Thursday, December 02, 2010

Blog Entry

Joon Nam
After Reading the Self Interview of Chen Zhen

In the dialogue with himself, Chen Zhen reveals his sources of inspiration to his work. Chen Zhen, a Chinese artist who moved to France in 1980's, says that his experiences of travelling and adjusting to the new life after his move to Paris have shaped him. He uses a Daoist term  "transexperience" to explain "the complex life experiences of leaving one's native place and going from one place to another in one's life". The dialogue proceeds further into discussing different topics about multiculturalism and the concept of aesthetics in Asia where Chen Zhen claims, "do not have time to pay attention to that sort of thing". Chen Zhen also emphasizes the role of multiculturalism, which he claims to bring boundless potential into the works.

Since I was born in South Korea and raised in the US, I can understand some of Chen Zhen's points about his "transexperience" and his views on multiculturalism. However, I feel that even as he speaks in such language, he himself was bound by what he had seen and experienced in his life, just as we all are. We are limited by what we know; for instance, when a kid is asked to draw a monster, the kid will draw something based out of the things that the kid has seen, whether it be a three headed, one eyed monster. Yes, I belive going through new experiences and seeing new things will expand one's boundaries, since knowing more things will allow one to imagine further based on those things. However, at the end of the day, we are all bound by what exist around us. Perhaps then, creativity comes from discovering what exists around us.

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