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(2007-06-14 17:30:44)



先 买 电

Prepaying the Power



Images will not fall from the cameras.


If the images fall to the ground, they won’t fall on anybody unless they fall from one’s heart. The purpose of images is not to scare anybody, or cheat anybody, but rather to have somebody cheated, good images fall on the feet of someone.


No scenery or person remains still forever. The ever changing sceneries are not for the camera, though the imaging must be carried out through it. The world is reversed in a camera obscura first, but it remains unfixed until you squeeze the airbag, then the image remains there. A dark place harbors a seemingly real world. Photographers always have expectations for it, and manage it in the camera obscura.  


Too many people use cameras, nobody would like to believe the real world before their eyes, though they are vast, boundless and visionary. The way in which these people get to know the world is pictures, through traditional cameras, or digital cameras, or cell phones with camera function, or even with contact print-the old and new type. A contact print is in the size of a book, but it can be used to enlarge pictures or to have the picture printed on it directly. People just don’t believe their own eyes, visual aphasia.



Artists turn the cameras into their eyes through which they observe the world. The world projected to the pupil is developed onto the paper for people to unscramble. The “image” becomes the mirror for the reality, and it provides a boundless scenery. Things might have changed, people might have gone, but the images will remain.



Fifteen people with different eyes.


Appreciating the works of a great number of artists, I felt that the world was placed before my eyes as outlines: works about the romance of “The Third Front” and the recollection of the sad city; the record of the graffiti about family planning like a wall between human nature and human relationships; Chinese literati in melancholy mood becoming the modern Travellers Among Mountains and Streams; the imagination on the frightening of the urban transformation; constant overlapping of revolutionary ideal images; red memories about breaking through the wall; the rainbow colors from the imagination of a fairy tale for the world… They seem to be a group of people, but actually they are many people, many people who speak with their cameras.


Fifteen people, would be 150 people, or 1,500 people or more. All the world is making images, a real world is forgotten when we about to recognize it. Never ask why. See the pictures, read the pictures until you get dyspeptic. Good pictures are not shot, but taken. If you can not take the souls of people, can not take the eternal images, then the paper with images on it is meaningless, unless you don’t care about the significance of it.


Just like a picture torn into thousands of pieces, we try to piece together a picture of contemporary Chinese image, it is decontruction as well as construction. Each person is a small piece, an insignificant spot. But this spot may be a whole world to an artist. Streets, landscapes, cities…desolation, prosperity…happiness, sadness…visionary world, a grand play is put on, everybody takes part in this happy carnival, the width of the world has gone beyond our imagination, and the happiness is endless.



In this exhibition, we didn’t make the strict division of pictures, images and photographs categorically, photographing is just a technical approach here. The limit of photographing has been constantly broken, and photographing works are becoming more and more the mixture of works expressed with various means.


Some people would think that photographing work is a career, the one without the instruction of others. It is a profession in your own heart. Photographers travel around just for input, to draw a circle in their souls. The “image” is not on the paper, and what the photography brings to this world is a true dream.



When you enter the studio of the artist, you will see pictures all over the desk and even all over the floor. Their lenses have never been moved away from the scenes and objects, cameras have become their language tool with “click, click” sounds. From now on, if they only focus their lenses to the text, what can they shoot?


Bottom: environment: situation: general sense: typicality: feature: contemporary art: sociological significance: humanity: subsistence: plight: disembodiment: trend: controversy: resolution: experience: aesthetic palate: social rules: self form: image: present status: surviving experience: popularity: soap opera: vogue: overdraft consumption: virtual world: city change: transformation: reconstruction: background: tribulation: torture: atmosphere: desire: frustration: period: brevity of life: hypocrisy: third degree: virus: wishful thinking: sentimentality: sensitivity: political icon: darkness: decoding: memory: translation and editing: China.


When an artist used a small pebble settled in his heart for many years to delineate the scenes disappearing from people’s memory, they knew that his delineation was successful, through a women wearing makeup, a man embraced by a fluffy donkey, the national flag ironed flat, the sacred yet bar coded Fawoo Dorje, the migrant worker with face covered like a gangster, and the power space without the master. History can not be told with a few words, but the experiences of the junior, young and bright times can not be forgotten, and the result in contrast makes us heartrending.


In a pitch black night at a small town, I passed a dim shop like a black box. I opened the door and enter the room, the shop keeper standing there. It seemed that there were everything I needed. Someone fiddled with a plate, a poster. I went out to see it which said: Buy the electricity before entering the shop!


Buy the power first, if you want to take something, you must first give something. It is like the rule of photographing, a good rule. While I was keeping thinking ofr the good things in the shop, I woke up.


There is no photographing without reason, and there is nothing to be photographed without sake.



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