[View] The Use of the Useless - Zhou Wendou
发起人:art-pa-pa  回复数:7   浏览数:34782   最后更新:2017/03/20 10:02:02 by myy
[楼主] art-pa-pa 2010-08-09 10:46:30
The Use of the Useless

Curator: Tang Yao
Artist: Zhou Wendou
Duration: Aug 7th – Sep 7th
Venue: Other Gallery l Beijing Space
3rd street North 706, 798 Art District , Beijing

The Use of the Useless
—— Remarks on Zhou Wendou's Installation Exhibition
Tang Yao

Zhou Wendou has lived and worked in Spain as an artist for ten years.
That sounds like an easy thing, but it is actually pretty difficult, because Spain has a melancholic and tense atmosphere, making it abundant with artists. From Barcelona to Madrid, the sense of art is everywhere.

Wendou had several solo shows in Spain. The works on show seem like easy big toys at first glance, but then audience would feel perplexed because they challenge intellectual custom. I paid visits to Wendou's studio, seeing each and every piece of work on the ground and wall being a brain teaser.

Paradox constitutes the main character of Zhou Wendou. Therefore he does not look like having lived in Spain. He does not even look like an artist. But under the dull exterior lies his inward smartness. He lives at the back side of the life.

Readymade as an artistic device has been widely adopted in contemporary Chinese art making. But I still feel a novelty in Wendou’s work. In contrast, he does not possess the “social awareness” that is often seen in contemporary Chinese artists, nor the critical challenge seen in political pop art. He is not the kind of vigorous fighter expected in the international context.

What really matters for Wendou is art. Maybe his strength just lies in his trivialness.
That being said, Wendou’s work still represents a “breaking off”. In terms of subversive power of art, his “breaking off” takes effect on a daily basis, being a guerilla attack to the authority in daily life. Converting daily items into riddles, invariable things changed back into possibilities and mysteries. “To break” is among the key verbs in Zen’s language. What is epiphany in Zen? Ming Hai finds it in subversion, in subversion of drama along with the stage.“Breaking off” does away any persistence, and unchained “leisure” and transparent “being” ensues. Therefore Wendou’s work is also kind and inspiring – by his conversion, ordinary sports equipments lose their function; but the being of materials, as well as its dramatic and poetic characters, is revealed.

Hui Zi said: “I have a huge calabash. I have to throw it away because it is too big to be used as a water scoop.” Zhuang Zi replied: “How stupid you are! You can just use it as a bout and drift in rivers and lakes.
Hui Zi said: “There is a tree whose wood quality is too low to be used for furniture making. Carpenters won’t even look at it.” Zhuang Zi replied: “A tree like this is able to inhabit the open plain without being cut for timber. How wonderful! We may lie in its shade and enjoy the breeze coming from nothingness.”
To use an easy and equal perspective to look at the world is not only communication between the subject and object, but also the process of synchronizing renewal of the two. When an artist renews a table tennis table, two tennis rackets, five basketball hoops and a heap of badmintons, he renews himself as well.
Spain boasts artists such as Picasso, Miro, Dali and Tapies, who are all smart and wizard-like. Compared to the passion of French art and heaviness of German art, Spanish art is well-known for its sense of mystery among modern European art. Educated in such context, Wendou manages to convey the essence of Spanish culture.
Soon after returning to China, Wendou came up with new inventions. Many sets of clock hands operate on each of the balls, one being black and the other white. Several ordinary stones sparkle in neon light like diamond. The two installations have a metaphysical interest, and their allegory of Zen is crystal. Thus they might be considered as “Happy Excursion” and “Equaling the Being of the Subject and Object” in contemporary times.
Hence, art is changed into something of fun when Beijing native Zhou Wendou encounters Spain and Zen of Zhuang Zi.
We can let go of all theories and terminologies, and encounter each other just via the mind. (Smiling face).


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