The inaugural China Now festival is an unprecedented exploration of Chinese arts and culture. The theme of artistic legacy guides this multi-disciplinary look at the country's artistic traditions and trajectory.
Though its history dates back five millennia, China's legacy is not confined to its past: China's modernity, as anyone who has experienced the country recently can attest, is so modern that it challenges the very idea of what "modern" means. While exploring and deconstructing such preconceptions, China Now also investigates the trajectory and the diverse traditions, cultures and experiences of China and its people.
We highlight the intersections defining and shaping the country at home and abroad—the points at which disparate influences, traditions and peoples come together, and from which emerges something new. China's future is unfolding through a negotiation with its artistic and creative traditions, resulting in reinvention and reinvigoration at home and abroad. Members of the Chinese diaspora seek a role and identity somewhere between where they are from, where they are located, and where they are going. The nation itself is being influenced by the outside world in an unprecedented way while exerting a growing influence outside its borders. Meanwhile, the outside world untangles myths and misconceptions from the country's reality.
In short, in 2014, "Made in China" is a much more complicated idea than we realize.
At the heart of a city that has long been a meeting place, with our own legacy as a gathering point for the exchange of ideas, Harbourfront Centre is in a prime position to explore these intersections. As we opened our doors to the public, China had yet to fully engage with the rest of the world. Forty years later, China is at the forefront of the global conversation. China Now looks at what that means for the next five thousand years.
— Rodrigo Fritz, Senior Artistic Associate/Project Coordinator