Date: September, 2020
Partner: MHz Curationist
Project Members: Jing Cui & Andres De Los Rios
Through displaying diverse expressions of loneliness in artworks across history and cultures, Lonely Together aims to lift the stigma associated with loneliness by revealing its universality. It also sets to build a space where Curationist audiences are encouraged to share their experiences of and reflections on loneliness.
The artworks in this exhibition either take loneliness as the theme or relate to loneliness in context. These exhibits from different cultures take various forms, from traditional images of paintings and sculptures, to ancient and modern poems, sound or video files, and even flash games.
As the preliminary engagement with this exhibition, the audience is invited to identify andrecognize loneliness expressed in diverse forms of art by creators from different periods and cultures. This would prompt them to acknowledge the universality of loneliness and the contemporary loneliness epidemic. For those people who experience loneliness, this process is especially significant in shifting their perception of loneliness by accepting it as a legitimate emotion and thus reducing its surrounding stigma.
Furthermore, this exhibition is seeking to build a community that people can be connected by this universal emotion of loneliness. Apart from resonating with the artworks, audiences will also be encouraged to share their own reflection on the artworks in a process of curating and contextualizing the exhibits. Through active participation in the conversations prompted by the exhibition, the audience would foster a sense of co-creating the exhibition and be motivated to stay connected to this community.
Through its virtual portal, the exhibition will not only introduce users to the project’s original object list, but also invite audiences to participate in the discussion through their own ideas, comments and artworks. First, the website acts as a repository for the exhibition’s artworks and interpretive content: any user can browse through the collection’s entries to learn more about each piece and its unique relationship to one or more of loneliness’ many facets. All artworks are displayed with labels displaying their basic information – i.e. Title, Creator, Date of Creation, Format, etc.
But the virtual exhibition is also an experiment of crowd-sourcing strategy thanks to its multiple participatory features – both for general audiences and registered users. On the one hand, all users will be able to propose exhibition sub-themes to complement those designed by the curatorial team. Similarly, visitors can quickly register to create and share their “exhibitions” – i.e. artwork groupings based on their own criteria. Both features are as simple as browsing through the collection and marking artworks according to the user’s interests. After registering, users can take part in online discussions surrounding each artwork. Finally, registered users may also upload, describe and showcase their own creations from any of the currently supported formats: images, videos, audio recordings and text files.) These crowd-sourced objects will be displayed alongside the original object list and will enjoy all the aforementioned interactive features – from discussions to sub-theme or exhibition groupings.