A group of curators, art critics and auctioneers came up with the idea of using an online auction to promote experimental Chinese art. Coins and other items have been auctioned online.
Both organizers and curators of the Auction Bienalle say they are not concerned about results and whether the works sell well. For them, it’s important to give exposure to avant-garde and experimental works both online and in a physical venue. Most are installations and performance art.
Curator Shi says big names include sculptor and installation artist Zhan Wang and painter Li Shan, who will choose significant works that so far have not appealed to the broad market.
One of the works to be auctioned is performance art by Xiao Lu, who locks herself inside a small white space and fasts for seven days at the Shanghai Expo Museum. She drinks water and writes her thoughts about life and art on rice paper. Her calligraphy will be auctioned.
Another example is Wang Haitao and his work “26,600 Meters,” a huge ball of copper wire and copper nails that is 26,600 meters long. Any bidder can buy any length.
“Frankly, no one is clear about the outcome of this ball, whether it is big, small or whether it disappears. Even the auction itself is an essential part of the piece,” says curator Shi.
Artists can also auction proposed projects, by exhibiting plans and models on site. They can adapt works to suit buyers.
Zhu Zi’s “Lost Landscape” is white wall painted with dirt. Then a pile of yellow sand, “a mountain,” is piled against it. Eventually the sand pile slides down and shrinks, leaving only marks on the dirt wall.
“Don’t ask me who will buy these works. Innovation means adventure, and contemporary art is about adventure,” Shi concludes.