Into Mountains : Wear your mirror
In a world where our climate is changing in ways we have not even realized yet, Bienvenue Studios – formed by Xiaoqun Wu and Oliver Hischier – proposes a reflection through text and image on the changing relationship between humans and nature. Winners of the 2021 MBAL Emerging Artist Award for the Triennial of Contemporary Printed Art, Bienvenue Studios presents an original installation created for the MBAL from their second artist’s book entitled Into Mountains. Unanimously chosen by a jury of specialists, this duo of young Swiss artists focuses on the rituals practiced by humans before venturing into the mountains during the Chinese Jin Dynasty (265 – 419 EC). As an expression of respect and humility towards nature, the need to protect oneself with amulets, mirrors and other rituals shows an attitude that seems to have disappeared today. Indeed, once feared and threatening, the mountain is now considered as a simple resource that can be exploited and whose practice has become widely popular.
With Into Mountains : Wear Your Mirror, Bienvenue Studios encourages us to revisit our relationship with nature and stimulates the quest for balance withthe world around us. Indeed, this installation mixes images of mountains, animals and protective signs, but also representations of dangerous creatures whose reflection is revealed by a mirror. Indeed, where as 1600 years ago, the human being feared the demons residing in nature, today it is the demon. Underlining at the same time the formidable power and the beauty of nature, Bienvenue Studios installation participates in its own way to an individual and collective awareness, to the necessity to relearn to live in harmony with nature, to appreciate it and to protect it, before it is too late. Freelance graphic designers, Xiaoqun Wu (China, 1990) and Oliver Hischier (Switzerland, 1987) graduated in graphic design at F+F, the Zurich School of Art and Design, before completing a master’s degree in design at the Bern University of the Arts in 2019. Under the name Bien-venue Studios, this young Zurich-based duo has been exploring nature’s phenomena for several years, materializing their research primarily through risography prints. Nominated for several awards, such as the Swiss Print Award and the Tokyo TDC Annual Award in 2021, their work has also been exhibited in Europe, North America and Asia.