The Graduals

Ahmed Bouholaigah
Tianzhuo Chen
Jean- Baptiste Wejman
Lantian Xie
Curated by Angelle Siyang-Le.


From Sept 13, 2012

The Graduals

Traffic presents The Graduals, featuring Ahmed Bouholaigah, Tianzhuo Chen, Jean- Baptiste Wejman and Lantian Xie, curated by Angelle Siyang-Le.

The Graduals is an exhibition that breaks through the traditional definition of an exhibition – it perhaps should not be called an ‘exhibition,’ but the existence of artworks that integrates with its dynamic space – an interaction as a whole between the concepts of the contemporary artworks and the variable surroundings offered.

To emphasise the purpose of contemporary art through The Graduals, the works of art have no intention of being idolised; instead, the works are physically attached to the surroundings and are psychologically attached to the visitors within the creative space. In order for contemporary art to serve at all levels, art should no long be restricted to galleries or institutional exhibitions; however, art has the freedom to transcend the perfection of a white cube. By utilising the space and invention of Traffic as an art and social community, where artistic and intellectual exchange occur whilst activities run throughout the warehouse; the artworks are hence merged into such happenings, without an opening announcement, a catalogue, a label or a spotlight.

The Graduals features a group of artists who explore contemporary art individually and internationally, through both tuition and intuitional knowledge as a process of gradual development. The artists also share an interest of implanting conceptual significance into their works to implement an interactive purpose. Interactive art through this particular entity – The Graduals, creates not only a relationship between the works and the visitors; the space and the surroundings simultaneously become the spectators which enable the purpose of the works. The visitors will not be asked to participate, however they will automatically become a part of the interaction once they enter the space.

The curatorial objective is to encourage the flexibility of artistic practice in the Middle East region – artworks are not only to be hung precisely on the walls and sculptures are no longer to be displayed on podiums. An art object can be invisible like a pattern of noises that reacts with the surrounding movements; or, it can be a documentary of the build-up of an aesthetic concept. The work of art floats in the air and creates dialogues with all the elements of one space. It is once again a process of gradual development to encourage an acceptance of flexibility.

Ahmed Bouholaigah – Hailed by some as a “contemporary great”, Ahmed aspires to completely eradicate the artificial scarcity associated with contemporary art and to consequently annihilate the commercial gallery system. His recent works take a diminutive stab at politics, ego, and fame while primarily attempting to call into question the intrinsic value of art, the role of the art institution, and the relationship between artists and their audiences.

Tianzhuo Chen – The artist transforms galleries and public spaces into a place of worship and only lasting for a short period. By doing so, he aims to raise questions about the brokenness of our contemporary life, and speak about our fall in morality and belief.

Jean-Baptiste Wejman – Lives and works in France. Jean-Baptiste is currently preparing for his master degree in Visual Art. He recently spent three months in Dubai assisting Fayçal Baghriche during the Artists-in-Residence (A.i.R) Dubai, an annual residency programme.

Lantian Xie – Born in China and raised between Bahrain & the United Arab Emirates. He is a recent graduate of the MFA program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a recent recipient of the Sheikha Manal Young Artist Award of the United Arab Emirates. He currently spends his time between New York City and Dubai.