tempi di donne [time of women]

curator: Li Zhenhua / Monica Piccioni
artists: Hai Bo, Yin Xiu Zhen, Cui Xiuwen, Han Lei, Wang Ning, Chen Lingyang
address: Viterbo (central Italy, 80 km north of Rome) , Italy
time: March 1st, 2003
organizer: Officina.Ltd
Press kit:

artists art work for download:
hanlei>zip file> 338k
chenlingyang>zip file> 452k

articles about chen ling yang:
Li Xianting

Liao Wen

Chen Lingyang

An Interview with Chen Lingyang by Chen Lingyang No.2 (C and C2 for short)

C2: I'm happy to have this interview with you to get a better understanding of both yourself and your art.
C: Thank you.
C2: We have just looked at the work "Twelve Flower Months" I wonder what inspired you to create this work?
C: It is hard to explain clearly with words why I was drawn to this idea at the time¡­ explaining that might be better achieved by psychologists or other specialists
C2: But you must be aware of what draw your attention to this topic?
C: Well, yes. Following my graduation in 1999, I found myself in a period of withdrawal. I had no job, little communication with my friends. I would stay at home inside all day long. This continued for several months ¡­ I totally removed myself from public life. Under such circumstances, some physiological elements naturally reveal themselves, and often in relation to the body. For example, hunger, cold, in particular menstruation and the pains that accompany it, emotional anxiety, etc. I noticed the cycle from dawn to dusk, noticed the slow growth of plants, and noticed the gradual changes in the weather¡­ But this experience alone is not the reason why I made this work. It was only a fuse that lit a spark and brought the subject of menstruation to my attention. I found myself harassed by the subject. I could not put it out of my mind¡­ Then I realised the subject was both strong and apt enough for me to express what I wanted to express¡­ Thus, I used this as a subject for my artwork. I did the piece "Scroll" in October and then started to take these pictures in November.
C2: Your work appears directly related to emotion¡­
C: Yes. But not emotion I want to say in words. I want to leave something for the audience. Of course, I'm happy that others offer comment on it, or discuss it.
C2: Some say that your works are private. When such works are exhibited to the public or enter the public arena in other ways, it is hard to predict or to control the outcome or reaction¡­
C: Yet, the work needs to be experienced in a public space. Let's start from the background of this work. In traditional Chinese culture there is the notion of man in harmony with nature. It is said that a man of great virtue and learning inherently understood that he was an integral part of nature and thus free himself from his ego in the mysterious world of philosophy, and all human emotion. To me, "nature" means the laws and rhythms of everything in the universe. And these laws and rhythms are connected with cycles. For a woman, it is easy to observe this in the experience of the monthly physiological and psychological, changes that occur with menstruation. When people see this work in public space, it may provoke various reactions. But the work itself also offers the possibility of dispelling such reactions. This possibility of dispelling may come from the traditional elements I referred to earlier. Provoking and dispelling often go hand in hand. They are inextricably bound together. Only through the process of provoking and dispelling can new possibilities emerge. C2: The work "Twelve Flower Months" takes the period of one year as a unit. There are therefore twelve images. Was this a deliberate stress?
C: Yes. The twelve images were presented as one work. I just said that this work is associated with the laws and rhythms of the nature. A year is a complete cycle of time. There is no definite beginning or ending. It's just a circle but every moment cannot be repeated¡­ It is one year on the surface, but actually it suggests a boundless concept of time.
C2: You made some installation works earlier. Why did you choose photography as a medium for this work?
C: I choose a technique according to the need of my work. Photography can represent an instant of time and at best gives a feeling of truth, though there is also possibility of cheating in the process. The reason why I didn't choose digital means is that I don't want people to think of this work as being a "composite" image or one that had been "pieced and pasted" together.
C2: Some of the pictures directly present female genitalia. Did you encounter any psychological obstacle in producing these?
C: It's an artwork. The question of painting the human body in Chinese art academies was condoned decades of years ago. But of course it is not suitable for minors. C: How did the idea of Chen Lingyang No.2 come about?
C2: It's a long story. I have sensed a kind of "split" for a long time. For example, when I was in the process of making my work, I felt as if 'I' had entered a backroom. My connections to the outside world were switched off and I wholly entered my own inner self¡­ When I come out and re-engaged with the outside world, especially when I was talking about my work with others, I found myself feeling like an irrelevant other person. This was greatly perplexing. I met Wang Xingwei at New Year 2001 and he told me that he intended to change his name into Wang Xingwei 2. In this way, he is still one person and does the same thing, but he doesn't have to be responsible for what Wang Xingwei has done, because he is not Wang Xingwei, but Wang Xingwei 2. Initially I found this highly amusing. And then we looked at the pictures of Andy Warhol dressed as a woman. I went back to my hometown in Zhejiang Province at Spring Festival (2001. 02). Before my parents, I played the role of a good daughter. This was totally outside of anything to do with art that I am engaged in. Only when I talked about art with my friends in Beijing over the telephone did I reconfirm some connections with my role of an artist in Beijing ¡­ It was a strong feeling. I suddenly realized that it was a basic fact for a person to play different roles in different situations. At that time, I decided to make a new series of works, with one person as two parts doing works towards two directions. In this way I decided to create the role for Chen Lingyang No.2. Chen Lingyang No.2 and Wang Xingwei 2 appear the same on the surface but are different actually. It is a kind of humorous. Salutation to Wang Xingwei.
C: What direction do you intend to go in in future?
C2: All that Chen Lingyang No.2 does will be connected with Chen Lingyang. Maybe it is "publicity" for Chen Lingyang, believe it or not. If everything goes well, she is going to make an interview with Cheng Lingyang as the prologue in the catalogue for the work "Twelve Flower Months".
C: Really? (smiles)

Zhang Li

Hai Bo's work

DUSK -1/Color Photography/2002

THEY -Three Sisters/Colour Photography /1999/180 X 60cm

THEY I'm Chairman Mao's Red Guard/Colour Photography/1999

Yin Xiuzhen's work
SHOES /installation, mixed media- cloth and colour photography/1998/10 pairs SHOES /installation, mixed media- cloth and colour photography/1998/10 pairs SHOES /installation, mixed media- cloth and colour photography/1998/10 pairs

Cui Xiuwen's work
TOOT /Video /2001 /(3.30 min.) TOOT /Video /2001 /(3.30 min.)

Wang Ning's work
1201/16mm/2002/12.01 minutes 1201/16mm/2002/12.01 minutes

Chen Lingyang's work

12 month flower
peach flower
tea flower

Han Lei's work


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