Dive into the captivating world of "Ties That Cannot Be Unbound," an immersive virtual exhibition that opened on March 26th, inviting visitors to explore the interconnectedness of organisms, bodies, environment, and spirituality through a wide range of artistic mediums.
Curated by a talented team of artists and researchers, Xiaofan Jiang, Fangyi Yang, Yiou Wang, Zhi Ye, and Triss Qian, this exhibition brings together the unique backgrounds and expertise of its curators to create a thought-provoking virtual experience.
"When the umbilical cord is cut, the biological bond between the baby and the mother is removed. Simultaneously, our bodies begin to weave new connections with the world, rendering us not solitary beings but a fragment of a complex, intricate system that has been beyond our comprehension," writes Triss Qian in the curatorial statement, "Ties are the threads that compose our narratives. The ties we have with all forms of entities weave networks of relationships. These relationships, in turn, shape our self-awareness. Over time, our evolving awareness, nurtured by these ties, enlightened our thoughts about the past and the future.”
Exhibition Poster, designed by Xiaofan Jiang
Ties That Cannot Be Unbound is an online virtual exhibition curated by UAAD, which aims to inspire a collective effort to reframe and reshape our relationship with all entities on the planet, including both living and non-living beings, paving the way toward a more sustainable and harmonious future. The project invites audiences to confront their preconceived notions and explore the potential of a new mode of engagement with the planet beyond the anthropocentric conception.
Fangyi Yang shares her thoughts on the exhibition's importance, "In today's world, we often forget our deep connections to nature and each other. 'Ties That Cannot Be Unbound' seeks to remind us of these connections and help us cultivate a sense of responsibility and empathy for all living beings."
Ties That Cannot Be Unbound discusses the ties between our bodies and the environment, the blurred boundaries between the living and the non-living, and the interconnectedness of spirituality and physicality through art in both new and traditional media.
In the exhibition, you will encounter a spectrum of ties that encompass diverse forms of connections. Each artwork occupies a distinct position on this spectrum, reflecting the unique nature of its positionality within the complex network of relationships that make up our world. What kinds of ties are impossible to unbind? Featuring outstanding works in the fields of sound, image, film, and interaction, this exhibition responds to this question through the work of artists from a variety of countries.
The exhibition space is constructed on a virtual platform designed by Yiou Wang with shapes of organic creatures that becomes a habitat for multimedia artworks. It is divided into three pathways that lead the viewer to three different issues: Bodies & Environment, Spirituality & Physicality, and Organisms & Artefacts.
Screenshot of the virtual lobby of Ties That Cannot Be Unbound
Bodies & Environment
In his collection of poems, Dejan Stojanovic wrote: Sound unbound by nature becomes bounded by art. The works presented in Bodies & Environment transcend the human and the natural, utilising the senses as a medium and the human body as a vehicle to debate the co-benefits of the internal and the external. As part of the environment, how does the human body intertwine with the changing environment and how are these engagements responded to by the environment? Participating artists: Zheyuan Zhang, Xinyi Wu, Reza Sedghi, Yilin Zhang, Flavia Mazzanti, Nina Sumarac, Wei Wu, and the collective of SueKi Yee, Carmen Cheah Kai Wen, and Ryan Ooi Chun Kit.
Screenshot of the virtual space, Bodies & Environment
Spirituality & Physicality
Spirituality & Physicality is dominated by surrealist works that sublimate the physical object with a manifest artistic approach, using the imagination as a link to the spiritual dimension. Encompassing drawing, performance, video, and photographic artwork, the works dialectically address themes including but not limited to internalization, biology, and mythologies, as the artists liberate us from the present and travel through the timeline of the past and future in the spiritual world. Participating artists: Alina Tofan, Julie Sperling, Van O, Youju Kang, and Zhao Jiajing.
Screenshot of the virtual space, Spirituality & Physicality
Organisms & Artefacts
Organisms & Artifacts interprets the exploration of othering and bonding in the field of biology. The artworks under this division generate a resonance between natural organisms and future technology through interactive experiments. The artists use nurturing as artistic methodologies to contemplate the encroachment of artificial society on nature, as well as its regeneration and inclusion. Participating artists: Ke Peng and Yueshen Wu, Ishraki Kazi, Lyndsey Walsh, Iliana Sun, Daecheon Kim, and the collective of Ziv Epstein, Oceane Boulais, Abhimanyu Dubey, and Matt Groh.
Screenshot of the virtual space, Organisms & Artefacts
Nina Sumarac, an artist showcased in the Bodies & Environment theme, remarks, "The exceptional curation and setup make the exhibition a journey of discovery, unearthing new perspectives and beauty. My work examines the delicate equilibrium between humans and nature, aiming to promote harmonious coexistence. I'm delighted to contribute to an exhibition that highlights these crucial discussions." Shashwath Santosh, a cross-disciplinary designer and researcher from New York, expressed his enthusiasm after attending the exhibition, "It ranks among the finest online exhibitions I've ever experienced."
"Ties That Cannot Be Unbound" serves as a testament to art's ability to connect us with the world and foster meaningful conversations about our relationships with the environment and one another. This pioneering approach to digital exhibition spaces allows for new possibilities for experiencing and engaging with art while transcending physical limitations. Open for visitors until June 30, 2023, the exhibition will also be featured in New Art City's annual festival from April 24th to 28th, so please stay tuned.
For more information and to visit the virtual exhibition, please visit: https://newart.city/show/ttcbu
About UAAD Curatorial Team
The UAAD Curatorial Team is composed of Xiaofan Jiang, Fangyi Yang, Yiou Wang, Zhi Ye, and Triss Qian. They are a group of artists, designers, and researchers with diverse backgrounds and expertise, dedicated to creating thought-provoking and immersive art experiences that challenge conventional perspectives and inspire meaningful dialogue.
Xiaofan Jiang is a creator, narrative-weaver, and provoker who emerges in NYC/Shanghai/Chicago. Jiang's work focuses on using art and design to create spaces that foster engagement, storytelling, and amplifying voices of marginalized communities. As the founder of Underground Art And Design, she aims to uplift the artist community by providing opportunities, sharing resources, and collectively challenging the power dynamics in society.
Yiou Wang (yiouwang.org) is a multimedia artist who employs an innovative blend of technologies to investigate mythology, maze, mind-body relations, and the cultural and spiritual lens of more-than-human ecologies. Co-founder of Mixanthropy Art Tech Studio, Yiou is a Master of Architecture candidate from Harvard Graduate School of Design and received a B.A. in psychology at Duke. She has worked or exhibited in the U.S, China, Denmark and Canada.
Fangyi is an interdisciplinary designer, artist, and curator based in New York. With educational backgrounds in Communications Design, Museum and Gallery Practices, and History of Art from Pratt Institute, she specializes in product and experience design and has worked with clients in a variety of industries. As a curator, her focus on healing, connection, and empowerment has led her to create immersive and impactful exhibitions that encourage visitors to reflect on their own lives and the world around them.
Zhi Ye is a PhD researcher in Digital Humanities at King's College London, her main focus is on museum digitization and immersive exhibitions.
Triss is an Italian tomato.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Xiaofan Jiang, TTCBU Event Organizer, Email: email@example.com