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Long March Space
4 Jiuxianqiao Lu, Chaoyang District,
Beijing, Mail Box 8503,
Beijing, P.R. China 100015   map * 
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Before the Beginning and After the End
by Long March Space
Location: Long March Space
Artist(s): ZHOU Xiaohu, Chieh-Jen CHEN, WANG Jianwei, HUANG Ran, HU Xiangqian, WANG Sishun
Date: 2 Sep - 2 Nov 2014

“In my beginning is my end… In my end is my beginning.” T. S. Eliot composed East Coker (1940), the second poem of his renowned Four Quartets (San Diego: Harcourt, 1943), when he was 52 years old. East Coker was the village where Eliot’s ancestors had lived in England before they migrated to the New World. The poem begins with “in my beginning is my end” and ends with “in my end is my beginning”. The concepts of “begin” and “end” have been deconstructed and interlaced, namely the beginning is the end and vice versa, thereby beginning no longer comes before ending, nor does ending comes after beginning. The beginning and the end delimit the reality of universe, which agrees with Stephen Hawking’s remark in A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988) “As we shall see, the concept of time has no meaning before the beginning of the universe”. The birth and the death defines the reality of a man/woman, or at least his/her lifetime. Albeit the measurement of time has gone through the evolution of human civilisation over millennia and is now standardised, gauged by second, minute, hour, day, week, month and year, “time” as a concept is abstract still. The interpretation of “time” of an individual may proceed from personal aspects as well as could be influenced by factors such as culture, economy, politics, religion, history, etc.

“Before the Beginning and After the End” at Long March Space exhibits a carefully picked selection of a dozen works by seven artists. Some of the works directly touch upon the concept of “time” while the others, viewed under the subject of “time”, invite new imagination and interpretation on the works.

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