While doing visitor surveys in the reception of Nottingham Contemporary, I met several groups of young Chinese artists who travelled to the UK for World Event Young Artists. We had a lovely chat in which they told me some details about this event. According to their description, all of these young artists were so confident with this Cultural Olympiad. I was increasingly curious about ‘1000 Artists, 100 Nations, 10 Days, 1 City’. I decided to explore the event.
I checked the activities in the Events schedule and found that Market Square was one of the hottest places. Indeed, the Square was filled with the WEYA atmosphere. A huge events’ banner stretched across the Council House to remind the locals and travellers of the event, and the eye-catching Mobile TMC and the Dome were in the Square for drop-in activities. The activity in the Mobile TMC was related to literature, language and poetry. Three young artists, Dolly Pena, Marc Nair and Keith Borg from Bolivia, Singapore and Malta gave us a talk on exploring spoken word. It was a free drop-in event. Some young people who passed the Square entered the Mobile TMC and listened to the talk behind the chairs. When listening to the talk, I suddenly thought of a simple poem that my Grandma used to read. I tried to translate it into English:
My little child, don’t fear.
After the sunset, the moon will accompany you.
If the moon disappears, the stars will stay together with you.
The original poem was often spoken in the dialect, and it was hard to write it down. However, this was a great way to transmit regional culture to future generations. In the transmitting process, the culture would be changed due to different situations at that time. Similarly, the spoken word presented by the young artists showed the traditional and contemporary culture in these three regions.
After the literature talk in the Square, I went to the New Art Exchange for the exhibition. NAE provided all the galleries for WEYA. Claudio Zecchi and Marco Trulli curated the exhibition – Disorder. It presented 25 young artists’ works, including sculpture, video, drawing, performance and photography. Although the theme of this exhibition is ‘Disorder’, all the works were arranged appropriately and orderly. However, it is easy for the public to understand ‘Disorder’ through the arrangement in the gallery rather than the abstruse and philosophical introduction. All artworks were created by the young artists in past three years. These young artists each had their own unique concept about art and the world. It was hard to find a general key word for these artworks, nor could the works be ordered by a key word.