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Personal Structures TEXT



I name this work, “2011, I exhibit myself in a western exhibition”: in the exhibition PERSONAL STRUCTURES, as part of the 54th Biennale di Venezia 2011, I exhibit myself. In the scene, I’m locked in a small, empty room, behind iron “prison” bars. I’m only wearing tailored trousers, being half naked to the waist; my tailored shirt and coat are tidy hung on the wall. Every day from 10 am to 7 pm (opening hours of the exhibition at Palazzo Bembo), I stay here, doing nothing. People are free to look at me, a Chinese artist, a Chinese. At 7 pm, I put on my tailored shirt and coat and leave my room. People are still free to look at me, I’m still the artwork itself. The next morning, at 10 am, I’ll enter the room again. This action will span 30 days.

This is a work of simplicity, as what I do is simply to exhibit myself. However, it is saturated with my current thought about ‘living space’ and my own existence today.

Flourishing and prosperous China is today. Considering the past century, hardly anyone could resist the urge of going with the favorable wind of the current economy. With the continuing Reformation and Opening Policy, the world economy battles to gradually take a place in this nation, China, which for decades had applied planned economy policy. The ups and downs of the stock market and real estate constantly feed people’s appetite for money, while the accelerating inflation triggers their discussions and participation on “economics”! (Hereby, I don’t mean to question the rightness of reformation and opening, with which I actually agree, our Chinese society, ideology, etc. will therefore become more humanistic.)

As you can imagine: when even the chitchat on every family’s dinner table—I mean EVERY family—were occupied with investment, rewards, and benefits, where could we still make our serenity? The schools? Of course not! In these times, professors deservedly cast their green eye to the colleagues oversees.

As a “human”, I cannot agree that only this is the value of my life! Knowing this, makes me feel depressed! Therefore, I chose my life, chose to be an artist! I fight, fight with the unseen. I’m perplexed, by my family, my lovers, and my friends!

As an artist, I constantly feel lost and I feel I am facing horror! I’m lost, in the Chinese contemporary art world, which only seems to be dealing with the total, instead of treasuring any individuals to light the world. I believe: I am human. In my eyes, the flourishing of contemporary art is nothing more than a mixture between the curiosity of the Westerners and the speculations of the New Rich in the East!

In this society where humanity encounters economics, in these times when speculation invades, I force to engage myself with the Allies: “The fact is, that since the moment that I was born, I only wish to fight my way through the noise; thus to become free and easy, until my whole life will be over, will be lit!”