一叶障目 Yi Ye Zhang Mu
media: photography installation
The title of the work is Yi Ye Zhang Mu. It is a Chinese idiom. The literal meaning is covering someone’s eyesight with a leaf. It’s a way of not seeing others, as well as not being seen by others. This idiom is for criticizing self-righteous ideas.
In my photography, the person hiding their head in a tree blurred their identity. Creatures tend to be camouflaged in the surroundings to stay safe. The predators camouflage themselves to catch prey. vice versa, the preys disguise themselves to not get caught by their predators. What if I camouflage myself in society? Camouflaging is a way to lose my sense of boundaries so that I lost the sense between what I am and what I'm not so that my way of integrating myself into the landscape of a cityscape is to disappear. I thought I successfully camouflaged in society. However, the eye-catching white shirt had me realize that I’m not.
No Food, No Honey
media: stocking, rice
For watch the performance part of No Food, No Honey, please click here.
The interpretation of the series – sex objects can be addressed from three perspectives – politics, feminism and religion.
Firstly, through the window of politics. As a Chinese, during my overseas experience, I noticed ideological contrasts among people from different cultural backgrounds. China, in comparison to Europe, is far more traditional and close-minded when it comes to sex and certain political views. In my work, the reason why I made a connection between food and sex is the special bond I have with rice - the staple food of the Chinese. Especially from the experience of living in European countries, rice is the most important food in my daily diet.
Interestingly, the Chinese cannot talk about sex openly in China. However, China has the largest population (1.4 billion) in the world. In this case, I suspect that there are millions of sexual activities happening in China every day, just like we eat rice every day, which fulfils one of the basic human needs to eat.
My artwork contains black humor. Except for the comedic visual effect, the installation conveys a critical idea – ‘No food, no honey’, as a metaphor of sex.
In terms of feminism, my idea is to address the objectification of women. The visual effect of the sex objects is also a metaphor of the objectification of women. Most of the time, women see themselves through the eyes and aesthetic judgment of men, such as charming, tender and sexy, so that women don't know how to see themselves through their own aesthetics.Tights and rice are two crucial materials in my artwork. Tights are one of the women's lingerie, and they are associated with ‘sexy’ to some extent. I use tights instead of using skirts, cosmetics, and other iconic feminine objects to represent women. As a Chinese, rice is the staple food for me, so I connected food to sex as a metaphor addressing the universality of sex. It is also an objectification of women's breasts in Chinese buns.
Childbearing has been taken for granted by women since ancient time. For example, in the Bible story - The garden of Eden describes when God heard that Adam and Eve had eaten the 'forbidden fruit', as punishment, God gave Eve the pain of childbirth and drove her into the human world. In the story, childbirth has been a woman’s responsibility since ancient times. How should females view themselves? Could they gid rid of males' gaze?
Last but not least, from the perspective of religion – Christianity. My work also questions the relationship between sex and Christianity. The idea of the work derived from my living period of Poland, which is a predominantly Christian country. The reason why I exhibit the work in the church is because I wanted to question whether the governor should govern the country by the rules of religion. From the perspective of Christianity, Christians cannot have sex before getting married. However, I install the sex objects in the church is provocative. Some radicalists may feel interested in by the installation of sex objects within a church. However, old believers would feel it is a blasphemy of the God.
So, how do we interpret sex from different situations?
Lady In The Toilet
media: stocking, rice
What Do I Want To Say To You
What Do I Want To Say To You, is a video, installation & performance series. It expresses the cultural and political differences between Weining’s home country, China, and the UK, such as strike, Chinese vaccine and asymmetric news, etc. The work contains both active and passive traits from the video to the installation. The video leads the audience to interpret what she wants to express. On the other hand, the installation allows the audience to find points of interest in fragmented information and data. The audience takes on a detective role as they have the freedom to explore.
Upon Weining arrival in the UK, she began to collect her personal data of living on this island. A critical topic she addresses in her work is the Chinese vaccine. Although she took the Chinese vaccine, it wasn’t accepted in the West until April this year. What caused this situation? Some say the Chinese vaccine has not gone through phase III clinical trials; some say this is a political game between China and the West.
There is a lot of negative news on China in the West. For a specific topic, the positions of the global social media and China mainland media are completely different. Some of her Western peers think that Chinese citizens are struggling living in China, and they cannot understand some policies announced by the Communist Party. Sometimes she feels overwhelmed by the opposite political stance. Even though she is absent from her home country.
She feels that art is a remedy for her wound. She places her narratives in her work, but not excessively. There is some space left for viewers to speculate and gain an understanding by themselves. She does not require her work to be fully understood. As long as the artwork is in a gallery, the importance of her ideas diminishes to an extent. What is important is that the emotion of her work encourages the audience to perceive it as they wish according to their personal experience.
Because all the data and information are the latest at the time of creation, but information and policies change over time. One of her topics was regarding the Chinese vaccine not being accepted in the West. As she planned to make progress in her work, the border crossing policies suddenly changed. Western countries started to accept the CINOVAC and Sinopharm vaccine. At that moment, she felt confused. Did she need to move on with this topic or not at that moment? But this is life. This is reality. This is what happens in her daily life. Weining then noticed that even though the CINOVAC and Sinopharm vaccines have been accepted by most European countries, she still doesn’t have an EU vaccine QR code. The problem still remains. Finally, she got a Moderna booster to comply with the regulation. When she was trying to record her experience of the Chinese vaccine, the situation was constantly changing over time was quite interesting for her.
So, what about the life of tomorrow? Every day is a drama in a loop.
Awareness Before Death
media: photography installation: resin, black soil
The brain is tangible, while awareness is intangible. Human has not the right to choose his own fate from his birth. Individual cannot get rid of the control by the crowd in history. Death is inevitable for each individual. What is the consciousness in the brain before death? However, people alive cannot know this. Artists interview some dying people and record their consciousness in their brains at that moment with images. It is just like there is a graveyard where sealed memories and experiences in another world are extracted.
From the perspective of human evolution, anthropoid apes developed into humans, and humans evolved into the posthuman. In other words, posthuman means the new societies and new groups which were set up with the help of modern science and technology. In the 1960s when some developed countries entered the post-modern era characterized by the information society. With the help of strong AI, these new groups and societies were combined with the latest artificial design, artificial transformation, artificial beautification, technical simulation, and technical construction. These “beings” are no longer natural nor biological beings, but a kind of “artificial beings”, formed by technological processing or digitalization and informatization. But this technology also exerts negative effects. In the future, artificial beings will be used to improve moods by means of brain chip implantation. Especially for some of the psychopaths, the brain chip will help to eliminate their negative emotions. Once this treatment is implemented, the possible impact is to create a blissful person who will never experience negative emotions. Immersing in positive emotions day and night makes one feel like a fool, which seems to be a horrible prospect. So, the AI of posthuman may bring a negative influence by bringing us back to the days of the ape-man.
This set of installations expresses the inaccessibility of some news in China. There is a lot of nagetive news on China in the West social media. However, in mainland China, these nagetive news are not able to be read on Chinese social media. The artist collected 13 pieces of the banned news in China from YouTube. And each piece of news is transcribed to an MP3 and put into a black box. The audience need to use an uncomfortable post to hear the banned news, which is a metaphor for the difficulty of accessing the news.
Emotion, Love & Life
media: ice, painting
Emotion, love & life are three traits of human being. The end of life is death for everyone, so the meaning of life is every living day. Artists painted 365 pictures of everyday emotional changes for one year. Words of “Emotion, Love, Life” on ice in the center of the exhibition hall gradually melt from top to bottom, which is also the process of life vanishing for one’s lifetime.