The Principle of Hope

The Principle of Hope

Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum

Courtesy of Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum.

October 16, 2021
The Principle of Hope
October 16, 2021–February 27, 2022
Opening: October 16, 2:30–4pm, and talk: “‘The Future’ in Chinese Early Modern Thought,” by Wang Xiaoming, with moderators Carol Yinghua Lu and Luo Xiaoming
Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum
50 Xingshikou Rd, Haidian District
Sector-A, Inside-Out Artist Colony
100195 Beijing
Hours: Wednesday–Friday 11am–6pm,
Saturday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +86 10 6273 0230

Participating artists: Francis Alÿs, Aram Bartholl & Nadja Buttendorf, Erick Beltrán, Chen Chen Yu, Chen Juanying, Karel Čapek, Carlomar Arcangel Daoana, Datong Dazhang, Péter Dobai, Fang Tianyu, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Norma Jeane, Pauline Julier & Nicolas Chapoulier, Pope. L, Lei Lei, Li Jiaqi, Feng Kehui, Mak Ying Tung 2, Pedro Neves Marques, Meng Jinghui, Nabuqi, Phil Patiris, Gabriel Tejedor, Xingfu Peifang, Wang Xiyan, Xper.Xr, The Yes Men, Liam Young, Goang-Ming Yuan, Gary Zhexi Zhang, Zhong Ming

Artistic directors: Carol Yinghua Lu, Luo Xiaoming

Curatorial team: Huang Wenlong, Liang Chouwa, Yin Shuai, Jerome Zhang, Scarly Zhou, Zhu Siyu

After a long summer of being closed for maintenance, Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum reopens with a new exhibition, The Principle of Hope. It is an exhibition that contemplates, envisions, summons and claims the “future.” By presenting the practices of Chinese and international artists and cultural practitioners, we demonstrate the future as a space full of potential, beckoning for the subjective individual, to confront the present with the courage and enthusiasm of a future-oriented outlook.

Its title, The Principle of Hope, comes from the book The Principle of Hope, a philosophical masterpiece published in Germany after World War II. The author, Ernest Bloch, pondered the “philosophy of the future” precisely because his country and himself were in a situation where there was no “future.” For the author, utopia is not an impossible ideal but a modern expression that can inspire change. Bloch believes that the past and the future are full of exploitable potential. The heritage gained from the past is not a fixed tradition but an unleashed supply of content that offers hope.

With a self-reflective perspective, the exhibition The Principle of Hope responds to the hijacking of the future imagination and the imprisonment of idealism by political discourse, technological ideology, capital power, and stereotypical reality. The Principle of Hope aims to expand the spectrum of hope, evoking the courage to confront reality and establishing the consciousness to persevere in learning about hope. We should imagine the subjective agency of the form and content of the future world more freely, underscore the place of human beings within it, and aspire for changes more positively. We can employ the imagination of the future as a vehicle, to enable the formation of a new consensus. Only by consciously committing ourselves to imagining the creation of a new world, implementing these imaginations with all our might, maintaining a long-distance sense of action, and conceiving plans for change with a willingness to accept defeats and failures, can we radiate a constant flow of unconventional vitality.

This exhibition is conceived by Carol Yinghua Lu, art historian and director of Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum, and Luo Xiaoming, scholar of cultural studies and head of the Department of Cultural Studies at Shanghai University. They work with a team of young curators, including Huang Wenlong, Scarly Zhou, and Zhu Siyu, members of the research and curatorial team of Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum, and invited curators including Liang Chouwa, Yin Shuai, and Jerome Zhang. The team searched for relevant works based on the theme of the exhibition, while the discovery of works also helped deepen the theme through this process. The four groups of curators have approached the discussion of the theme through four perspectives: the marginalized future (Yin Shuai), the concept of “future” and human agency (Huang Wenlong, Zhu Siyu), survival strategies for data governance (Jerome Zhang), and technology and human emotions (Liang Chouwa, Scarly Zhou). Through this exhibition, we hope to cultivate in ourselves and our colleagues the courage to directly face up to life and the world, to take responsibility, and to pursue a more inner and fundamental answer to the meaning of life. Only in this way can we maintain the independence of the human spirit, expand the abundant possibilities of human existence. We should persistently resist being manipulated by a specific reality and practice hope in a seemingly desperate situation, thus opening up another world with tireless efforts.

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Beijing Inside-Out Art Museum
October 16, 2021

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