Wang Kai, a young Chinese artist who wantsto break the barrier of current artistic method, and Christopher Pelly, anAmerican artist who has a soft spot for Lei Feng, accidentally combined theirworks together here in Shangyuan, between the space in library and cafeteria. Theirworks formed a naturally ironic pair.
Wang’s work was originally made for Bird’sNest Art Center, with the theme of environmentalism. It is an installation named Normality. He uses masks as a symbolizing element to cover the Bird’s Nest.When air pollution becomes normal in our daily life, Wang Kai has the urge tocover our buildings and cities with masks. He extracted these creative characters from today’s social life and created this piece of installation named it Fetal Breath with 500 masks.
When Wang was showing his ideas on the internet,I suggested hi that he should make it true in Shangyuan. The final form is verydifferent from his original design, but this is what happens during the processof creation. What makes me even more surprised is that Wang Kai has sublimated the theme of his work from a simple criticism of air pollution, he added apillow in the middle of 500 masks: an object which represents sense of safetyand root of dream. It touched me immediately: what a sweet and caring man ishe! Oh pillow! The thing that many of us are reluctant to leave.
However, this Fetal Breath under Christopher’s Lei Feng made from stocks. Lei Feng here represents an imperfectman, but a political symbol and a representation of the figure that suppressesthe freedom of Chinese people. When thinking about this, I couldn’t hold mytears. Two idealists from different countries with different culturalbackground, they ask the questions: How can we protect our love and our dreams?How to protect our life and safety? How can we face the degenerating world? Howcan we resist the trample of the rice and powerful? How can we preserve autopia in this materialistic world? These are our long-lasting anxiety.
【胎息】装置 尺寸可变 2015 王恺
【雷锋】装置 尺寸可变 马赛克
Christopher has a Chinese name, MaSaiKe, whichmeans mosaic. It was given to him by his fellow artists because his works aremainly made by mosaic method. He likes this name for its simplicity and becauseit is easy to remember. Before he came to Shangyuan last year, he spent a lotof time to know China. He picked a very symbolic Chinese, Lei Feng, as the archetype.I helped him ordering stocks online, with black, grey and white color, totally 600 pairs. He spent 3 month to finish this project. Now it is presented on WangKai’s Fetal Birth. This unintended arrangement, coincidentally opened thesource of our anxiety.
By Cheng Xiaobei