Venice is at the heart of the exhibit, framed as the hub of migration that it is and always has been. Who better to offer their perspective on this than non-Italian artist, Navin? Intertwining legends such as Marco Polo with their legacies and a library of references, Navin’s THE DESCRIPTION OF THE WORLD crosses national, temporal and cultural barriers to offer a unique perspective on the migrant experience. The giant billboard is undeniably beautiful, but there is more to this site-specific installation than first meets the eye.
A closer inspection reveals a heartwarming letter Navin wrote to Marco Polo, comparing their travels between East and West some 700 years apart. The multilayer installation is nothing short of a feast for the senses, with a part you can see, a part you can hear and a part you can read. True to Swatch tradition, as the artist presented at Giardini, Navin will also create a Swatch Art Special, set to be released later in 2022 at the Biennale Arte.
From Shanghai to Venice: Since 2011, more than 450 artists-in-residence from 54 countries have called the Swatch Art Peace Hotel home for up to six months. Artists from diverse disciplines are invited to apply to participate in this creative exchange in a landmark Shanghai building. Swatch Faces 2022 features selected artists from this residency of the last three years. The Brazilian-Swiss Marcelot masters a variety of mediums to bring the intention behind his artwork to life. He is often inspired by contrasts and challenges, which can be seen in his works NAPOLEON BONAPARTE and THE LION OF VENICE.
These works make provocative statements about Venice, where the city’s legendary Lion of Saint Mark confronts the legacy of Napoleon. This sculpture, which has been especially created for this exhibition, is made from newspapers of Venice and refined Venetian fabrics selected from the Rubelli collection. Korean artist Hoyoon Shin creates three-dimensional works using contrasting materials like paper or a thin iron plate.
Chinese artist Xue Fei is a visual artist who explores ancient Chinese myths using unusual painting materials to create unique textures, while Chinese artist Tang Shu depicts natural objects using direct, stacked brush strokes that liberate his paintings from two dimensions. Chinese artist Landi creates colorful collages that reignite our childlike sense of wonder and innocence.