Since December 2019, the pandemic caused by the novel virus (COVID-19) has wreaked havoc across the world, fundamentally changing our lives as we know it. In the end of 2021, Long Museum (West Bund) will welcome the public with a new exhibition, presenting a selection of works from a private collection provided by Long Museum in addition to a special program —— a curated playlist by pianist Xie Yashuangzi and pieces she freely improvised.
A portion of the modern and contemporary works displayed in this exhibition are related to medical care and solicitude, paying tribute to healthcare workers and all those who have stood up to fight against the pandemic. Other exhibited works explore various societal and spiritual issues that have been brought to the forefront by the past year. And finally, the exhibition also presents works that place an emphasis on everyday moments which have become increasingly cherished and reflect the ongoing current of panic and anxiety that has been amplified by the viral outbreak.
For the special program, pianist Xie Yashuangzi has recommended more than ten musical compositions in her curated playlist and several pieces that she herself freely improvised surrounding the concepts of “quarantine” and “isolation.” The remainder of the playlist features compositions that come from all over the world and span across a long period of time; most of these do not adhere to the stereotype usually associated with their composers. With this playlist, Xie hopes that the power of music will be able to temporarily breakthrough the limits of space and obfuscate our sense of time.
“The pandemic and quarantine have changed people, bringing out a new side of the self,” Xie says, “The same applies to the field of music. We may think we know a lot about a composition or its composer, but in reality, there are so many more “sides” that still remain unexplored and unknown to us.”
Together, the selection of modern and contemporary artworks and the special musical program are in direct conversation with many of the issues raised by the pandemic. The whole exhibition aims to pay tribute to healthcare workers and serves as a prayer for a better future. May we all “embrace the light” and fill our hearts with new hope.