A Night of Performance Art by Meng Zhou
17th November, 2018
Public View: 14:00 - 16:00 | Private View: 19:00 - 21:00
Liangshe · Banquet, No. 688 North Shanxi Road, Shanghai.
Londno-based artist Meng Zhou and independent curator Yusi Xiong jointly presents Bafeng, a one-night exhibition featuring performance art and video installations, on view at Liangshe · Banquet, Shanghai November 17, 2018. This work is the first performance art project of the artist and the curator in China.
‘Profit, Decline, Destruction, Reputation, Praise, Ridicule, Hardship, and Happiness’ —regarded as ‘Bafeng’ (eight winds) in Buddhism. They summarise the four positive and the four negative attitudes towards people from their surrounding world, which are not only worldly affairs but also the dialectical philosophy existing in the macro-world and micro-individuals. The show presents curator and the artist’s concepts for observing and thinking about collective and individual behaviours from different perspectives, focusing on the neglected details of life and discussing the related themes of alienation, self-consciousness, and cultural identity.
The eight scenes of Bafeng are intricately weaved and layered within the exhibition space, creating a multi-sensory experience. Based on these eight incitements in the world of Buddhism, which stir up one's mind, the artist reconstitutes eight monologues with both dramatic poetry and visual impact. Through infinite repetitions and maximisation of action, light, sound, odour, and details in materials by actors within a finite span of time and space, Bafeng minimises the role of language, strengthens the pure body image and sound effect, and dominates the suggestive tone of the work. In each scene, humour, satire, and abstraction always permeate a familiar yet distant world described by the work.
While seemingly simple, aesthetically beautiful and affective, Bafeng relates to everyone but at the same time its referential ambiguity allows for open, wide-ranging interpretations. Deconstructing classical Oriental philosophy with performance and modern materials, the artist and the curator give a degree of autonomy to medium in the work, while simultaneously representing the malleability of Bafeng, affirming the medium’s resilient ability to provide a space for introspective meaning.