Some people were surprised that you won the Discovery Award at Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival because you did not use a photo camera for this project. Nevertheless the jury members for the award all pre-selected your work. One of the jury members, collector and art entrepreneur David Chau, explained: «Although no photo equipment is used in his work, he relies mainly on image and photo collages, and shows us new, unlimited possibilities for photography». What is your view on this?
I’d like to quote my curator Dong Bingfeng, as his introduction to my exhibition answers this question best: “The problem with photography today is that it has given way to imagery.” The relationship between images, how they are produced and viewed, is the relationship between the artist and the audience. In broader terms, it doesn’t really matter whether it’s an actual photo or if camera equipment is being used. What matters is the question raised by the artist’s work. I think that by selecting my work, Jimei x Arles made a strong statement. By making this decision, the festival manifested that the moving image is an important artistic medium, and should be discussed more in the future.
Why did you call this piece Weekend?
The weekend is a period of relaxation or an blank slate. It’s a time in which we need to make arrangements and decide what to do next. How we schedule our weekend determines what it means to us. In my work, fixed images are placed on a timeline and their meaning changes accordingly. The emotions and narrative change too, and this is the best part about this work. I also chose the name because I really like French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard’s Weekend (1967).
In your work, you have your hands on a large range of material such as video, installation, music, VJ performance, blurring the boundaries that can be drawn between different types of arts, and creating a connection and discussion between these different genres. Were you always interested in working with such diverse equipment?
I think I’ve been trying the most suitable means of expression, but this doesn’t come from my use of various materials and artistic language. No matter whether I use music, installation, moving images or film, everything will come together in the end. Dong Bingfeng mentioned my use of “nostalgia” in his curatorial introduction. I like to think it isn’t some kind of cheap consumer version, but rather an exploration of history, personal memory, delicate oral histories of family relations, that has coloured my artistic language in recent years.