Care Pavilion at London Design Biennale 2023
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June 1–25, 2023
Director Song Tao will oversee the Care Pavilion at the London Design Biennale, and curator Naiyi Wang will be assisted by Academic Advisor Dr. Jana Scholze and Exhibition Manager Siwei Li. From June 1–25, 2023, the Pavilion will be open to the public at Somerset House after being transformed by the team into a private setting where nurturing can take place.
Care is ubiquitous, yet it is in a state of extreme crisis. Since the global pandemic entered its “state of exception” in 2020, the word “CARE” has acquired a highly severe meaning. We can observe how concerns about “caring for,” “caring about,” and “caring with” manifest themselves in a variety of contexts. Although there has been “a discursive explosion of concern,” we have hardly put it into action. In order to respond to these perennial yet urgent issues of care, we must consider care in all of its complexities and consider it for both humans and nonhumans.
The Pavilion’s “Care” subject provides a rich environment for thoughtfully examining it from a variety of forms, dimensions, and perspectives. “We will invite interdisciplinary designers, activists, scholars, healers and cultural practitioners from around the globe to respond to “CARE,” using the Biennale as a testing ground to re-imagine the politics and ethics of care. Newly commissioned works will be displayed at the Biennale, while a publication, a documentary, and a series of gatherings will be held in conjunction with the exhibition, all of which are ways to practice alternative forms of collective caring” states the curatorial team.
Song Tao is a curator of modern and contemporary art, architecture, and design. He established the TAO Gallery and Yuan Museum. Over the past 20 years, he has held a number of curatorial positions and organized exhibitions at various design festivals and design weeks, including Tianjin International Design Week, Beijing International Design Week, Triennale di Milano, Design Shanghai Xintiandi Design Festival, DongGuan Re-locate Design Festival, Guangzhou CIFF Design Spring, etc. In addition to Shanghai Art Museum, Toronto Art Museum, and China Cultural Center in Paris and Berlin, his work has also been shown in other countries.
A curator of design, Jana Scholze. She is the program director for the MA in Curating Contemporary Design, an initiative of the Design Museum, at the Kingston School of Art in London. Her articles and transdisciplinary research address issues with modern design practice that interact with society, technology, and the environment. She is currently a Fellow at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where she formerly served as Curator of Contemporary and Modern Furniture and Product Design (2015). In addition to co-curating a domesticity-focused show for the XII International Design Biennial Saint-Etienne in 2021, she is one of the founders of The Design Film Festival (2020).
Naiyi Wang is a curator, currently lecturing in Design Criticism & Curatorial Studies at d-School of Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA). She was appointed chief curator of Beijing Art and Technology Biennale (BATB) titled Synthetic Ecology (2022). She initiated Climate Care (2020–ongoing), an initiative dedicated to exploring the convergence of art, technology and climate change, while seeking to evoke action on the climate crisis in all its facets. She has co-curated Material Tales: The Life of Things (in collaboration with Design Museum London) in 2021. Previously, she has curated/co-curated exhibitions and projects at 4th Istanbul Design Biennial, CAFA Art Museum, Today Art Museum, London Design Festival, Milan Design Week, Stanley Picker Gallery (London), Flux Factory (New York), among many others.
Siwei Li started 14ST Design Studio, a group of engineers, scientists, and suppliers working together on micro-to-macro practical and creative concepts. She is a designer, entrepreneur, brand strategy consultant, and sustainable investor. Eight years ago, she launched MOOVI TECH (2016), an energy-conscious mobility company that creates lightweight, ultra-portable equipment for urban commuting and leisure, and ORGANY (2019), a brand that emphasizes sustainability and uses high-quality bioplastics to produce contemporary homeware and accessories. Her socially responsible goods and methods explore alternate designs for sustainable futures.
The curatorial team aims to emphasize the necessity of curatorial support (infrastructure) to ensure that caring (whether for, about, or with) can really flourish. “We deploy ‘curating’—from the Latin word curare, meaning ‘to care’ and ‘to cure’—as a tool to radically expand and collectively reflect on the notion of care,” explain curators Song Tao and Naiyi Wang. “The Care Pavilion plays a special role by making multiple forms of care visible, serving as a practice of collective caring and curing that is accessible to everyone.”
The Care Pavilion takes the form of the Care manifesto, Care publication, Care documentary, Collective-care initiatives, and Care-full practices, in which care—in all of its complexity—will be re-imagined and re-collectivized from an intersectional perspective.
Soon, the Care Pavilion at the London Design Biennale will release its participation roster and full schedule. For further information on curatorial themes and media inquiries, please contact Naiyi Wang at [email protected].
London Design Biennale 2023
Director: Song Tao
Academic Advisor: Dr. Jana Scholze
Curator: Naiyi Wang
Ecological Collaborator: MOOVI
Special Support: Beying Tech Inc.
London WC2R 1LA