QM Project is a long-term research-oriented program initiated by Qiumeng Fu and Xinran Guo in 2018. We focus specifically on contemporary artworks rooted in ancient Chinese aesthetics. By the word ancient, we mean the periods in Chinese history that saw great advancements in visual arts, music, literature, technology, and philosophy. Depending on areas of interest, some associate it with the Song and Yuan Dynasties (960–1279; 1279–1368), and others trace it back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC–220 AD). These high points engendered modes of thought and expression that exert profound influence on the arts, philosophy and etiquette of East Asia.
In the past hundred years, China has been greatly transformed by waves of revolution, industrialization, and modernization, yet a vital part of Chinese culture deeply rooted in its ancient past remains unchanged. This part is by no means out of step with the present, for resistance to change is also a conscientious way of responding to change. Without diving into the ancient roots of Chinese culture, it is impossible to gain a full understanding of contemporary China. Traditional art and aesthetics, whose potential has long been undervalued in the process of modernization, is going to be an integral, even essential, part of the future world.
We position QM Project at the intersection of traditional Chinese aesthetics and contemporary art. This entails bringing the concepts and practice of traditional Chinese aesthetics into the realm of contemporary art, as well as integrating the scholarship of contemporary art in the interpretation of artworks of the traditional lineage. To realize our vision, QM Project is based both in China and the US. It mainly includes exhibitions, talks, research, and publishing activities we organize in Beijing and New York. By retracing the past, QM Project is aimed at envisioning the future, as the past and the future can never be separated.