This event Breathe With Me was held under the old banyan tree in the yard at Nordic Contemporary Art Center in Xiamen. There were 3 sessions and nearly 700 people came for participate. Everyone enjoyed and felt meaningful that have a chance to focusing on their breath and climate matters.
Maybe take two seconds to sit down and think can inspire you and change your mind,“Maybe it can change the world. "
This is how art heals us!
By Wendy Shi, Lin Wenlan
Photos by NAC
The Breathe With Me art project kicked off recently at the Nordic Contemporary Art Center (NAC). The Danish Embassy in Beijing and the Nordic Contemporary Art Center jointly organized the event.
"The purpose of this project is to bring the world together through a simple and universal act of breathing and to remind viewers that we all have a responsibility to care for our planet," said the representative of organizer Hanna Liv Leanderdal.
Ms. Leanderdal described Breathe With Me as a global participatory art project created by Danish artist Jeppe Hein and the non-profit organization Art 2030. The project launched at the United Nations headquarters during the organization's 2019 General Assembly and Climate Summit.
The event has toured the world over the past three years, including stops in New York City and in Beijing. An estimated 93 million individuals have engaged with the project through the end of 2020, according to the report from Rayal Danish Embassy in Beijing.
"Life begins with an inhale and ends with an exhale", said artist Jeppe Hein. Breathing is a universal act connecting the lives of all of us, he added. "We all breathe and live different lives and yet each breath keeps us together, connected, sharing the same air."
Mr. Hein described his perception of art as a system of symbols that can incite and challenge communication and thinking. He described Breathe With Me as an attempt to visualize and draw attention to what is ordinarily invisible -- our breath and the relationships between people.
"Climate change is a global issue of great concern to the world today. If climate change is to be successfully controlled, everyone must contribute."
"This event has not only generated enormous publicity to climate change but also actively responded to the idea of energy conservation in international Earth Day," said Thomas ?strup M?ller, Denmark's ambassador in China. "Consequently, the project is also a good combination of art and the U.N.'s sustainable development targets for 2030." Mr. M?ller added.
Clara Ke, the NAC's executive director, noted that the event itself also incorporates the local culture at each place where it is shown.
The Xiamen version of the event includes a series of activities hosted by Rhythm Art Union. Activities include group meditation sessions led by meditation master Zhao Ming as well as voice therapy sessions led by new media designer Woodie Wu. Ms. Ke noted that these local events are a blend of Asian and Western traditions that can help participants release anxiety while coming together as one through breathing exercises.
The opening ceremony for the Breathe With Me exhibition in Xiamen included a group painting exercise during which participants used their breathing to create the blue lines that represented their breathing rhythms. The exercise involved participants painting a line with each breath they took, drawing more firmly or softly in concert with the strength of their breathing. Ms. Leanderdal said that the repeating patterns of lines symbolize the full cycle of breathing and of consciousness.