UCCA Center for Contemporary Art & Aranya
UCCA尤伦斯当代艺术中心 & Aranya
About this weather station
COULD ATLAS - XIAOXIAO ZHAO
If we imagine a cumulonimbus cloud as a micro-lifeform, we can observe how it goes through the transient life cycle of birth, growth, and death within the span of ten minutes. Fleeting and ever-changing, clouds have been presenting infinite variations in shape and form above us for over four billion years.
The ancients were known to have recorded the constantly shifting state of clouds in pictorial indices (yuntu) both to forecast the weather and perform divination. Drawing on these natural phenomena, Xiaoxiao Zhao has created the installation Cloud Atlas by integrating weather data from the city of Qinhuangdao with seven locations in the surrounding area.
The observation and recording of cloud activities is not only inseparable from meteorological science, but also distinctly reflects the ecosystem. Adjacent to the Bohai Sea to the south and to the Yan Mountains to the north, Qinhuangdao has a temperate monsoon climate with four distinctive seasons. It is embedded in a mountainous area, hugged by the curving coastlines of Beidaihe with a view of the sea unique to Northern China. However, as cities proliferate and expand, the issue of air pollution, haze and dust becomes increasingly critical. Cloud Atlas depicts the local weather of Qinhuangdao and reflects on the complex power dynamics between ecology and urban development.
Appearing to capture a section of floating cloud from the Aranya Gold Coast, Cloud Atlas allows the viewer a moment of reflection and contemplation as it shifts and drifts. Perhaps we may catch a glimpse of the wispy, ink-like motion of clouds as they are being blown away in Shi Tao’s painting, the incessantly rolling clouds in Shelley’s poems, and the novel Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell that travels across the time. In this semi-translucent artificial cloud, atmospheric phenomenon and artificial intelligence, communication technology and divination, cyborg vocabulary and spiritual meditation are able to overlap and coexist.
Commissioned and produced by UCCA Center for Contemporary Art and Aranya, specially presented by theTANG.
UCCA Center for Contemporary Art is China’s leading contemporary art institution. Committed to the belief that art can deepen lives and transcend boundaries, UCCA presents a wide range of exhibitions, public programs, and research initiatives to a public of more than one million visitors each year across three locations. UCCA Beijing sits at the heart of the 798 Art District, occupying 10,000 square meters of factory chambers built in 1957 and regenerated in 2019 by OMA. UCCA Dune, designed by Open Architecture, lies beneath the sand in the seaside enclave of Aranya in Beidaihe. UCCA Edge, designed by New York-based architecture firm SO – IL, opened in Shanghai in May 2021.
Aranya is an innovative, future-oriented lifestyle brand established in 2013. Located on Qinhuangdao’s Gold Coast, Aranya is designed to explore the possibilities of a more beautiful Chinese life. Aranya took its name from a Sanskrit word meaning "a serene location, far from human bustle,” where we may rediscover our true selves. Surrounded by its natural landscape and profound cultural heritage, with deep ties to its community and commitment to its spiritual values, Aranya has launched a series of community practices based on its brand mission that “life can be more beautiful.”
theTANG is a series of hotel that focuses on multidimensional vacation space that inspires the search for our inner selves, with the core mission to provide high-quality and unique vacation experiences and to foster a spiritual atmosphere within its spaces. Architect Shuhei Aoyama was commissioned to create an enclosed hotel complex featuring a layered spatial design that encourages a sense of community and interpersonal engagement, utilizing architectural language to create a dynamic scene for social life and ever more possibilities for leisure lifestyles.
ABOUT UCCA尤伦斯当代艺术中心 & Aranya & theTANG
UCCA尤伦斯当代艺术中心是中国领先的当代艺术机构。UCCA秉持“持续让好艺术影响更多人”的新理念，每年为超过百万的观众带来丰富的艺术展览、公共项目和研究计划。UCCA目前拥有三座场馆：UCCA北京主馆位于798艺术区的核心地带，占地约一万平方米，其原址为建于1957年、历史悠久的厂房，于2019年完成由荷兰大都会建筑事务所（OMA）主持设计的场馆改造；UCCA沙丘美术馆由OPEN建筑事务所设计，坐落于北戴河渤海海岸的阿那亚社区内；UCCA Edge由纽约SO – IL建筑事务所设计，于2021年5月在上海对公众开放。
阿那亚是一个生活方式品牌，在自然资源丰富、人文积淀深厚的黄金海岸，营造一个面向未来的先锋性社区，探寻中国人的美好人生何以可能。阿那亚（aranya）一词，来自梵语阿兰若，意指“人间寂静处”，找回本我的地方。地处秦皇岛黄金海岸的海边社区阿那亚，成立于 2013 年，是一个有着优美自然环境和人文空间、深厚情感价值和高度精神内涵的生活方式品牌。阿那亚提出了“人生可以更美”的品牌号召，并开展了一系列有关“美好生活”的社区实践。