Armenia: He An Solo Exhibition
Tang Contemporary Art Center is delighted to announce the solo exhibition of He An after a four-year hiatus. He An will present his views on truth, timeline and legend involving a new series of installations.
All questions in regards to space and time proposed by the exhibition are on the basis of a classical approach for pictorial representation in the Western art history – the perspective. In the perspective, objects seem smaller at a further distance, which forms a fictitious visual relationship. While using the perspective to think about the world, ‘near’ and ‘far’ in terms of space and time are rather the ‘near’ and ‘far’ of the perspective, beyond the parallel distance or the depth. ‘Armenia’ as the exhibition title is thereby given a poetic nature, placed in-between the reality and the fiction.
He An named the seven exhibition works as “Preface – Night or with Its Daytime – He Taoyuan – EVA00 Prototype – Armenia – Bride – Love Child”. Each word lost the relationship between its signifier and signified to form another narrative, as being a rhetorical device together creating a fiction novel or drama. The fiction and the reality stimulate, extrude and play with each other, mutually and in parallel, acquiring the same tension and the same presence. He An used the relationships between texts and rhetoric, rhetoric and time, and time and legend, to establish a magical realistic two-dimensional world. A kind of new potential language has been developed here.
A timeline is being cut off and unfolded in a new context. The past, present and future exist within the same horizont. He An has created a space-time for a new dimension where people mutually share their experiences, memories and emotions, escaping from the closed reality. While exploring the concept of time in each space, a kind of religious atmosphere would commonly arise. Drawing the fatalism into the context is almost inevitable, because He An hopes that every word he said is granted by the divine, “this is my best judgment for the arts”.
HE AN: Timeline, memories and legend
It does not even matter whether there is dragon or not. What counts is that he is the only one out of the twelve Earthly Branches existing in another world. But it is not modest for him at all turning to be the Chen-earth (the fifth of twelve Earthly Braches). He becomes the earthy reservoir in the spring, the most variable compound of water and earth in the four-tomb library. In the ancient time, he turned to slurry rising up into the sky, and then formed into rainbows, clouds and aurora borealis. The male genital is the dragon of a man. It returned to dust after death. When wind and rain arrived, it would re-form to the slurry, turning into the water vapor to become the rainbow and lightning. Its spirit became fish, creating a world with dragon flying in the sky. These transformations are all regarded as the dragon in Qi Men Dun Jia (the studies of Chinese ancient divination theory). Having the azure dragon moving in images of the Liu Yao trigrams (a method of divination) indicates the moment of reaching the full strength. Life is death, and death is for life. The fleshes enjoyed exciting lives during their lifetime, but their true images and seeds would be fully exposed after death. Dragon is a large collection of various strengths. When Chen-earth blew through a tree from the Southeast, people standing under the tree would feel the touch of the wind as if all four seasons have just passed by, indicating the presence and the strength of the dragon. I do not believe there is flesh and blood having the sense of touch as fishes. But human beings are self-regulated animals, what we are seeing is not solid. Recalling that my father told me Wuhan was flooded that year, Yangtze River water rushed into every family’s door. My grandma lived near to the Jing-Han Railway escaped from home and ran following the crowd, sailing a wooden raft from Hankou to Huanggang to avoid the flood. The midnight, lightning accompanied by peals of thunder and rainstorms, the raft as if a piece of fallen leaves was drifting along the river. A dozen people on the raft were all thinking they would not get through the night. At a terrifying moment, when my grandma accidentally stretched her hand into the river to pole the raft, she suddenly touched a large piece of thick, strong and rolling scale. She settled down right away, calmly drifting up and down with the wind and rain until arriving at Huanggang. Grandma told my dad that she knew she touched the body of dragon. The older people said touching a dragon in chaotic water is a propitious sign for undeath. Until that day my grandma recalled this story to mind with my dad, the sense of touch on her hand remained real and vivid, as if rolling crudely in the chaotic night.