"The Yellow Flight"

of Wu Shanzhuan

Duration: 24 JUNE 10:00 - 10 JULY 22:00 (CST), 2022

In Wu Shanzhuan's flight,

It is the transit, rather than arrival, that matters most.

Yellow Fly 1995

2015

Acrylic on canvas

200 × 300 cm

Wu Shanzhuan seems to have touched upon every subject that matters to a nation in transformation. From the perspective of a villager on the fishing island of Zhoushan, legal, economical, social and philosophical hyperboles are pondered, extrapolated and ridiculed. They form the basis of Wu's approach to understanding the world, and his solutions to dealing with experience. 

 

Depart from Beijing, arrive in Hong Kong. In between, transit at every international terminal. In this rhapsodic trip, Hong Kong represents the perpetually postponed object of desire. Prior to the final arrival are endless stopovers and next stops. The destination is constantly postponed without a confirmed arrival time. The flight itinerary exiles the passenger to the "international space" of airports in an experience better described as loitering rather than vagrancy.

A Night Flying, Butterfrog Constellation

2014

Acrylic on canvas

200 × 300  cm

If one is loitering with no confirmed return,

how is arrival determined?

A Sketch is Melting in a Painting

2014

Acrylic on canvas

168 × 168  cm

An international airport does not belong to a single country or government, it is a ubiquitous "republic" beyond any country, an aperture between nations, a political “enclave” of identity, an "internationalised" place and a perpetual "between". So inter-nation is both a broken and incessant space, it exists outside and inside of every country; it is the outside of the inside and the domestic international.

 

The world is a given, an a priori; it exists before man starts to speculate about its future. By the same logic the role of chance in causal relations (especially historical causes) is suspect, as they are only recognised after the fact, not before. What reflecting on Wu is the present pre-eminence of contemporary art in the cultural world. Contemporary art has today succeeded to the detriment of historical concern, to the loss of historical dimension in contemporary thinking. 

 

The Yellow Flight shuttles between different international airports in constant transit, between take off and landing, between departure and arrival. This will be a journey with no end, loose and flowing; it has taken off, but has not landed. The subject of the flight is forever relegated to the "inter-nation", the transiting space.[1] The stopover has become the destination, it overflows the container of history and reality, so we cannot tell whether it is a return journey or a departure, the right way or the lost way.

YF 1995 in Order to Delay the Destination

2015

Acrylic on canvas

200.2 × 385  cm

[1] This reminded me of the central station in the film The Matrix, which was the terminal from the real world to the virtual world. (Gao Shiming)

—Excerpted from Gao Shiming's "Yellow Flight" and Zhang Songren's "Pay Attention to Wu, and Inga"

About Wu Shanzhuan

Wu Shanzhuan (b. 1960, China). One of the key figures of the 85 New Wave Art Movement in China, Wu Shanzhuan’s practice defies use of conventional visual art terms such as "watch", "stare" and "experience" to engage with. Instead, pulling together street smartness, intellectual experimentation and the spirit of the absurd in contemporary art, Wu Shanzhuan and his collaborator Inga Svala Thorsdottir draw you into a world where "read" becomes the key term. They are not creators of visual spectacles, but rather overthrowers and discoverers of truths and propositions, as well as counterfeiters of ideology and interpreters of everyday theology.

 

The works Wu Shanzhuan creates are not the granted artworks but rather "Wu's Things". From the large number of "Wu's Things" made in the early 1990s, we see a desire for full opening and “transcending the boundaries” and his obsession with mathematics and logic which brings a strange sense of truth to his works. For a society dictated by a variety of faiths and customs, this is an “adulterated” truth. Wu never tires of quoting from Sartre: "People are a bundle of useless passion". The use for his useless passion is to find "useless truths". For more than 20 years, Wu Shanzhuan has used the forumulas "pseudo-words", "thing's right(s)", "parthenogenesis", "secondhand water", "tourist information", "perfect bracket" and "bird before peace", all of which are "useless truths", to weave his personal ideology. This ideology constitutes a profound critique to the system of concepts and experiences that we are accustomed to.

 

In the era when conceptual art generally faces a rethink, the works attest a vibrancy of concept and the power of thoughts. It is a rich collection of intriguing humor and sharp wit, spontaneous anti-metaphysical actions, insights into everyday politics, sensitivity to invisible workings of power systems and adherence to the fundamental state of democracy.

 

Wu Shanzhuan founded Red Humour in 1985, founded Red Humour International in 1990. Since 1991 he has been working and exhibiting collaboratively with Thorsdottir Thor’s Daughter Pulverization Service. Wu Shanzhuan’s 2008 retrospective solo exhibition “Wu Shanzhuan: Red Humour International” at the Guangdong Museum of Art was named by Art Forum as one of the best solo exhibitions in Asia for that year.

 

 

 

 

"The Yellow Flight"

of Wu Shanzhuan

Duration: 22 JUNE 10:00 - 08 JULY 22:00 (CST), 2022

In Wu Shanzhuan’s flight,

It is the transit, rather than arrival,

that matters most.

Yellow Fly 1995

2015

Acrylic on canvas

200 × 300 cm

Wu Shanzhuan seems to have touched upon every subject that matters to a nation in transformation. From the perspective of a villager on the fishing island of Zhoushan, legal, economical, social and philosophical hyperboles are pondered, extrapolated and ridiculed. They form the basis of Wu's approach to understanding the world, and his solutions to dealing with experience. 

 

Depart from Beijing, arrive in Hong Kong. In between, transit at every international terminal. In this rhapsodic trip, Hong Kong represents the perpetually postponed object of desire. Prior to the final arrival are endless stopovers and next stops. The destination is constantly postponed without a confirmed arrival time. The flight itinerary exiles the passenger to the "international space" of airports in an experience better described as loitering rather than vagrancy.

A Night Flying, Butterfrog Constellation

2014

Acrylic on canvas

200 × 300  cm

If one is loitering

with no confirmed return,

how is arrival determined?

A Sketch is Melting in a Painting

2014

Acrylic on canvas

168 × 168  cm

An international airport does not belong to a single country or government, it is a ubiquitous "republic" beyond any country, an aperture between nations, a political “enclave” of identity, an "internationalised" place and a perpetual "between". So inter-nation is both a broken and incessant space, it exists outside and inside of every country; it is the outside of the inside and the domestic international.

 

The world is a given, an a priori; it exists before man starts to speculate about its future. By the same logic the role of chance in causal relations (especially historical causes) is suspect, as they are only recognised after the fact, not before. What reflecting on Wu is the present pre-eminence of contemporary art in the cultural world. Contemporary art has today succeeded to the detriment of historical concern, to the loss of historical dimension in contemporary thinking. 

 

The Yellow Flight shuttles between different international airports in constant transit, between take off and landing, between departure and arrival. This will be a journey with no end, loose and flowing; it has taken off, but has not landed. The subject of the flight is forever relegated to the "inter-nation", the transiting space.[1]The stopover has become the destination, it overflows the container of history and reality, so we cannot tell whether it is a return journey or a departure, the right way or the lost way.

YF 1995 in Order to Delay the Destination

2015

Acrylic on canvas

200.2 × 385  cm

[1] This reminded me of the central station in the film The Matrix, which was the terminal from the real world to the virtual world. (Gao Shiming)

—Excerpted from Gao Shiming's "Yellow Flight" and Zhang Songren's "Pay Attention to Wu, and Inga"

About Wu Shanzhuan

Wu Shanzhuan (b. 1960, China). One of the key figures of the 85 New Wave Art Movement in China, Wu Shanzhuan’s practice defies use of conventional visual art terms such as "watch", "stare" and "experience" to engage with. Instead, pulling together street smartness, intellectual experimentation and the spirit of the absurd in contemporary art, Wu Shanzhuan and his collaborator Inga Svala Thorsdottir draw you into a world where "read" becomes the key term. They are not creators of visual spectacles, but rather overthrowers and discoverers of truths and propositions, as well as counterfeiters of ideology and interpreters of everyday theology.

 

The works Wu Shanzhuan creates are not the granted artworks but rather "Wu's Things". From the large number of "Wu's Things" made in the early 1990s, we see a desire for full opening and “transcending the boundaries” and his obsession with mathematics and logic which brings a strange sense of truth to his works. For a society dictated by a variety of faiths and customs, this is an “adulterated” truth. Wu never tires of quoting from Sartre: "People are a bundle of useless passion". The use for his useless passion is to find "useless truths". For more than 20 years, Wu Shanzhuan has used the forumulas "pseudo-words", "thing's right(s)", "parthenogenesis", "secondhand water", "tourist information", "perfect bracket" and "bird before peace", all of which are "useless truths", to weave his personal ideology. This ideology constitutes a profound critique to the system of concepts and experiences that we are accustomed to.

 

In the era when conceptual art generally faces a rethink, the works attest a vibrancy of concept and the power of thoughts. It is a rich collection of intriguing humor and sharp wit, spontaneous anti-metaphysical actions, insights into everyday politics, sensitivity to invisible workings of power systems and adherence to the fundamental state of democracy.

 

Wu Shanzhuan founded Red Humour in 1985, founded Red Humour International in 1990. Since 1991 he has been working and exhibiting collaboratively with Thorsdottir Thor’s Daughter Pulverization Service. Wu Shanzhuan’s 2008 retrospective solo exhibition “Wu Shanzhuan: Red Humour International” at the Guangdong Museum of Art was named by Art Forum as one of the best solo exhibitions in Asia for that year.

 

 

 

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