Consultation and Joint Contribution for Shared Benefits - The Fifth Art and Science International Exhibition and Symposium Held

On the morning of November 2, the Fifth Art and Science International Exhibition and Symposium kicked off at the National Museum of China, drawing a full house of participants, including artists, scientists, scholars, college students, teachers and journalists.  

This year's symposium was co-organized by Tsinghua University and the National Museum of China, and jointly undertaken by the former's Academy of Arts & Design and Art & Science Research Center. Themed on “AS-Helix: The Integration of Art and Science in the Age of Artificial Intelligence,” the symposium held four sessions on November 2 and 3, inviting dialogues and provoking thoughts on human cognition, changes to the mode of production, future education, artistic paradigm, design innovation and sustainable development. Attendees discussed how to deeply integrate arts and science in the age of artificial intelligence in an innovative, collaborative way, so as to realize sustainable development through consultation and joint contribution and for shared benefits.    

The moderator Ma Sai, Party Secretary of the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University, introduced the background of the event: the Art and Science International Exhibition and Symposium, seeing its fifth edition this year, was co-initiated by the Nobel Prize winner and famous physicist Tsung-Dao Lee and Wu Guanzhong, a great artist and professor of Tsinghua University, to pay respect to masters in various fields. 

[What impact will the integration of art and science have on our life?]   

Lu Xiaobo, Dean of the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University and Vice Chairman of the China Artists Association, delivered the first keynote speech entitled “The Integration of Art and Science Empowers Future Innovation.” He said that in today’s fast-changing society, as science and technology keep advancing and new ideas emerging, art becomes more diverse but the original common artistic paradigm - the pursuit of beauty and the adherence to internal force - seems lost. The humanistic value becomes especially important in our quest for a new direction for art and design are driving innovation with the scientific spirit and humanistic values.

Anne Collins Goodyear, Co-Director of Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Chair of Committee on Intellectual Property, College Art Association and President of Emerita College Art Association, reviewed the collaborative exploration by artists and scientists and the interaction of technology and art since the 1950s. 

Zhang Bo, Dean of Institute of Artificial Intelligence, Tsinghua University and fellow of Chinese Academy of Sciences, showed us the fruitful application of AI in literary and artistic creation, such as couplet and poetry writing, painting and composing, revealing the broad space for computers in the world of literature and art.

David Hanson, the Founder, Chairman, Chief Creative Officer of Hanson Robotics, demonstrated verbal interaction with the robot Sofia, introduced the latest findings in robot research, and pointed out the significance of humanization of AI.

Paul Priestman, co-founder and Chairman of Global Design Consultancy PriestmanGoode, in his lecture “The Role of Design in Building a Sustainable Future,” pointed out that design can help us tackle global problems such as pollution, aging population and traffic congestion, and showed the audience the beauty of design.

The founder of HG Contemporary Philippe Hoerle-Guggenheim talked about blockchain, a trendy topic of the times. He noted that the blockchain technology would make collectors safer and give them partial ownership of some major artwork. 

In the second session in the afternoon, Cheng Jing, member of China Engineering Academy, professor of Tsinghua University School of Medicine and Director of Biochip Beijing National Engineering Research Center, gave a lecture entitled “Art, Science and Healthcare Solutions,” and explained the role of design in emotional regulation and rehabilitation with vivid examples.

Dean of Intel Labs China Song Jiqiang called attention to the role of computational intelligence in expanding the art world, which, he suggested, could extend the boundary of time and space, marry the virtual and the reality and enable cross-sectoral innovations.

Gerhard Ludger Pfanz, professor of Karlsruhe University of Art and Design and founder of BEYOND Festival, explored the characteristics, limitations and applications of artificial intelligence in the keynote speech “Artificial and Artificial Intelligence.” In his view, AI is more like a muse offering us a variety of options, a tool to stimulate human inspiration.  

Naren Barfield, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Royal College of Art, and Council member of Research England, based on history review and case study, presented the audience how art, design and technology integrate and collaborate with each other to address social problems in the age of AI. 

Yoichiro Kawaguchi, emeritus professor of the University of Tokyo and CG artist, showed the integration of Nature, science and art with vivid examples in his lecture “Universe, Life and Intelligence.” Art, he argued, should not stop, but should become more and more powerful through evolution and heredity.

After the keynote speeches, the guests visited the Art and Science International Exhibition which displayed over 120 exhibits contributed by nearly 200 artists from more than 20 countries and regions, all conveying the message of the integration of art and science.

All the shortlisted artworks were evaluated by the jury of 17 famous artists, scientists and scholars from the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Japan, Germany, Austria and China. Nine winning artworks were selected through secret ballot and announced on the morning of November 3.

Editor: Ruohan Zhao