Survival Techniques: narratives of resistance

Survival Techniques: narratives of resistance
A video art exhibition curated by Davide Quadrio

At The Art Center, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University
February 26 – March 26, 2011
Opening Reception: 26 February, 2011 at 4-7pm

Is it about happiness or about failure (Zhang Peili), Is it the pride of being pure blood or the shame of be born bastards (Shen Shaomin), will you be offended or will you have a good laugh (Rainer Ganahl), is it about the obvious or the unexpected truth (Yang Zhenzhong), can you keep up with tolerance or will you be easily attracted by intolerance (Artur Zmijewski)?

Curator’s Statement
In this show, artists explore the realm of the doubts, the borders and the passages. It is not about the obvious, it is not about a simple reaction. It is the art of dissimulation, yet it is incredibly true.

In this video-based exhibition, we invite the audience to take time and deepen into the realm of the uncertainty. The artworks presented are videos in various forms: documentaries, performances, conceptual works, and interviews.

It takes time to go through all of it. We are no longer used to spending time and concentrating for long: we live in the realm of the quickly digested images and information, but there is a revolutionary need for rediscovering attention and dedication. It is not about consuming another exhibition as a social event. Instead, it is a very intimate experience – the one proposed here. It is a time of pause, almost a praying time, I would say.

When I have been asked to put together this show, I thought of my last years in Thailand and Bangkok and I wanted to express through this curatorial adventure my own connection with the Thailand I discovered. When I think back of the last two years in Bangkok, with all the unrest and social and political uncertainty, the works chosen for this show seem to me very significant and universal. It is quite a testimony to the uneasiness that I feel – and I am sure many other people do – when thinking about nationalism, ethnicity and power mirrored by a personal/private space, poetry and the death as beauty, or as Bohumil Hrabal explains in “I served the King of England”:

“The essence of life was questioning about death, how will I behave when my hour comes, and that basically death, or rather that questioning oneself, is a dialogue from an infinite and eternal visual angle. (And that) the resolution of the problem of death is already the beginning of thinking in terms of beauty and the beginning of thinking about beauty because it is savoring the absurdity of one’s path that anyway will end with a premature exit, that pleasure of experiencing one’s own demise, that fills man with bitterness and therefore with beauty.”

Zhang Peili, Happiness, 2006
Rainer Ganahl, I hate Marx, 2010
Yang Zhenzhong, I will die, 2000-2007
Shen Shaomin, I am Chinese 2006-2008
Artur Zmijewski, Them, 2007, courtesy of Vanabbe Museum

Brief Artists Profile
Zhang Peili is a video artist considered by some to be the "Father of Chinese video art.” Born in 1957, Zhang lives and works in Hangzhou.

Rainer Ganahl lives and works in NYC since 1990.

Yang Zhenzhong, 1968 Born in Hangzhou, China. Lives and works in Shanghai.

Shen Shaomin, born
 1956, Heilongjiang province, China
. Lives and works in Sydney, Australia and Beijing, China

Artur Zmijewski, born 1966 in Warsaw, Poland. Lives and works in Warsaw

About Davide Quadrio aka Dadou
Davide Quadrio is a sinologist, curator and art historian. He founded BizArt, Shanghai's first non-profit art centre, in 1998. Stemming from this experience and a decade working in cross cultural matters (Davide was awarded 2004 the title of young leader for culture in Asia by IIAS and ASEF in Den Hague, The Netherlands) in 2007, Quadrio together with Defne Ayas started Arthub Asia, a cultural and artistic constellation of independent thinkers devoted to contemporary art creation in China and across Asia. ( Since 2009, Davide has been founding director of FarEastFarWest, an art production company that supports new and challenging cultural projects based in Asia. FarEastFarWest collection will be available to researchers, practitioners and general public from May 2011 at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. Davide is currently residing in Thailand conducting research with the support of the National Research Council of Thailand on cultural and artistic development. From September 2010 he is lecturing at Fudan University, Institute of Visual Arts, Shanghai.

For more information, please contact:
Siriwat Pokrajen (PR Officer)
Tel: 081-629-0457, email:,

The Art Center
7th Fl, Center of Academic Resources, Chulalongkorn University
Phyathai Rd, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330
Tel: 0-2218-2965, Fax: 0-2218-2907
Facebook: The Art Center - Chula
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Closed on Sunday & Public Holidays


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