A Person Who Has Never Seen the Ocean

ink, mineral pigment, pencil, acrylic
360 x 33cm, 2010

This scroll is merely about me, my self-pity (and perhaps self love). I have always longed for a Western elite lifestyle, especially that typical of the higher social echelons after World War I. The pretense of struggle in such a courteous society makes people think this kind of place is really fantastic. On the other hand, I also have a passion for elegant ancient China, and the kind of transcendence which is associated with it.
But in reality, during my stay in Shanghai, I found my life terrible and depressing. Later, in Germany, I found it just the same. Suddenly, I realized that the thing which I couldn’t get and was desperately searching for only existed in my mind. I have a dream of an empty room, as empty as Japanese rooms, but without the hypocrisy of Japanese rooms. Everything is put behind a sliding door. Any artwork, no matter how beautiful or exceptional, will occupy some space and this kind of power (the power of the artwork taking up space) makes me feel uncomfortable. As an artist I am supposed to spend my whole life doing something which will constantly occupy the space of the others. After seeing the very concise works of American artist called Richard Tuttle, I started to emulate them, collaging them in this scroll painting. I think it’s great that there is no connection between the topic “A Person Who Has Never Seen the Ocean” and the artwork itself. The artwork itself should not have any relationship with the title. The reverse is the same.

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