“It is the curiosity and cultural awareness that are the essence of creativity.” – Suzy Menkes
is the first attempt for the returning of the traditional value. Its intention is to discover and re-create the language and content which match our identity in past civilization.
The creation in this exhibition draws inspiration from the Feng Shui pond in those common ancient houses. The works selected those old appliances (porcelain, furniture, statues, etc.) in different dynasties as the material, to make up a story full of metaphors with imagery of “waste objects” and “empty pond”. It expresses a realm of “exist but empty” by the means of “things have changed with the lapse of time”, to stimulate the audience to think and realize the relationship between “the past” and “today which will soon become the past”.
For me, “the Pond” is a kind of old summary and also a new starting point. It stems from the awakening of cultural identity. It is an understanding transfer from concerning "I" to "we".
In early 2011, the Barbican Centre held a project called "Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion”. It is a comprehensive summary of the experience of Rei Kawakubo and other Japanese fashion designers who conquered the western fashion world since the 1980s. I was deeply touched by this exhibition. In our modern culture, we always use "internationalization" as the excuse, to follow the Western blindly. It is actually to fulfill ourselves by other’s personality, which is no future to either the nation or individuals. However, this exhibition has demonstrated another viable path: these designers make their thoughts deeply rooted in Japanese culture, self-defined in the system, to share the philosophy of exception with today's expression method.
Standing in the center of the world culture, I was deeply aware my future I have to go: I have to beyond the "ego", to be with the entire nation, and regard myself as a part of those who connect with the country in this era. I, who regard art as career, am responsible for the times and country's future. The artist should not be realized the value relying on selling the inspiration and willfulness. They should contribute their whole lives to the ascription and identity of entire national cultural creation.
With such thoughts, my vision suddenly return to "the county I have grown", and look for "the basis of art "there. And the deeper I research, the more I sigh with emotion for our own deep and mystery culture, which makes me have the feeling of seeking a bosom friend. That is a culture emphasizing on the beauty of neutralization, "joy with moderation," "grieve with restraint," emotional control, thoughts reserved, words end but meaning is infinite.
In the exhibition “The Pond”, I remain committed to the development of an art style which can not be classified. Meanwhile, I began to get away relatively from the traditional core concept, such as shaping, space and material, etc. and pursuit an expansion out of the frame. Just as the inspiration brought by Rem Koolhaas : to establish the concepts onto some sorts of rules which can guide this era. And such rules are much closer to people's life style, also can be said of sociology, under which can be issued more vitality possibilities.
YANG Qiong, Beijing
July 3, 2013