Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.

he Fourth Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts/Stress Field

The Fourth Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts / Stress Field was co-sponsored by the Hubei Art Museum and Fine Arts and Literature Art Center, and opened on September 15, 2017 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The exhibition was curated by Feng Boyi as the chief curator, and co-curated by Wang Xiaosong, Hutch Wilco, Zhang Ting, Yan Shuli and Xia Zi. Ji Shaofeng assumed the position of the exhibition director, with Fu Zhongwang and Liu Ming as art directors, and Li Heqing as administrative director.

The theme of the exhibition was "stress field", a term used in physics and geology to describe how when "an object is affected by external forces or other factors, its internal stress present a certain distribution. To show this situation of the object, the object and the stress distribution inside it are called the stress field. When all the bodies are affected by external forces (factors), the deformation of their own structure strengthens internally into internal binding force, and forms a reaction force against external causes; the result is the overall form of the “stress".

Each era faces its own problems. In the current global situation, various new phenomena have emerged in various aspects such as the environment, society, science and technology ethics, etc. that are transmitted as information, memes, and conspiracy theories, each competing for recognition as a form of levelled truth in the information sphere. Perhaps we can be optimistic that we are on the verge of great social transformation, and everyone’s lives, expectations, and actions for the future will be among the variables. The Fourth Documentary Exhibition of Fine Arts uses the theme of “stress field” as keywords for the basis for our judgment on the current social situation. However, the exhibition does not solely discuss scientific or sociological issues. We think that artists are the ones who are sensitive to the times, and art can be a carrier of certain unconsciously felt anxieties.

This exhibition featured 127 works by 57 artists and collectives from China and 14 other countries. They include installation, photography, sculpture, painting, performance, sound and film, exploring a range of issues concerning our social, political, and environmental stressors. But more important is the value of the artist's personal expression of related issues behind these forms, and through the work we can also find out the artist's personal reasons and their internal logical. According to the action type of the "stress field” analyzed, and based on the situation of the works exhibited by the artists and the investigation and analysis of their previous oeuvre, the exhibited works were classified into plastic force (promotion and influence of shaping things) and joint force (Sum of forces acting on the same thing), variable force (a transformational relationship between the deformation and the force), and hidden force (the interaction force condensed inside the thing). However, this classification does not mean that there is a distinct difference among them. In essence, the "stress field" of art is a multiplicity of intersectional relationships, as well as the overlapping of communication and confrontation formed between works in the exhibition. The exhibition is not a solid-state, only when you are in the field can you understand and participate in it.

Partners: Hubei Art Museum and Art Document Art Center
Date: 2017
Service: co-curator