a kung saan ay mahalaga ay hindi nakikita sa mata

An almost adult with way to deep of a passion for antyhing artisitic


Zhang Huan - 1/2, 1998, Beijing, China

"In his three-photograph series 1/2 (1998), Zhang Huan likewise proceeds dualistically, opposing body and mind, while perfectly aware that they interact and interdepend. Lacking all clews such as clothing, haircut or other temporally determined- hence decipherable- codes, it is impossible to order the photographs. The first in particular, for which the artist asked a row of friends to write whatever words came into their heads on his body in black ink, is unintelligible if one can read no Chinese characters- the image simply eludes interpretation. The letters ABC and the word "freestar" on the artist’s right arm constitute an insignificant exception, but these few legible signs merely serve to underline the foreignness of the rest. Exhibited in a Western context, such works are exotic, because the culture literally inscribed onto Zhang Huan’s body is translocated, decontextualised and reinterpeted. Misunderstanding or incomprehension inevitably result. The point is, however, that while the work opposes current views on art in its country of origin it is not exotic. The process of decontextualisation, and the altered conditions of the work’s reception, are what exoticise it." ["Seeds of Hamburg" by Yilmaz Dziewior]