Satellite Art Club, the popular art space featured by The New York Times and Forbes, recently launched a new exhibition called Doomsday Evolution. Different from other exhibitions discussing the situation during the pandemic period, Doomsday Evolution provides audiences with an opposite perspective about 2020. Tong Wang, the multidisciplinary artist and curator of Doomsday Evolution, tells us what inspired eleven artists to participate in this exhibition.
Why do you want to launch Doomsday Evolution? And why do you choose to call it ‘evolution’ instead of other words?
COVID-19 has been washing out the world. People around me were worried about their jobs, safety and future lives. When the entire New York City shut down, it really made me feel like we were living in doomsday. My parents, who live in China, tried to force me to go back to my hometown. They called me every day and were afraid of the dangerous virus and violent conflicts in this city. However, as the one with an optimistic mind, I always told myself that doomsday would pass away. I believe even though the disease is bad, the hope is alive. I feel the end of COVID-19 is coming and it is the rebirth of the world. It is the end, but also the beginning as well. Therefore, we came up with Doomsday Evolution as our thesis.
Your work A Liberated Inorganic Life Form is popular with the audience. What do you want to present in this work？
People are experiencing the convenience of the internet and other digital tools. However, sometimes I feel we are restricted with overwhelming information. There is too much information there and we perform as robots to filter useless information. The advantages of the internet are the original of the crisis. In fact, the doll represents youth in reality. They are hard to recognize what kinds of information are good for them. They are like the doll be bonded on the internet and don’t know how to break out of the dangerous environment. I want to encourage people to pay more attention to internet exposure to children.
You said you like Junji Ito’s work. Why do you like him and what do you learn from him?
Junji Ito is a very talented artist and cartoonist. His imagination and the ability to tell stories are excellent. His works are short but demonstrate the thesis very well. By exploring his work, I try to learn how to present my work in an easier but memorable way as he does.
What’s the most difficult for you to curate Doomsday Evolution? You invited more than ten artists to participate in the exhibition. They are all from different countries. It was very hard to invite people during the COVID-19. How did you do that?
Yes, it was hard. Some artists live in Europe and were concerned about how to move their installations to New York because the worldwide logistics were dramatically affected by COVID-19. It was difficult to coordinate artists from all over the world but it was a valuable experience for me to learn more about being a professional artist and curator.