「一起玩」Playing Art Exhibition
In itself the combination of children playing and artists making art is not even very original. The influence of children’s drawings on modern art is huge. In fact any art form that was not classic, like the drawings of indigenous tribes or the mentally ill, had an effect on the development of the arts out of their traditional styles.
In my country after the Second World War a group of young painters named Cobra developed a form of wild expression_rism that was totally influenced by children’s drawings. Ironically the common critique was that the paintings were so childish that a kid of four year old could do it.
But making children’s drawings is not that easy. To be able to do it you have to forget what you learned after you were before. You have to ignore the automatic movements in your hand shaped by years of writing and typing.
The collaboration project did not start by the way because of this modernist tradition. It went just like this: one evening I was sitting late in the living room of my friend and felt like making a drawing. I looked for a piece of paper, but saw nothing else but hundreds of drawings made by his young daughter. Also the backside had drawings so in the end I thought they might not mind me using one and make a drawing around it. Immediately I felt that it was a really fun thing to do. A chalange to be as self assured, as imaginative and as quick as my little teacher. The next morning they did not scold me, but encouraged me and over the year I made another 99.
During this year I talked to real artists about this and showed them the drawings. They all understood right away what I was after and why a project like this could be nice but also how it could be instructive. Instructive to find new playful ways.
So it all started with with the wild imagination of Dan Dan and after that more artists followed, like the immediately enthusiast Johannes Nielsen or the artist who already made work with their children like Ai Weiwei with Ai Lao and Zhou Li wth Jiujiu or Ryuji Otsuka and Chiffy. Johannes Nielsen found his Tudou and Èlia Compte & Gisela Ràfols Compte are family in Spain. Not everybody knows that the great performance artist Yang Zhichao is also a humurous cartoonist so I dared to ask him as well. And he found Yang Zixin near by..
I learned a lot from this project and want to thank little Dan Dan for her cooperation and understanding (manny times I misinterpreted her drawings) and I hope that the real artists (I am a curator in the first place) at least had fun with it.