September 7th, 2015


Чжань Хуань (Zhang Huan) MEMORY DOOR. 2006
[Spoiler (click to open)]
Getting back to the Memory Doors, I found these in Shanxi Province because most of the people down there are taking their doors down to change into iron gates, and sturdier doors. And also they're tearing down the old houses, and therefore the doors became available. The tradition of the doors like this is that on top of the door you would usually paste or put on something. It could be an image of the god of wealth, and the god of love, and it's just to bring good luck and good fortune or to somehow protect you from the evil spirits. So this is part of the Chinese tradition. And this is very, very important for Chinese people; as poor as you might be, you still need to manage to pay someone to write those tributes, so that you can put them by the doors, so people can see them. This is something that's crucial to the respect of every family.

The old pictures that I collected and I used for my pieces are in three different themes. One would be the military theme, one the day labor theme, and one the daily life. For me, in the memory door pieces I want to utilize these images of memories. I decide which part I want to keep and which one to take out, I can then create these two different spaces, or different dimensions that function between reality and fiction. And it is the job of the viewer to decide which is reality and which is fiction. So I want to show this juxtaposition of the real and false. Both are false but two falses can make it true.

In China, the tradition of carving has about 500, 600 years of history. For me to put pictures on the wooden frame door, and to carve out certain sections is something I have never seen before in our history, and to use the incense ash to do artwork, this is also something I've never seen before. When I talk about my experience as an artist, I really don't think I would say that I'm an intelligent person. I think the key to my success is to just do it without thinking to much. I don't reason, I just do it.

Zhang Huan - Memory Door (Writing Calligraphy), 2006: Zhang Huan - Memory Door (Writing Calligraphy), 2006
Writing Calligraphy

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Александр Лавров. Этюды оптимизма в рамках Параллельной программы Манифеста 10
Он вырезал на старинных дверях сюжеты с фотографий, найденных в заброшенных домах, а затем обжигал.


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