Normal Pool Level 

3. Jul - 7. Sep 14 / ended Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art


10:00 - 17:00 Tues - Sun

Exhibition | Multi-disciplinary | North

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“A journey through the Yangtze River’s transformation.”

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art is proud to present Spanish artist Jorge Mañes Rubio, founder of Seethisway, and his project ‘Normal Pool Level’, the result of a 2 month long artist residency in China.

Normal Pool Level: ‘Height in metres above sea level at which a section of the river is to be maintained behind a dam.’

The Three Gorges Dam is China’s most ambitious construction since the Great Wall. In July 2012 the largest hydroelectric project in the world became fully functional however the project generated a huge environmental and human impact in the Yangtze valley; flooding 13 cities, 140 towns and 1,352 villages, submerging nearly 8,000 years of Chinese history. It has so far forced 4 million people to relocate. The Three Gorges Reservoir is now one of the top tourist attractions in China, with thousands of western visitors sailing along the Yangtze as part of luxury cruises.

In January 2013 Jorge Mañes Rubio decided to travel off season along the Yangtze river to collect objects that reflected the complex changes that have occurred in the area. The dislocation between past and future, tradition and modernity and memory and progress were key to the journey for Mañes; developing an alternative narrative through which a more accurate experience of the area’s transformation was revealed.

The exhibition comprises a collection of objects, photographs, drawings and installations which become the narrators of the designer’s journey. By travelling off the beaten track and engaging with the locals Mañes has managed to collect an array of symbols and memorials that don’t appear to belong to either Eastern or Western culture, portraying the identity clash that the area has been going through and the cost the region is paying for the country’s development.

About the artist:
Jorge Mañes Rubio is one of the youngest Spanish talents in the contemporary art scene. He has exhibited his work worldwide and is the first Spanish artist ever to obtain a prestigious TED fellowship. His work explores invisible or forgotten places, creating artworks that reimagine and revive these sites as attention-worthy destinations. Despite his background as an industrial engineer and product designer, his work revolves around small objects, immersive narratives and impressive installations, inviting the audience to experience these stories as if they were their own.

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