19 Dec 2018
Exhibition: Chen Hangfeng: Endless Demand
Endless Demand © Chen Hangfeng
Opening on Wednesday, January 9 at 5-7pm. Welcome!
Decorations for the western world’s Christmas are made in a small, ancient village in China. Chen Hangfeng is one of the artists in Rauma Art Museum’s Time of the Dragonexhibition, and his solo exhibition at the Cable Gallery shows views and the everyday lives of people in the places where our glittering Christmas decorations come from. In the village along Mei creek they get ready for Christmas throughout the year. The work is done by hand, a combined effort by the entire extended family.
Chen’s works reflect the traditions and special features of Chinese culture, the role of the individual in the community, the attitude to work, and the everyday lives and feelings of ordinary people. But they also specifically reveal the radical impact of globalization and western influences on China. The wind from the West is blowing strongly and the old systems are changing.
Chen’s video installation Scattered Sceneries along Mei creek (2012) will be premiered at the Cable Gallery.
“According to the old family book, the village has a history dating back more than 1000 years, traceable to the Song Dynasty. Numerous important scholars and literati originally came from the village, and the poems they wrote were recorded in the family book. One set of poems describes ten bits of scenery from around the village, all situated along Mei creek. They include Stone horse carrying the mist and Snow covering the bamboo forest next to Mei creek… Time has passed, Mei creek is still flowing, but the scenery has long gone, and has been transformed into scenes of white foam, red balls, green tinsel, and many of the ornaments we see today. In fact, this village now produces more than 50% of China’s Christmas exports. All of them are handmade, some designed and invented by the villagers themselves, even though most of the tools they use to make these Christmas decorations are farming-related implements. Magically, they managed to mix and match these agricultural tools perfectly to suit their production!” Chen Hangfeng
Chen Hangfeng (b. 1974) lives and works in Shanghai.
Also on display in the exhibition are two earlier video works, You Can Get Them and The Last Supper, made during residencies in Luxembourg and London. The main unifying theme of the exhibition is the effects of economic growth and consumerism. Chen Hangfeng is on a residency at HIAP until 15.1.2013.
Chen Hangfeng’s solo show is part of Rauma Art Museum’s Time of the Dragon exhibition of Chinese contemporary art. All of the shows are the result of a curator’s residency in Shanghai awarded by HIAP to Rauma Art Museum’s curator Henna Paunu in 2011. Time of the Dragon will be at Rauma Art Museum until 31.3.2013.