Calls and Competitions

MATERIAL THINKING – 1a Biennale Internazionale d’Arte Materiale Contemporanea

Italiano (Italian)

01.06. – 01.10.2022, Beijing, China

Entries accepted from June 2021 until the end of 2021.
Established and emerging artists representing all art mediums are invited to submit photos of their works with their focus being on the materials used to create the art piece. The exhibit will be presented online initially, and later, selected art pieces will be exhibited in art galleries and museums throughout China, as well as several other galleries in Europe and America.
The idea of ‘Material Art’ is related not only to the general contemporary art term ‘New Materialism’, but also refers to all artwork where ‘matter’ is the primary vehicle of philosophical, political, social, environmental, emotional, and aesthetic expression. To quote one of the professors at Tsinghua University: “Physical form is one of the most important carriers of art, and also the carrier of ideas.”
The brand new concept for the “Material Thinking” exhibit was developed on the occasion of the International Biennial of Art, organized by the Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University. We wanted to showcase innovative works based on the uniqueness and originality of materials used. All works accepted to the exhibit will be inspired not only by an idea or theme, but by the diversity of the material from which they were made. Our primary intention of this exhibit is to re-emphasize the power of ‘matter’ in art – the power of the material being used! Some works may reject constructed forms altogether, and they may reverse or cloud the conventional relationship between medium and representation. In either case, the material (and related technology) becomes the message.
 Art created only as concepts and/or presented in digital form only will not be included in the exhibit.
 All interested artists should ask themselves the following questions:
  •   Is the use of varied materials important and necessary for creating your artwork?
  •   Are you using interesting, unusual, new or found materials, or synthetic fibers, clay, metal, wood, or changing light to create your art?
  •   Do you consider yourself a contemporary artist?
  •   Would you like to show your work in prestigious museums and art galleries all over the world?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, please reply to our invitation! There is no application fee if you would like to submit your work. We welcome all artists, both established and emerging, for whom the “Material” is an important part of their artistic message. Please read the following short description of the new philosophical movement, which is the guidance for our exhibit:
Each generation paves its own path to understanding the world. Our exhibit investigates and visually addresses the re-emergence of the 20th century philosophy of New Materialism. We want to rethink our understanding of matter, materiality, bioethics, social science, technology, infrastructure, and other diverse subjects that are important for each new generation. Vast recent changes in the environment, population, geography, and economy have provoked artists and philosophers to investigate our modern world and society. We are delighted that a philosophical movement, which arose a few decades ago, represents what is happening in our world now. A wave of New Materialism has re-emerged and allows us to emphasize the role of material factors in shaping society and expressing human vision. New Materialism examines our inert understanding of matter, and gives it a dynamic, sporadic, and spiritual side. New Materialism investigates the impact of matter shaping our lives and relationships with ourselves and others. Contemporary “material art” supports this philosophical movement. With human beings immersed in the internet age, it is all-the-more important to explore our use of physical materials and matter itself, lest we disappear entirely into a digital world!
The fundamental concept (and title) of the exhibition is “Material Thinking”. We are studying the subjectivity and initiative of artists in their choosing of various materials to create modern art. We are also introducing qualitative research into the exploration of contemporary material art. Our primary intention in creating this academic platform is to concentrate on the materials used, to emphasize the power of material, and to envision the transformation of any given material; we can thus unfold different dimensions of history, life, and society associated with any given material.
Through the “Material Thinking” exhibit, we hope to discover new horizons in contemporary art, and to create a strong network with artists and scholars worldwide, connected by the aspiration and love for material art.

Submission Information

The exhibition adopts the curator invitation and artist registration systems and rules. National and international artists who wish to submit works for consideration should follow these requirements:
① Two pictures of the work (an overall picture and a detailed picture, both not less than 300dpi)
② Information about the work (title; size; material; technique; creation year; a statement of the work, no less than 300 words.)
③ The artist’s resume (name, age, institution, position, exhibitions, awards, etc., and a head shot)
All required files should be sent to the registrar’s email: (for Chinese artists) (for international artists)
The registration deadline for the 1st International Contemporary Material Art Biennale is December 31, 2021. The selected works will be presented at both online/virtual and offline/face-to-face exhibitions of the Biennale in October, 2022.
Download application form HERE