Friday, April 1, 2011

China's Great Firewall Inspires a Chinese Artist

I've been posting quite a bit on China's Great Firewall and related issues (most recent post here).  The Great Firewall has had much impact in China, not the least on artists.

In Handan, Hebei a local artist unveiled a piece of art in a public park to express his views on the Great Firewall:

bench straddling a concrete square border with dirt in the center

The artist described the piece to me:
"The concrete square represents the Great Firewall encircling a China that is still building.  The bench represents those breaking through the Great Firewall by thinking outside of the box.  And not least, the bricks which are mostly outside of the square represent the ideas for building a better China that remain out of the reach of many because of the Great Firewall and other policies of the Chinese Government."
I'm glad I was able to speak to the artist.  Otherwise I'd be bewildered as to how something that appears to be so "wrong" could be constructed.  I'm sure you can find additional symbolism in the piece.

That such a display of art was in a public park came at a great surprise to me.  I'd be worried there could be undesirable repercussions for the artist, such as those apparently faced by Ai Weiwei (see here).  Maybe for this reason the artist, Hei Pofu, said it would only be displayed as above for today.

[Additional Info:  Since time has passed, please note the special date of the post.]

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