On March 22, 2014, “Worldly Fate” the solo exhibition by performance artist He Yunchang unveiled at the White Box Museum of Art. The exhibition is jointly curated by Wang Chunchen and Jonas Stampe, mainly showcasing the on-site pictures of nearly 20 performance works as well as 10 videos of performances.
It includes “A Rib” created in 2008, “A Meter of Democracy” created in 2010 and “Drink in the Sea” in 2011, “Caochangdi the Tenth” in 2012, as well as “Seawater of Venice” which has been included in the Chinese Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. At the same time, the on-site pictures of his latest performance “The Spring”, which was designed for years officially debut. The solo exhibition showcases the art context of He Yunchang in all directions.
He Yunchang’s on-site performance “The Spring” was implemented in the White Box Museum of art on the day before the opening (at 5:00 pm on March 21, 2014). Sitting in an armchair, He Yunchang was cut by the doctor, with 16 wounds in the forehead, cheeks, chest, abdomen, shoulders, thighs and calves, then the stream of blood was collected. During the period, 10 models sat in a special platform scattered high and low, successively transferring some cards, which were casually thrown against the sky by the last model. Then, He Yunchang used a brush that was dipped in his blood, to successively dye the fingernails and toenails of the models. During the period, pokers were constantly transferred. When transferring pokers was finished and the fingernails and toenails of the models were dyed red, “The Spring” ended, and He Yunchang greeted everyone.
At the opening ceremony of the exhibition, curators Wang Chunchen and Jonas Stampe, director of the White Box Museum of Art Sun Yongzeng, as well as artist He Yunchang briefly gave a speech on the exhibition, they all expressed that they were moved by the sincere and modest performance art by He Yunchang. He said, it was his first solo exhibition in China over the last ten years, and he gave his thanks to the present audience, two curators, director Sun Yongzeng and his staff. As Wang Chunchen writes in the exhibition preface, He Yunchang spent more than 20 years practicing performance art, so that we can say He Yunchang is the artist who has been continuously practicing performance art in China for the longest period of time. Every year he performs experimental acts that use the physical body, and from these acts we can construct an art history of He Yunchang. This history tells how an artist living in China understands the meaning of performance art, how he tenaciously continues to practice performance art, and how he uses performance art as a medium to convey his interpretation, and as a metaphor for, China’s present reality. Each of He Yunchang’s performances is a physical proclamation that reminds us of the burdens imposed on the physical body. For the audience, the performance is definitely a occasion to think about switching channels, and it is also a occasion to fully abandon arrogant concepts of art.
On the occasion of the 2014 New Year, He Yunchang is again using “The Spring” to display his plans for his goal to make performance an art, and to allow his own performance art to journey from the passionate to the gentle, while still revealing the artist’s eagerness to communicate, his eagerness for humanity.
The exhibition will continue until April 21, 2014.
Journalist: Ye Yuanfeng, translated by ChenPeihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO.
Photo: Ye Yuanfeng, White Box Museum of Art