transfiguration of Christ ：耶穌顯容；耶穌變聖容：耶穌在世時曾在三位元宗徒面前，顯示祂天主性的榮耀，藉以彰顯其默西亞的使命（參閱瑪十七）。
Courtesy of Zhang Xiaotao
張小濤的數字動畫《薩迦》，重新演繹了西藏薩迦派寺院，這些建築曾被紅衛兵所摧毀。該作品展現中國宗教自由限度的變化。Zhang Xiaotao's digital animation "Sakya," a recreation of the Northern Temple of the Sakya Monastery in Tibet, which was razed by Mao's Red Guards. The work explores the shifting limits on religious freedom in China.
為了展現中國眾多的衝突與轉變，王春辰為此次展覽挑選了七 名藝術家的作品。童紅生的參展作品是六副小型靜物畫，內容是佛教儀式中使用的物體。而王慶松則以三份批評中國社會的攝影作品參展。在《威尼斯的海水》中， 何雲昌展示的是2013個裝着海水的瓶子，海水收集自威尼斯海岸，每個瓶子上都有數字和他的簽名。策展人王春辰說，胡曜麟的《物自體》表現了藝術家「修復 毀於城市化浪潮中的古建築」的努力。
電影人張小濤把數字動畫作品《薩迦》帶到威尼斯，這部作品 探索了宗教自由界限的變化。張小濤解釋說，在618年到907年間的唐代，「藝術與佛教融合，推動了眾多古代寺院中壁畫及雕塑的繁榮」。他說，但是在毛澤 東時代，文化大革命粉碎了經典藝術和宗教，中國社會及藝術家失去了精神港灣。
現在，張小濤希望幫助恢復佛教信仰與藝術之間的聯繫。西藏 的薩迦寺曾遭到紅衛兵的破壞。張小濤用兩年時間研究該寺的廢墟，並諮詢寺內喇嘛，用3D建模軟件重現了薩迦寺的北廟。在數字影像中，薩迦寺是一個超現實空 間，發光的金色佛像成形，又消失。藏傳佛教曼荼羅旋轉着，變成時光隧道，將虛擬的朝聖者送到新的未來，以及新的生命歷程中。
舒勇的作品也在中國館展出，關注的是改變中國的另一支強大 力量：網絡。為了描繪中國網絡上的時代思潮，舒勇用谷歌翻譯(Google Translate)把中國微博和網站上最常見的1500句話語翻譯成英文，並在宣紙上寫下了中英對照的字句。這些字句用機器翻譯成英文很奇特，例如 「Towards the Dream Forward」（向著夢想前進）及「Marching Towards Science」（向科學進軍）。
他把這些字句放進半透明的磚塊里，用這些磚塊在中國館外搭 成半毀壞狀的城牆。他將該作品稱為「古歌磚」，代表着互聯網上源源不斷地涌動的，正在重塑中國的思想及圖像的泉流。但是，「古歌磚」城牆也象徵著中國審查 者對谷歌發起的曠日持久的鬥爭。其鬥爭旨在控制人們是否能接觸到北京認為危險的電影、藝術和信息。
Special Report: The Art of Collecting
China’s Venetian Quandary: Chinese Artists
June 14, 2013
BEIJING — Officially, the Chinese Ministry of Culture supports the China Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, so it seems paradoxical that Beijing’s cyberpolice are blocking the Biennale’s Web site across China.
Every two years, the prestigious art event triggers an uneasy alliance between Beijing’s Culture Ministry and the pavilion’s independent curator, who is selected via an open competition. And artists are notoriously difficult to control.
Miao Xiaochun's "Out of Nothing: Public Enemy," an oil painting that depicts robotic figures in Garden of Eden-like surroundings.
“The government wants the prestige of exhibiting Chinese artists at Venice, but fears the demonstrations that are sometimes staged outside the China Pavilion,” said the curator of a previous China Pavilion exhibition who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. “And it is virtually impossible to find an internationally respected curator who has never criticized the government.”
The Chinese exhibition at the 55th Venice Biennale, which opened June 1 and runs through Nov. 24, has been organized by Wang Chunchen, head of curatorial research at the Central Academy of Fine Arts Museum in Beijing. Its theme, “Transfiguration,” is a religious term referring to the transformation of Christ, Mr. Wang said in an interview, and is now “the perfect term to describe China’s ongoing cultural changes.”
China is still marked by “a centralized and controlled power system,” Mr. Wang said. At the same time, “Chinese artists have become more proactive because of the transformation of China,” he wrote in the exhibition catalog. “On this level, ‘transfiguration’ becomes an action; artists attempt to make sure their art is no longer blocked out, no longer suspended.”
Including a reference to government bans on artists in the catalog “is a form of microresistance,” he said in an interview. “Chinese artists need more liberty, more freedom.”
To explore China’s myriad conflicts and transformations, Mr. Wang selected for Venice the works of seven artists. Tong Hongsheng is showing six small still-life paintings of objects used in Buddhist ceremonies, while Wang Qingsong is contributing three works in tableau photography that critique Chinese society. In “The Water of Venice,” He Yunchang presents 2,013 bottles filled with seawater collected off the Venetian coast, each with a number and his signature. Hu Yaolin’s “Thing-in-Itself” showcases the artist’s efforts “to restore ancient buildings demolished during the urbanization drive,” Wang Chunchen, the curator, said.
“I create a parallel world, a utopia, in virtual reality,” Mr. Miao said of his artworks, adding that he is so constantly immersed in Web-based worlds and virtual artworks that he sometimes feels “controlled by the machine.”
The filmmaker Zhang Xiaotao brings to Venice a digital animation titled “Sakya,” an exploration of the shifting limitations on freedom of religion. Mr. Zhang explained that during the Tang Dynasty, from 618 to 907, “there was a fusion between art and Buddhism that gave rise to great frescoes and carvings across ancient temples.” But during Mao Zedong’s reign, the Cultural Revolution crushed classical art and religion, and Chinese society and artists lost their spiritual moorings, he said.
Now, Mr. Zhang wants to help restore a link between Buddhist beliefs and art. After spending two years exploring the ruins of the Sakya Monastery in Tibet, which was razed by the Red Guards, and consulting with lamas there, Mr. Zhang used 3-D modeling software to recreate Sakya’s Northern Temple. In its digital incarnation, Sakya is a surreal space where glowing golden Buddhas take form and disappear; Tibetan mandalas spin and become time tunnels that transport virtual pilgrims to new futures and lifetimes.
The time-bending, animated promotion of Tibetan Buddhism stands in stark contrast to Beijing’s depiction of Tibetan lamaseries as fortresses of pro-independence dissent. “My utopia would be to see China in the middle of a Buddhist renaissance,” the artist said.
Shu Yong, whose works are also at the China Pavilion, focuses on another powerful force transforming China: the Internet. To depict China’s cyberzeitgeist, Mr. Shu compiled 1,500 of the most common slogans to appear on Chinese microblogs and Web sites. He painted the Chinese slogans on rice paper, along with their English equivalents, provided by Google Translate. These machine translations produced quirky slogans like “Towards the Dream Forward” and “Marching Towards Science.”
He encapsulated the writings in translucent bricks used to build a wall, partially in ruins, outside the China Pavilion. The artist calls the work “Google Bricks,” which represents the seemingly endless fount of Internet-channeled ideas and images that are remaking China. But the “Google Bricks” wall also symbolizes the protracted struggle Chinese censors waged with Google over access to films, art and information that Beijing deemed dangerous.
“Google represents free access to not just American culture, but global culture, and the Chinese government demanded the right to control that access at its borders,” Mr. Shu said. “In the end, Google had no option but to withdraw from China.”
But transfiguration in the country is not over, the artist added. “This wall will inevitably disappear, just as the Berlin Wall fell,” he predicted.
The barricades that China has erected against Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and that now also block the Venice Biennale Web site, “are the same as the censorship of contemporary art or the media,” said Cao Fei, a Chinese digital designer who exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 2007.
One Chinese artist whose works will not be shown at the China Pavilion this year is Ai Weiwei, perhaps the country’s best-known contemporary artist, in part because of his escalating confrontations with the Communist Party. Mr. Ai’s work will, however, be on display in Venice — in the German Pavilion.
In a commentary he wrote for The Guardian newspaper in September, Mr. Ai lashed out against Chinese artists who fail to embed dissent into their works. “The Chinese art world does not exist,” he charged. Creators who are apolitical, he wrote, cannot be called true artists.
Mr. Wang said that he viewed Mr. Ai’s characterizations of contemporary Chinese art as narrowly restrictive. At the same time, however, he views Mr. Ai’s participation in the Germany Pavilion in Venice as a positive “symbol of cultural globalization.” Just as Chinese artists are being transfigured by cultural globalization, he said, they are reshaping the boundaries of Chinese culture.