Xu Yong: This Face series, 2011
Five hundred-plus portrait photographs showing a female face, sometimes wearing make-up, sometimes not; at first glance they seem unrelated, but they are all of a young woman called Zi U, a Chinese sex worker.
A sex worker’s face is both important as a front that can attract clients and while at the same time a mask for hiding her true identity. Xu Yong has made a close-up record of Zi U’s face at different times one single day, January 19, 2011, beginning from the moment she gets up right through until her day is over. The photos are combined with Zi U’s own diary describing her life that particular day. The pair has collaborated in a work that adroitly combines text and image.
Full description of the project including the diary here
This is truly an eye opening piece. The photos and the message behind them are a great and moving piece of art but what really moved me was the diary section. If you have any interest on this topic I highly recommend reading the diary section. Xu Yong has created a powerful piece of art here.
*warning the diary section is both graphic and detailed*
This was a pretty straightforward report until the end, which has had me thinking about the concept that the reporter mentioned about the covered works. I think that the censored works do create a piece all their own when they have the white tape of censorship over them. This really makes one think about the idea of censorship at this Shanghai gallery. I think that it would be an even more effective political statement if the gallery director left the works that were censored up with white tape and all to make that much more of a statement. It seems that that censorship officers that were assigned to this gallery created a statement much more powerful that the artists’ original works in the end.
Illuminations at the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing during the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Feng Jun
Very interesting Q&A with Ai WeiWei. Definitely worth while if you are interested about his perspective on art and expression in China.
Sugar painting - Chinese Dragon
A very traditional Chinese folk art which is really rarely seen nowadays
This is so cool!