海報Poster Design：王阿Wang A+王我Wang Wo
藝術家Artist: 艾未未Ai Weiwei 裝置Installation
《底層1：來客》Stratum 1: The Visitors
藝術家Artist：叢峰Cong Feng 電影Fiction Film 71 min HD
藝術家Artist：海波Hai Bo 錄像Video 4 min
藝術家Artist：黃驥Huang Ji 纪录电影Documentary Film 60 min
艺术家Artist：杨志超Yang Zhichao 录像Video 8 min
藝術家Artist ：周麗Zhou Li 牆上繪畫＋裝置Installation
An independent no budget exhibition in fanHall.
I am an outsider. A distant observer at best. I do not know too much about China and do not read or speak the language. I am a film festival programmer and curated some exhibitions before. In my spare time, mostly around midnight, I make sometimes strange drawings. Nothing serious. Last year I showed a hundred of them in fanHall and gave them away to the visitors of the opening (that was the closing at the same time). I was asked to do such an event again, but thought that was too much honor for something that should stay a hobby. I proposed to curate an exhibition instead. I was aware that there was no real budget for that (although I guess fanHall will lose money on this), but that I saw as a challenge and fitting for a venue that devotes itself to low budget filmmaking.
I spent quite some time in Songzhuang and came to like it. I did a project with young African filmmakers for which fanHall helped me a lot (so I am happy to do something in return). During my stay I noticed something that you will all know already. Every now and then people from the group of helping filmmakers left for sometimes weeks. Back to their hometown it was explained. So my idea that the Chinese only go back to their hometown once a year with Chinese New Year was changed. Some go very often and for sometimes quite long periods. Somehow they still live there. I also noticed that of all the people I got to know in Songzhuang everybody knew from which province they were. They were not seen as from Beijing or Songzhuang; they were all still inhabitants of some other province. Their home might be in Songzhuang, but not there hometown home.
So when I had to come up with a theme for the exhibition I chose the most common and most obvious of all and I also was sure that non would refer to Songzhuang, but to as many places as artists involved.
What can make an exhibition expensive is travel and shipping costs of unique materials. I once made an exhibition in Rotterdam for which I invited Tsai Ming-Liang who had to come from Taiwan and the work contained 50 old cinema chairs that had to come from Malaysia. To avoid this kind of costs I asked filmmakers and artists that were close to fanHall.
Close in practical distance. Some live and work only a few minutes walking away from fanHall. And close to the independent idea of fanHall. All of them I have met at one or the other occasion in the building. So no costs for flight tickets and hotel nights and it was up to the artists to make a cheap or expensive work. They knew that they would not be reimbursed. This is a way of exhibition making you can not do everywhere and maybe also you can not do it too often.
To contradict myself I point out that the exhibition will contain at least one work that will be hard to move afterwards. Ai Weiwei proposed to make an underground house in the yard. A hole in the ground he said where he lived as a kid when his father was sent to live in a far away province. Maybe more a house than a hole it is an art work you can actually live in and I suppose it wil stay after the exhibition. I asked Ai Weiwei if he would live in the house for a while. He liked the idea, but maybe not totally up to him to actually do it.
I asked very different artists and filmmakers for the exhibition. Established artist like Ai Weiwei and also the great performance artist Yang Zhichao and the great photographer Hai Bo. Good so many great artists live near to fanHall. Enough for many more exhibitions.
FanHall is a place for students in independent film so also younger people had to be involved and also filmmakers. Cong Feng, maker of strong observational documentaries and Huang Ji, who made one of the most remarkable independent fiction films of the last year, are representing the younger generation of filmmakers.
The artist couple Zhou Li and Wu Youming are younger artists. I asked them together, but as it goes with hometowns, each has its own one and they decided to make separate works.
The exhibition will not be like or look like the usual museum or gallery exhibition. The whole building will be used, but it will stay normally in use. The fanHall cafe will contain works but will also be open to visitors.
I proposed the theme and the artists, but the real work is done by my friend Zhu Rikun.