Both Wang Xingwei’s Ji Gong and Duan Jianyu’s The Muse has Awoken No.3 both offer conspicuous comical impressions, which on the one hand, articulate a kind of literary comedy from the narrations of the figures on canvas, their expressions, motion, theatricality and etc., while stylistically – be it Wang Xingwei’s compositional momentum and the exaggeration rendered through brushwork, or Duan Jianyu’s kitsch and crass emphasis – give shape to the comedy of mannerism, providing theatricality for the language of painting. Thirdly, they are comical on a cultural history level as they have adopted the Baroque style to portray the Mad Monk and placed the Goddess on Dunhuang murals into modern countryside context, this kind of casual yet poignant fusion has taken the “La Comédie Humaine” approach to respond to the rapidly evolving Chinese society and the unsettled dust of cultural order.
I considered this series of work as a diary of a journey, in which accidental encounters and interesting happenings unfolded. At the same time, “events” were produced. Landmarks are the witness of the journey. I worked hard to make this series of work into “landmarks” of the landmarks so the audience can remember them.
The geographic environment stimulated me to test out the most basic physical movements of my body—”self-rotating,” or more precisely, rolling. This imagery came from the tiresof an automobile’s wheels. The slow walk of the participants required an enduring self- consciousness that made their brains numb. Their awareness of the distinction between themselves and the other pedestrians evoked a paradoxical state of mind. But what is more, they were also thinking about me rolling behind them. When I walked on the Golden Gate Bridge, I looked down to the fascinating ocean. But reason prevented me from jumping. Then, I decided to slowly roll down the bridge on the pavement. Fighter planes repetitively flew over my head. I became aware that they were supervising me. At the end, the U.S. Navy understood: This was art. Then they did not come back to disturb us any more. Luckily, they became the greatest audience of my work.