Book Painting No.26 (Karl Blossfeldt. Wunder in der Natur, H. Schmidt and C. Günther, Leipzig, 1942, Page 115), Acrylic on Canvas, 32.5 × 24 cm, 2019, Private Collection

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LI BINYUAN, Freedom Farming, Video, Color, Sound, 10’54”, 2009

In the countryside of China, land is a heavy issue. In 1999, when my father passed away in an accident, the land that he had cultivated was handed down to me. I was at a loss, and avoided returning to my hometown. But the problem was not solved because of my detachment, and my sense of identity gradually disappeared. In 2014, I decided to use one of the plots of land to produce a work, to re-examine my relationship to my birthplace, which felt both strange and amiable. Finally, I made my peace through the fatigue that came from the constant falls into the field and the mud.for 2 hours. The name of the work, Freedom Farming, comes from the land certificate issued by the village committee, and from the sense of salvation that came from the performative act itself. ‘Freedom Farming’ is a work about the dialogue between me and my father, and my present reality. I attempt to find a balance between the three, or save some things that are already lost through this behavior; also I want to confirm my sense of identity, of belonging, via this path.

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