SOURCE: Emerging Collective

Emerging Collective

October 16, 2014 10:50 ET

Emerging Collective Announces Inaugural Exhibition and Kickstarter Campaign With Chinese Dissident Artist Guo Jian

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Oct 16, 2014) - Guo Jian, the Chinese artist who was recently exiled from Beijing to Sydney for making a Tiananmen Square diorama from rotting meat, is now in New York, working on his first post-exile exhibition in collaboration with Emerging Collective, a nascent art NGO at the intersection of activist and avant-garde art. This will be Emerging Collective's first experiment in using an immersive art exhibition to create dialogue between the First World and the Emerging Markets. Emerging Collective has launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the project, and offer a ticket pre-sale.

"Guo Jian is not only a globally recognized talent -- he is a third-generation soldier and war veteran, a Tiananmen Square protestor, and a founding member of the famous Yuanmingyuan Artist Village. To me, his experiences encapsulate the entire post-Mao history of China, and that makes him a national treasure," said Raj Udeshi, Emerging Collective Founder. "The West has much to gain from his experience and insight, and we are thrilled that Guo Jian has chosen to be part of our inaugural exhibition."

Emerging Collective's innovative program involves a dual artist residency and collaborative exhibition, akin to the Warhol-Basquiat mentorship and The Factory, but with a specific eye toward Emerging Markets and artists creating activist and avant-garde work. The inaugural cycle will feature Guo Jian, a veteran of the Chinese People's Liberation Army who fought in the Sino-Vietnam War, and Markus Eriksen, an emerging artist who fought in Iraq as a United States Marine. Together, they will create a war memorial for peace called #SURRENDER in downtown New York City.

"It's going to be an Iwo Jima statue for the 21st century. Fresh stories of multi-lateral war politics, soldier apathy, and irreverence for foreign military presence will all be wrapped into one multi-dimensional sculpture and video projection," said Guo Jian. "I chose Marcus Eriksen not only because he has the sculpting talent we need, but also because we share similar history and ideas -- this mentorship will represent a conversation between China and the United States through art."

Emerging Collective has assembled a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter to raise money for exhibition space, materials, and the artist residency. Fundraising efforts will support the creation of the anti-war memorial statue and video art, as well as an immersive installation forcing exhibition viewers to come to grips with some hard truths on war, urban decay, and China's growing economic might. Both components will have heavy messages of non-violence, ripe for a world that's seeing the most military strife in over a decade.

"With everything that's happening in the world right now, from Ferguson to Hong Kong to Iraq to Gaza to Ukraine -- most of all we want this to be a grassroots outcry for non-violence," said Marcus Eriksen. "Emerging Collective found two war veterans from the two biggest militaries to do this -- you better believe we are using art to effect cultural change."

The #SURRENDER exhibition will also feature next-level cultural programming, a food truck designed by the artists, and a gift shop with artwork for sale. Creation of the artworks will be stream live beginning on November 11, US Veteran's Day, from a large disused space in Lower Manhattan. The exhibition will open in early February 2015, and continue through Armory Art Week in March.

About Emerging Collective
Emerging Collective is a non-profit art initiative aiming to bridge the First World and Emerging Markets divide through the prism of art. The program involves immersive art exhibitions, mentorship of emerging artists by globally recognized artists, and a digital content platform cataloguing these new endeavors. With an emphasis on activist and avant-garde art, Emerging Collective aims to catapult the most promising creatives to the forefront of the global art scene, and serve as a cultural change-agent for the next generation.

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