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Gerasimos Floratos and Eddie Martinez at the Yuz Museum

The Yuz Museum, at its 10th anniversary, is entering the second phase of its strategic plan—the new site in Panlong, Shanghai is set to be inaugurated in May 2023. In partnership with Panlong Tiandi, the Yuz Museum is also staging “Yuz Project Space of Art x Xuezhu Bower” as a warm-up for the venue opening during April 27th to October 7th, practicing the “Yuz Flow” strategy. “Next Door” from the collection of the Yuz Foundation will be the first free exhibition in this project.

The Xuezhu Bower, a historical building, is an anchor for the Yuz Foundation to build upon the development philosophy it shares with Panlong Tiandi. The contemporary narratives of the owner Feng Huai, a scholar of the Ming Dynasty, echoes and empowers the three cores of the philosophy— “Culture”, “Nature” and “Future”, bridging conversations between history and future, the local and the international, and accounting the new dwelling stories unique to Shanghai.

“History” and “Future” are the two key threads developed in parallel in the Yuz collection, and represent the two main concerns of Mr. Budi Tek, the Chinese-Indonesian founder, for the development of contemporary art— “identity construction within local context” and “cultural diversity in globalization”. Presenting representitive Chinese stories on the global stage and breaking new ground in mainstream art history are what Mr. Budi Tek held dear in his middle and later stage collection. The exhibition project “Yuz Project Space of Art” was launched in 2015 and has followed the lead of “future”, aiming to encourage and promote emerging artists. Shanghai has served as a starting point of “Yuz Project Space of Art” to trigger local and international exchanges and dialogues through a range of commissions, residency programs and indigenous exhibitions.

The exhibition “Next Door” has featured 14 emerging artists from the “Future” section of the Yuz Foundation collection. Their representative works are placed in the context of “placelessness”, free from the economic status, races, social resources and other factors perceived to be required for neighbouring. Hence, the imaginary “others”, whether alienated or glorified, make their presence felt, defying the physical boundaries, and bringing narratives rooted in diverse cultures and backgrounds to our vision. In this way, the viewers spontaneously amend, dig, and find accounts of “I”, depiction of the “world”, and orchestration of “me” and the “world”.

At the same time, “Next Door” attempts to empower the viewers and mitigate the fear and embarrassment of being the “dwarfed audience” when they step into the realm of art as an “awkward audacious intruder”. In this neighbourhood woven by various local stories, the artist and viewer are no longer distant from each other, and one does not have to worry that their genuine and plain observation and curiosity about the neighbours are a manifestation of naiveness. Through the montage of everyday lives, the viewer may be freer to find the “mirrored self” through the dialogue with “next door”.

On top of that, the main gallery of the new Yuz Museum will be open to the public in May 2023. The opening exhibition “A Journey” will feature a lineup of works in various mediums by Chinese and international artists, representing a new journey for the museum with a travel through time and space. More information will be released on the museum’s official platforms.