「禮物」在人類的生活中扮演著特別的功能。不同於一般功能性的需求，禮物總是蘊含著連結彼此(給予者與接收者)的性質，縱使這些被稱為禮物的物件跟一般物件無異。而這種相互交融的關係，在早期的人類生活中亦扮演其社會性的功能，也就是說不限於個人，更多時候是群體之間的一種責任與義務或者說是一種不明自說的契約關係，也蘊含著某種道德與倫理的價值(接受者有回禮的義務與責任)，這點在人類學家馬賽爾．牟斯（Marcel Mauss）的著名著作: （The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies） 《論禮物——傳統社會的交換形式及其功能》裡有深刻的闡述與並且追溯了原始社會中所扮演的角色，這種交流活動，脫離了早期人類社會的以物易物的功能性，而賦予了物件更多人類心理活動的色彩。
Theme of the Year
Nature, a Gift
"Gifts" play a special role in the lives of mankind. Unlike general functional needs, gifts always contain a nature of connection between the giver and the receiver, even if these objects called "gifts" are no different from general objects. This mutual relationship played a social function in early human life, meaning that it was not limited to individuals, but more often a responsibility and obligation between groups, or a kind of unspoken contractual relationship, also implying a certain moral and ethical value (the receiver has the duty and responsibility to give back). This is deeply expounded in the famous work of Marcel Mauss, the anthropologist: "The Gift: Forms and Functions of Exchange in Archaic Societies", which traces the role gifts played in primitive societies. This kind of exchange activity, detached from the functional aspect of bartering in early human society, gave objects more of a human psychological color.
We always have countless reasons to give gifts to others (whether it's out of gratitude, admiration, or other motives). These objects always carry the intention (motivation) of the giver. In short, gifts contain the awareness and feelings of both the giver and the receiver, which create a connection between both sides. As a special object, gifts carry a certain spiritual significance due to this relationship they embody.
Viewing nature as a gift means perceiving nature as something that is given to us. This perspective reflects how we think about our relationship with nature and how we can establish a connection through this relationship. With the advancement of civilization and technology, the idea of viewing nature as a resource to be controlled and managed is a commonly held ideology, with an attitude that is often utilitarian and instrumental. However, this attitude has gradually become controversial, with the emergence of various environmental issues such as global warming, climate change, and biodiversity, being wrapped up in the concept of Anthropocene. We are gradually realizing that nature is an organic system that operates as a whole (such as the Gaia hypothesis), which reminds us to rethink our relationship with nature. However, is there a more proactive attitude we can adopt towards our relationship with nature?
If the theme of the previous exhibition, " Healing, A Methodology," helped us discover the spiritual connections and functions of nature, this year's curation, "Nature, A Gift," represents an opener attitude towards exploring these relationships. By placing artistic creation within the framework of gift-giving, we aim to foster a kind and profound connection with nature, just as what we do with the act of giving gifts.