For an Image, Faster Than Light


For an Image, Faster Than Light
The origin is the end, and the end is the origin. It is a circle. The distinction between the subtle and gross is in your
— Rabindranath Tagore
The world we now live in is broken. That is a given. We try to heal it with the written word. The written word, however, is
an afterthought, because the word only gave form to the image. An image that was lit by the light of our consciousness. A
light that was colourful enough to make us understand the difference between the state of red and green. Red, a state of
dominance and Green, a state of acceptance. Yinchuan stands at the cusp of the faultline of these two colours. It is only
natural that the Yellow river runs through it. Humanity on either side of the owing water is aware of the impending
doom that lies deep on the riverbed. It seeks the light that emanates within, waiting to be led from fear to freedom, chaos
to order.In the search for modernity, mankind went astray in the here and now and left Truth by the wayside. There is
recourse to be found in ancient scriptures like in the line from the Indian Upanishads–Tamasomājyotirgamaya which
pleads to be led from darkness to light, an elliptical ight that could take humanity back to its origins. That ight can be
aided by the image in posterity, seen through the frosted glass on which soft ngers draw outlines to sift through the
mist. The Truth, however, lies past that window, across the river. One needs to swim against the tide, like a blind man
seeking the impossible language. A language that can only be felt on the tips of the ngers, a traversing to be sought only
through artistic endeavours. Like picking pebbles from the river of thoughts and piling them one atop another so high as
to reach the light, the light of collective enlightenment.
We are grappling between an in-your-face inequality and a total and conscious refutation of the idea of equitable
distribution of wealth. We’ll have to choose between the unpredictability of the complex world we occupy and the
denitiveness of the destruction we leave behind. We have to go for either the eternal promise of the future or the
potential of catastrophe lying underneath. We need to restore, reconstruct and rejuvenate that part of nature that
society has damaged or conceive a radical new ‘dark ecology’. We have to account for the unscrupulously designed
displacement of people’s destinies or work towards the inclusion of those doomed to be refugees forever. We can either
isolate ourselves into different silos of religions or unite ourselves in the universal faith of humanity. And to think that a
river of ideas can carry it with its ow! So what is the way forward from this quagmire that we nd ourselves in? How do
we extricate ourselves from the dilemma?
The Chinese Year of the Monkey which includes all the elements of nature can be a springboard to begin a collective
assertion of the value of art in imagining productive projects for the future: Think the Unthinkable and Do the
Impossible to tackle the manifold troubles that has pushed the globe to the edge of an abyss. This biennale in China can
thus postulate different themes, including spiritual and social consciousness, an examination of political narratives and
critical global engagement and an acknowledgment of a collective responsibility therein. At the same time, also evaluate
the dichotomy between the traditional and the contemporary vis-a-vis the use of technology. It is only if dialogues
present persuasive perspectives that they can turn into sinews of seamless imagination.
Conversations in Continuum.That which cruxes through dialogue the discrepancies between Need, Greed, Bleed and
Consumption, the forbidding fallout of Capitalism, has tipped us into the black hole of Climate Change. It is essential
that this moment must be seized to examine the public costs of private prot; ascertain if Capitalism can be aligned with
ecological capacities. We need to determine how this greed-driven system, this runaway suicide machine can be
dismantled. This is also the time to ask the question on whether a section of humanity, saddled with the cold comforts

invented during its unsighted pursuit of happiness, has been aficted by a white blindness. Whether that blessed
percentage of humanity needs the warmth of a dotted language akin to Braille. So that it can thus feel the presence of a
new sunlit pastoral beginning from the future that is just at a hand’s distance. A light to be seen through art’s eyes. It is
indeed a circle, which we seek, from beginning to end, a light to hold within the image of a ngerbowl. Let’s traverse
through the subtle and the gross to chase that light.

Yinchuan Biennale

The inaugural Yinchuan Biennale proposes to create a discourse on all the conicts that the world is currently
confronted with and perhaps makes possible propositions through a global creative conuence. With that ambitious goal
in mind, it seeks to have multiple disciplines, numerous components and several locations — indoors and outdoors. It is
being spearheaded by the Yinchuan’s Museum of Contemporary Art (YMoCA), which reects the Yellow River. It will be
held from September 9th 2016 to December 18th 2016.