玉 The Jade Project
The Jade Project - Contemporary artists explore ancient Chinese jades
The Jade Project, conceived by Filippo Salviati (Professor of East Asian Art History at Sapienza University, Rome, Italy) is an ongoing process of “interactive creation” that focuses on the intersecting and overlapping areas where science meets art. The project aims to create a space and time, either real and tangible or fully digital, intangible and cryptic, where the “invisible” qualities of archaic Chinese jades dialogue with the works of contemporary artists who have been inspired by these ancient artifacts.
At present, the core group of artists who are participating in the project is formed by: Sara Bernabucci, visual artist; Fabrizio Crisafulli, light artist; Ivan Macera and Francesco Diodati, musicians; Alessandra Cristiani, dancer; Arianna Rossini, photographer and video-maker; Zhang Xihan, visual artist and video-maker. They are coordinated by Andrea Lyn Baker, dance-maker and art promoter, and supervised by Filippo Salviati, project creator and coordinator, and scientific advisor.
Participation in The Jade Project is also open to other artists who wish to explore the sensorial, intangible, “cryptic” qualities of the jade objects –translucency, acoustic properties, textured surfaces– using their own background and the media they are most comfortable with. The artists will use the curiosity and knowledge in their areas of expertise to study the intrinsic qualities of the jades with the goal of producing new and contemporary artistic creations inspired by the jades’ structural, visual, mineralogical and acoustic qualities.
The individual research and resulting creations culminate in collaborative works that are presented as The Jade Project unfolds over time. The first public presentation of the project, “Step 1”, took place on 22 October 2018 at Studio Pisani, Rome, during “RAW – Rome Art Week” with a performance created by light-designer Fabrizio Crisafulli and dancer Alessandra Cristiani to sounds generated by a “Jade carillon” conceived by musicians Ivan Macera and Francesco Diodati.
The viewers experienced being enveloped by the sounds of the jades and the effects of the projected visuals. An invisible wall of light crossing the space was intercepted by a moving human body whose density and transparency was revealed as it appeared and disappeared from the depths of enigmatic darkness. An open dialogue where the sensorial qualities of the jades were expressed through the flux of visuals, movement, sound and light as they interacted and were redefined (a short video of the performance is on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/297148146).
For the Contemporary and Digital Art Fair — CADAF, New York May 2019, in collaboration with eldograte gallery, New York, the artists working at the The Jade Project have prepared special digital works related to their personal exploration of the jades. Musician Ivan Macera has created a unique sound-piece based on the acoustic qualities of the jades that he plays as an evocative instrument. Visual artist Sara Bernabucci has conceived a digital painting based on her latest explorations of the textured surfaces of the jades and her recent experimentation with laser technologies applied to different types of materials, including thin gold foils. Zhang Xihan is the author of a video that visually renders the enigmatic nature and aura of mystery of these ancient jades, partly filmed in an environment crossed by various directions of light and projections suggestively designed by Fabrizio Crisafulli. The music accompanying the video has been composed by Ivan Macera with the digitally remastered sampled sounds of the jades: the atmosphere is one that invokes sensations of a mysterious and fascinating world without ever revealing the actual artifacts and leaving the viewer tantalized and intrigued.