Skin, Flesh and Bone
Cao Hui, Feng Feng, He Yunchang, Ma Qiusha
Stiftelsen 3,14, Bergen
Chinese body art
"Skin, Flesh and Bone" is one of the exhibitions during the Chinese contemporary art frenzy in Bergen.
While the "Real Life Stories" at Bergen Kunstmuseum present the well established artists, this exhibition is about the young aspiring Chinese contemporary artists. Here is agression, anger, violence and humanity. All provoking, some repulsive, and some are actually hurting us when we watch.
Stiftelsen 3,14 entrance
Up the majestic staircase of the former bank building to the exhibition space.
Feng Feng: Golden Age
The work of Feng Feng are guilded human bones, with a heart hanging over it. We are not sure whether these are genuine human bones, and how he in that case got hold of them. We also can not know if the human of the bones suffered an accident or a natural death. It makes me almost wonder if possibly someone was killed to make this artwork.
Ma Qiusha: From No.4 Pingyuanli to No.4 Tianqiaobeili
The artist tells us her childhood story, of how she became an artist. She seems to be worried about something as she talks. What it is, is revealed in the end, where she takes out a razor blade from her mouth. It was in there during the long speech. Watching the story again, it hurts seeing her hurt. An interesting fact she told during the presentation is that Chinese watched the pictures first, then watched the movie again, reading the text. Westerners read the text first, then saw the pictures. I do not know if that means something. I did it the Western way. And was shocked at the end of the movie.
Ma Qiusha: We
Three couples are sewn together in their clothing. They all separate, ripping their clothes to pieces. They are seemingly bodily unharmed of the breakup, but they are left naked, and their surroundings are destroyed.
He Yunchang: One Meter Democracy
This artpiece is the most repulsive I have ever seen, it makes me feel sick even just thinking about it. The artist arranged a fixed voting session on whether he should have a surgical operation or not. The operation was to make a 1cm deep and 1m long incision along the side of his body. An operation totally useless, with no other purpose than creating an open wound and leaving a scar. The votes were fixed, he would have had the procedure done anyway. I can imagine the reaction of the participants knowing they voted differently, but left with the responsibility of this horrible act. This was all carried out in China, while fortunately all we see are the story and the photos. Now what kind of democracy is this, it makes me ask. Which is probably exactly what he wants me to ask.
Video by Cao Hui
The works of Cao Hui actually did not make it to the exhibition opening. Some work were not allowed being sent, and the remaining sculpture somehow got delayed. So what is showed at the exhibition is a video of another work of his, a sculpture of a head being puzzled together of small pieces.
Along with the exhibition was a programme of other happenings. Here was a very interesting panel debate with the curator, the artists, the Norwegian artist Morten Traavik, and more.