Matter + Spirit: Sino-American Exhibition at Taylor University

An exhibition on the theme of matter and spirit is presented in the United States to show the “spiritual in contemporary life”.

“What is the place of the spiritual in contemporary life, especially in highly materialistic – and increasingly secular – cultures like the United States and China? This is the central question of ‘Matter + Spirit: A Chinese/American Exhibition’, a collection of works of art that address the great diversity of questions it raises and a range of perspectives on them,” said declared the exhibition.

The exhibition runs from November 4 to December 12, 2022 at the Metcalf Gallery, Model Metcalf Visual Arts Center at Taylor University, USA.

Sponsored by the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity, the exhibit features a collection of more than 55 works by 25 different Chinese and American artists. According to the Nagel Institute, the exhibit is the product of a gathering of North American art teachers with their Chinese counterparts in June 2018 in China, sponsored by the Nagel Institute for the Study of World Christianity.

“Visiting artist enclaves and cultural sites in Beijing, Nanjing and Shanghai, they explored issues of art, contemporary society, spirituality and their role as culture makers, critics and seers. The works you see in this exhibition represent that encounter, its conversations, and what was summoned by the artists’ interactions — with China, with the art scene there, and with each other,” said Rachel Smith, a professor at the Taylor University, which serves as curator and project director. “Matter + Spirit presents a remarkable body of artwork that reflects on the ongoing tensions between the material and the spiritual in human life and in society.”

“Chinese contemporary art has swept the international art scene and is, without a doubt, a leading cultural force,” Smith said. “Until 1990, there were no private art galleries in Beijing. But 20 years later, there were 300 galleries in the capital, energized by the social space that was opening up in Chinese society between the state and the market.

“These precursors focused on the effects of rapid social change and cultural globalization in China, laying the foundation for the vital and rapidly changing cultural landscape we see today.”

According to the Nagel Institute, this project is the third of its kind; two previous projects were undertaken in Indonesia in 2008 and in South Africa in 2013.

The virtual exhibition is located here.

James C. Tibbs