for knowledge production and sharing, Taikang Space also presents its artistic evaluations to the public to make a consistent and significant contribution to the on-going development of the arts ecosystem and the expanding global impact of Chinese contemporary art.
Tracking the Mushroom at the End of the World
16.03.19 - 19.05.19
Starting from the concepts of the Anthropocene and geologic time, the exhibition attempts to explore discussions of the various possibilities of human beings’ current and future conditions from a perspective of ancestral worship and archaeology. And in these discussions, there has been, to varying degrees, a rethink on the ideas of divinity, spirituality, and Taoism that have been always intertwined with Eastern or non-Western cultures.
The Mushroom at the End of the World is a reference to anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s book, in which she examines the intricate relationships between Matsutake -- a species that cannot be cultivated by humans -- and geology, as well as its human consumption chains, through the lens of the Anthropocene. The mushroom has also been a narrative symbol that can never be circumvented in many primitive religions, in witchcraft, and in Taoism legends. Tracking Matsutake's circulation through geology and human society, it seems to be a kind of archaeological and modernological experiment, and that responds appropriately to the two layers of metaphor of this exhibition. With its strong relevance among different works, the exhibition tries to remind us of how things in the remote past have always affected our current reality, and how the contemporaneity of that time meets the contemporaneity of our time.
Red No.1-B2, Caochangdi, Chaoyang District, Beijing