Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The End Has No End

Although at first, I felt a little bit reluctant as if I was forced to visit the art gallery for the requirements of the art class, visiting the Bund seems an enjoyable journey for me. Not only for the beautiful scenery on both sides of the Huangpu River, but also for the art exploration with curiosity and expectation.

Entering the exhibition hall of Bund 3, I was attracted by the huge balloon slowly blew up by a high-power pump of compressed air. Four televisions also showed the videos of the balloons set under a viaduct, between a river and a bridge, in an abandoned steel mill, or in the metro station, became bigger and bigger, until burst.

I stood in front of the balloon for a few minutes, trying to think what the artist wanted to convey to audience.

Globalization has always been a heatedly-discussed topic. Two weeks ago, when we talked about the functions and future development of museums in Shanghai, I thought that museums should reflect the modernization and the impact brought about by globalization. What has economic globalization brought to us? Comfortable material life? A desire for more money? A sense of satisfaction or disappointment or even in fear? We are gradually falling into victims of material life. When people are set in a small space capsule, even if they are provided with water and oxygen, they can not live long. Without spiritual life, along with a right attitude towards life and to ourselves, we’ll feel confused. I think that is what Wang Jianwei wants to show us in his Hostage, with many strange-looking machines under bubbles.

Zhou Xiaohu’s project examines people’s inner desire for expansion and the human nature to gain control, possession and materials. The balloon is just like human’s ambition and desire, when the balloon became bigger and bigger, what shall we expect next? Could it become even bigger? Or broken? No one can tell exactly. Unfortunately, people will not be clear and rational enough to realize what kind of risk and danger they will have to face until the balloon burst.

Another installation in the exhibition is created by Du Zhenjun. The curved figure8 tower with a black wooden tunnel as the base, installed are 60 LCD monitors that would go through the tunnel. The queuing images from the monitors are composed of people crawling from one monitor to another along the figure’8’, like a group of busy and tireless ants crawling in a tunnel. Because of the small space, those poor guys have to crawl rather than walk, being obedient .What are they looking for? Are they finding the way to get out? When they come to realize that there is totally no end, will they feel disappointed? Or even in fear? Controlled by computers, the guys crawling in the tunnel will alter the direction of the crawling motion for two seconds when an instruction is given by the audience, but in reality, will people stop the constant longing?

The exhibition was called “The End Has No End”, to some extent, it triggered our anxiety by showing so many uncertainty in life.

No comments: