14 Jun 2023
The earliest motivation for this project came from my reflection on my past life, as well as the very simple and common rural complex in Oriental culture.
The earliest motivation for this project came from my reflection on my past life, as well as the very simple and common rural complex in Oriental culture. What needs to be explained is that the rural complex, as a concept of cultural geography, is deeply connected with the life pattern of intensive farming and small-scale peasant economy. In fact: it also includes beliefs about ancestors and kinship based on blood lineage. And the close connection with the surrounding space-time environment. This method has been practised for more than 2000 years. This means huge and subtle effects. Contemporary China is undergoing rapid industrialization and modern transformation. There is a very serious disconnect between the modern way of life social organization and power structure and the original cultural life, and this disconnect will bring a very clear cultural shock. And bring about very diverse influences in each contemporary individual.
My work started with long research. I tried to collect the life blueprints of my friends and the people I came into contact with and listened to them talk about their family life and their understanding of the abstract concept of home. Certainly，some information comes directly from the news media and is put into a position of public scrutiny and questioning. Through different methods, the feedback I got is very diverse, and it can almost be judged that the meaning of home has multiple differences. Many versions show that everyone's understanding of the concept of home is in a vague field, neither too good nor too bad. So this determines my motivation for creating this project. By establishing a material narrative method, everyone can see a different understanding of home than their own, and rethink the point of view of home. Presented through physical sculpture and book binding. Specifically:
I made different home shapes out of air-dry clay and mixed it with various materials, then poured a layer of plaster on the outside to fix it. The way it does this is it brings a sleek, more slippery look to each sculpture. Used to echo those specious understandings I found in my research. Of course, this may provide a fuzzy space to undertake different observers' imaginations of home. Other than that, I use white uniformly and weaken the necessary details of the installation. This allows the viewer to engage in a conscious projection where they can bring their own lived experience into the gaze of each sculpture.
Every page of the book is expressed in the form of illustrations and text. is a brief presentation of the stories of all interviewees. I try to use a very plain style. The marks the ink leaves on the rough paper are very interesting, and of course, writing them is quite difficult. In the process of creating traces, some traces are also worn away, much like children's graffiti homework, so I hope that the audience will have a pure and simple perspective when seeing them, abandoning the preconceived ideas brought about by society and culture, and look at them with Childlike innocence and truth to look at. The process of drawing illustrations is also not easy. I have not received professional illustration training, so I spent a lot of energy simplifying the expression as much as possible. But it's also an interesting process because pictures often lead to a very different experience than words. I feel that the audience can look at them from multiple angles without being constrained by the words and narratives constructed by the text itself.
The Deep Meaning of Homeland Consciousness
In contemporary popular culture, the sense of home has been given a broader meaning. For example, in the sci-fi movie "The Wandering Earth", the activism of taking the earth to wander is proposed, which is a response to the traditional oriental rural complex and the concept of home. This is also widely praised by the audience because it is different from the starship doctrine in the Hollywood narrative system. We see that homeland is understood very differently in different cultural systems, and we also clearly see that the discourse system that was dominant in the past is disintegrating. So in this work, I am looking forward to presenting a diverse discourse, which involves different classes and cultural/social groups' understanding of the home and includes all positive and negative discussions.
Then when we can go beyond the individual's understanding of homeland, it's time to enter the discussion of the community. In terms of the current status quo and the future visible to the naked eye, the earth will be the only home for the vast majority of human beings. But we have chosen a linear unsustainable way of life, such as environmental pollution and climate problems brought about by the use of non-renewable energy. As well as the large-scale extinction of species brought about by man-made, and then the collapse of the ecosystem. The problems we face today are complex, significant, and profound. And not only environmental issues but also the current social structure and economic development model based on capitalism, some monopoly industries and bureaucrats are actively promoting the use of clean energy, such as solar energy. What needs to be vigilant is whether they will bring hegemony in the process of seeking the identity of energy access channels. Just imagine life in the future. All technological products are driven by electricity, and the supply of electricity is in the hands of private multinational companies. . Does this mean that after they have experienced a global market expansion, they can harvest users at will through capital leverage?
I believe that the use of alternative technologies should be encouraged and established in a democratic and deliberative way. Users should understand and clarify the potential risks of the technical products and the means being used. Such a sinking architecture can improve users' ability to respond to potential emergencies and natural disasters. Of course, we can't ignore that the manufacturing process of solar equipment still inevitably causes land pollution—because of the use of some unexplainable metals/compounds. Therefore, the advancement of solar energy as a clean energy source still has a long way to go. These discussions are based on the context of human beings as a broad community. I look forward to conversations about awareness of homeland transcending different contexts. This is about our typical home.
Of course, it is worth mentioning that human beings are only a part of our colourful planet, and we share this planet with all non-human species, as well as living matter. I very much look forward to discussing the relationship between humans and non-human species in future events. Connect and interact. And strengthen our connection with each other. This may be different from the grand and romantic narrative methods presented in cultural works such as movies. Some subtle beauty that is not noticed by everyone and is still in the shadows is worth discovering.