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Need. Want. Hunt.

  • Location:
    island6 Arts Center, 50 Moganshan Lu, Building 6, 2nd Floor, Shanghai, Shanghai, CN

The artists of Liu Dao tempt you to tease the triggers of your instinct in island6's first exhibition for 2013: Need. Want. Hunt.

On island6 we relish the chase and the fight. When it comes to survival in the rugged terrain of the Big City, two clans have evolved: those that listen to instinct and have the courage to saddle up with it, and those who tether it to the wagon of “shoulds” and “musts” behind them. At a time when many people are putting down their bows and following the passive path of the herbivore - driven by the rational and traditional, we dare you to draw your bow taught, send instinct’s arrow flying and sink your teeth into a hunk of raw impulse and intuition, we think you’ll be well nourished by it!

As members of the instinctive clan (some would say savages, but we’re just misunderstood), Liu Dao’s artists invite you to roam with us on a safari through our directional drivers to explore what aspects of the modern eco-system are endangering this precious species, instinct. Attacked by the wildebeests of government and legal regulation, poached for its tusks by tradition and customs, scorched by the rays of religion and proliferating ideologies and drowned in the flood of information and knowledge that has swelled over centuries, it is increasingly rare to catch a glimpse of this creature that could once be found in abundance at our core. So many “good” reasons to tame our instincts that we find people shackled by inertia when instinct tells them to run, to taste, to try.

In Need. Want. Hunt. we see following instinct as a vital sign. In a creative sphere, it is the inspiration to take a different turn, with fresh potential as explosive as the first burst of paint spattered from a Paleolithic artist’s full mouth onto rock. On a daily basis, instinct offers cut-through, the ultimate filter in an oversaturated environment of mixed messages, infinite choice and vast amounts of gathered intelligence. It offers clear direction from an honest source. And more, instinct is our interface with the tangible; it connects us to the immediacy of the moment, not “the plan” or the outdated edition of “the facts”.

It is moments, plucked from the crests and crooked cracks of Shanghai, that Liu Dao’s interactive artworks capture and twist. Through its signature blend of video, animation, photography, sculpture, neon and LED art, the collective breaks the static and plays with the endings of everyday tales. From the top storeys of skyscrapers to the rubble of construction zones, Liu Dao’s characters are given their own volition to move where they will within the settings of new and old town, beckoning the viewer to create their own connection that crosses the brush steel frame’s divide.

In our first exhibition for 2013, the Liu Dao collective tempts you to tease the triggers of your instinct. And there is no better testing ground than Shanghai, a city that forces you to switch on and sharpen up. Thrown into the commotion of every kind of engine and local caterwauling, dodging obstacles hurtling at you from every direction and competing with heaving masses of people scaling the spectrum of subsistence to opulence, you need to be alert to thrive on these streets. In a place fuelled by people “getting away with it”, we scour the teeming landscapes for tracks, signals, flashing sirens that give us hints: Where’s the flare set off high above the “next right” we are supposed to take? Where’s the road marking that keeps us from the curb?

Drop by island6, see where your instincts tell you to run.