The Dodo Art Museum Beijing opened in 2017. The Museum, located in the North- East part of the city in the area of Xiedao Resort, covers a green area of more than 12.000 square meters with more than 1800 square meters of exhibition space. Beijing Dodo Art Museum, founded by internationally renowned artist Liu Ruowang, is the first public welfare organization in China that focuses on ecological education, while promoting public art and culture and practicing aesthetic education for young generations.
The exhibition “Coping with Covid-19”, inaugurated at Dodo Art Museum in Beijing on January 23rd 2021, is the last of a series of large-scale contemporary art touring exhibitions of the artist Liu Ruowang, aimed at raising awareness about environmental protection and at rethinking a harmonious coexistence between human beings and the other creatures of Earth. “Coping with Covid-19” was co-curated by Li Wenru, former vice-director of The Palace Museum, the Italian artist Jacopo Della Ragione and Wang Zhenlin as executive curators. The show was organized with the academic support of Parkview Green Art, a non-profit organization under the umbrella of the Art and Culture Department of Parkview Group, which has the aim to establish a cultural bridge between the East and West, while promoting values of multiculturalism and artistic exchange through collaborations with different institutions both in China and abroad.
The exhibition (especially the installation Wolves Coming), was previously presented in Naples at Piazza Del Municipo from November 2019 to June 2020, in Florence at Piazza SS. Annunziata and Piazza Pitti in July 2020 and then in Yukou International Art Zone and in Yang Gao, Datong, Shanxi province.
These initiatives demonstrate the attitude and determination of the artist to address issues related to nature and ecology, to use public art to raise awareness of the importance of environmental protection, suggesting that we all need to be united to overcome a global crisis (which is also caused by overpopulation and scarcity of raw material) as we are all part of a collective dimension and we share the same destiny.
With the exhibition “Coping with Covid-19” the artist advocates a world free from the pandemic, while avoiding to present heroic or tragic characters. The artistic narrative is based on a figurative approach which breaks away from the tradition of socialist realism. The artist’s expressive language suggests a possible, better future therefore conveying a universal message.
The conceptual framework of the exhibition “Coping with Covid-19” reflects the willingness to reaffirm the centrality of the role of the artist in addressing issues related to contemporary society: as a reaction against the indifference and nihilism, the artist elaborates a deep and emotionally intense artistic language to shed light on the complexity and the fragility that characterizes humans’ existential experience. Through his works, the artist suggests that the plague of pandemic raging around the world can be seen as the nature’s backlash against mankind. Undermining the illusion of human omnipotence, Liu Ruowang suggests a Post- anthropocentric vision of the world.
Indoor artworks include oil paintings, sculptures and installations. The group of installations at the center of the exhibition hall is composed of giant snakes, bats, skylights, and red light. The snake and the scepter, symbols of the World Health Organization, metaphorically represent the power of medicine to control the pandemic. At the same time, the powerlessness and helplessness experienced by human beings facing the Covid-19, is caused by the limitations of medicine itself.
Countless pairs of eyes contemplate this condition of confusion as everyone in the world is facing the experience of suffering: 60 eyes of Chinese people and 20 of foreigners express this extraordinary common “perception” spread among all people.
Almost three hundred sculptures are exhibited in the outdoor space of the Dodo International Sculpture Park. These works are Liu Ruowang’s artistic creations over the last ten years. With the exceptions of the early series “The People and Heaven”, most of Liu Ruowang’s sculptures represent images of animals to address issues related to the relationship between human beings, nature, animals and the world around us.
The mission statement of Dodo International Sculpture Park revolves around the theme of ecology and respect for the environment. In the future, the Sculpture Park will display artworks from local and international artists, all committed to the cause of ecological awareness.
Liu Ruowang. “Coping with Covid-19”
January 23, 2021 – onwards
Dodo Art Museum
Artist Liu Rowang posing in front of the work 2020’s World (oil on canvas, 2020)
Liu Rowang, 2020’s World, 2020, oil on canvas, 100 x 120 cm
Liu Rowang, Wolves Coming, 2008-2010, vista dell’installazione realizzata a Firenze nel 2020, corten steel, dimensioni variabili
Liu Rowang, Wolves Coming, 2008-2010, installation view at Dodo Art Museum, China, corten steel, variable dimensions
Liu Rowang, Living Things, 2020, installation view at Dodo Art Museum, China, origami, fiberglas, environmental size, 700 x 600 x 600 cm