Wenzhou people are the most pioneering people in the world, as long as there are Chinese people, Wenzhou people and their businesses will certainly be found in this place. As expected, when Wu Jian’an arranged the exhibition in Venice, he worked together with a group of workers from Wenzhou, who dared to struggle and create their own wonderful world, they are clever and full of wit, and follow “China routines” to deal with small problems in the process of their arrangements.

Wu Jian’an is entrusted by CAFA ART INFO, embodying the leading journalist, continuing to send back front-line stories of happenings in Venice…

He snatched a little leisure time from his busy life to visit the special Bosch show.


I took the time to visit the special show of “Bosch and His Heirs” in the Governor’s House. There are two large-scale works by Bosch which are in a collection in Venice, based on which this show unfolds, forming a discussion on Bosch art and his ideological world.


I have no idea why the mysterious world and the water city of Venice are in an harmonious rhythm. The scene is full of fear and uneasiness, filled with a variety of ghosts and characters, it is not desolate and lonely, it is like everyone is trying to scramble for something, but the object which is being scrambled for has always been obscurely hidden. This lively “ghost night” might correspond to the enormous pressure on the human spiritual world that is pressure is exerted on by the religious world.

It is said that the water level rises in winter in Venice, and sometimes the Piazza San Marco is even submerged, so it is difficult to distinguish the real land and the sea. Immersion in the water is a strange feeling, seeming to slowly and helplessly slip to another world, so that another world also opens its sealand people and ghosts start a desperate fight in a narrow space.


There is an excerpt of engraved inscriptions on the wall of the governor’s house, and it is so old that the edges of the inscriptions are smooth now.

The workers from Wenzhou arranged the exhibition in a witty style and they always have a unique way to deal with uncertain difficulties…


Our exhibition of “Continuum” is in the process of being arranged, and this photo records the moment of we were hanging my work “Five hundred Strokes in Venice” on the wall. The China Pavilion is a storage warehouse which is considered a local historical building and the walls are very old, but the local government is very concerned about the protection of historical buildings, so we are not allowed to knock nails in the wall. But the Chinese workers have a variety of methods to solve this issue., getting around the ban. First of all, we made a wooden shelf, and then the place between the wooden frame and the wall was filled with soft materials with the painting then being placed on the wooden shelf, thus we have a way to hang up the painting.

There are a lot of workers from Wenzhou in Venice, and they are able to do all kinds of work. In this show I cooperating with Mr. Du, who gives priority to the decoration and exhibition, and he has his team, completely composed of Wenzhou citizens who meet together to have lunch at noon every day, eating bread with fried chicken and bacon, this routine never changes.


The physically strong worker Li told me the story of a fight between an Italian and himself. When Li first came to Venice, he was bullied, and his companion was beaten by a big guy, who is more than nine meters tall, he ran at him and threw the man into a metal scrap heap using martial art, the Italian curled on the ground and did not dare to move and then they used wire to tie up the big guy. After the fight they were never bullied again.

We were on-site arranging the exhibition…


Teacher Yao Huifen and her husband teacher Yu Hongqing were installing the embroidered works in the frames


This is Li Song’s “Skeleton Fantasy Show” in Suzhou embroidery, which has been finished.


Group photo of Wang Tianwen, Yu Hongqing and Yao Huifen in front of the work.

Yao Huifen boarded the flight with a fever and arrived in Venice on the evening of the day before yesterday. When she arrived in Venice, it rained, so she caught cold and had a serious fever the following day, but she insisted on stretching all the embroidery works into the frames.

Yao Huifen’s husband Yu Hongqing is very interesting, for he brought a lot of instant noodles and mustard which are very precious now!


Yao Huifen was stretching the embroidery work and finished this task in cooperation with Tang Nannan.


Xiao Liu (Liu Weigen) is a capable person and he quickly cooperates with the worker from Wenzhou in Venice, it is the last copper tree to be installed in the outdoors.


When “The Heaven of Nine Levels” has just started to be installed


Mr. Wang is a great man, who has always silently thrown himself into his work, doing almost all of the tiring tasks, wherever he is needed, wherever he goes. He was helping me to install “The Heaven of Nine Levels”.


Chen Zhiyuan from Limutang is a student of Qiu Zhijie, and he is responsible for the arrangement of the exhibition. Today he has been on the scaffolding to install the light rail, and is too busy to come down to even drink water, so a bottle of water was hoisted up to him.


Qiu Zhijie kept an eye on the documentary wall which will be finished soon.


The China Pavilion is about to present a lot of performances, such as shadow puppets. Teacher Zhang Zixian is responsible for the show at the opening ceremony, these old entertainers participating in the performance are all great people, and I will specially introduce them in detail in the future.

Text and photo by Wu Jian’an, translated by Chen Peihua and edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO

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