Yang Fudong

July 10, 2005 at 9:18 pm Leave a comment

Shangart’s got a treasure trove of images from Yang Fudong

Mr. Fudong’s work as Frieze recently pointed out, focuses more on pleasure than politics. He seems to be plumbing the depths of China’s boom world for all the erotic imagery and pyschology undertone you can handle. I might add this flirtatiousness seems to be fairly big in China. After all Wong Kar-Wai’s 2046 explores similar terrian of sex, fun, and personality in China (and it will definitely convince you that Ziyi Zhang is really hot.). Of course dating and all that giggling and what I’d associate with 50s level sock-hops seems to be all the rage in Asia in general. People love to date, they like to flirt, and it all seems harmless until a sexual predator enters the situation and stalks your ass. But what’s behind it all? I mean is Japan’s obession with robotics similar to the medevial automaton lions that followed queens around in the middle ages? Actually no, as the Japanese pointed out their robots are cheap and are being built for practical purposes (the dancing robots aside). Fudong obviously is Chinese, but similar technology obessions flow around most of Asia. For instance my Neural Networking book is written by a Chinese, a Japanese, and an India researcher and their introduction focuses mostly on creating robots, even telling us about telerobotic slaves we’ll one day have… maybe from algorithims in their book. Such and introduction stands in contrast with the many other books on neural networking by Western researchers. So do these mute faces and mysteries

represent some type of reaction to the Asian assumption that behavoir is algorithmic? Nah, not really. Although the boat picture does somehow remind me of the animatronics at disney and it’s farce on emotion and ability does seem to capture that frustration or amazement at the ability of our world to lie down in the face of quantification. Such questions of ya know 1984 style cyborg oh we’re all gonna be robots to a giant slave state stuff does seem kinda cliched. Shangart itself perhaps best captures the gist of it’s own artists letting it’s curators (in remarkably well written english) comment on their own artists.

“As the largest city in China, most social activities in Shanghai are directly connected with commerce. In such a rhythm, the activities and the works done by contemporary artists are often treated as tunes without harmony.” – Lu Leiping, Views from Onlooker’s Horizons: Labyrinth of Shanghai

Mr. Fudong’s work is definitely a tune with a harmony. Like so much work it mirrors a design and intention in the world we can’t see with our eyes, but might be found if we ask the right questions.

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