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The Story of Beginning
by Space Station
Location: Space Station
Artist(s): LIANG Shuo
Date: 26 Sep - 2 Nov 2014

Liang Shuo’s series of sculptures on migrant rural workers have attracted much attention since 2000. He builds up a model of a new Chinese “scum” aesthetic system by using experimentally different materials like finished products of mixed media, sculpture, Chinese brush painting, etc. In his Fit series, he combines as many items as possible on the strict basis that the interfaces of two items have to be matched. Based on more than ten years’ study on folk and natural history museum interests, Space Station this time has come up with “The Story of Beginning” plan, in which we are going to use a pattern that parodies the contemporary specialized business incubator of culture industry, to target on the future primitive society, to use the accumulation of the prototype of collective unconscious, and to let out the power of unknown primitive myths. Liang Shuo again uses the primitive clay sculpture to depict Nvwa, a most important goddess in ancient Chinese mythology, telling the story of the first ancient sculptor who used clay to make man like herself. Nvwa is the mother goddess who creates mankind and who reigns over women’s pregnancy, the worship of life and marriage. The myth that Nvwa creates man and saves the world by patching up the sky with a stone is metaphorization as well as symbolization of the reality of the dominant social order in matrilineal society. The work Nvwa can be divided into several scenes: Nvwa creates man, the cycle of life, Gonggong offends Buzhou mountain, the collapse of sky and earth, Nvwa patches the sky, etc. The totem-like combinations are arranged according to the human history, depicting the order of the psychological pattern of man’s creation, destruction, redemption and reconstruction. Reality is just like the myth, undergoing both the attack from history and the transformation of future. Everything is possible in a myth. A myth can get rid of the exchange of different marks of the consumption of capitalism, and keep reusing the symbols of primitive culture. As Jean Baudrillard says, only the confrontation of death can fight against numbers and imitations, and save our depleting culture. Liang Shuo is to deal with the clay sculpture in the Chinese traditional way, reconsidering all the new possibilities that this traditional medium, one that has long been neglected by contemporary art, can have. The whole view is built up in a garden style and which constructs landscape according to the specific natural conditions of the place. The clay sculpture builds up the Chinese garden-style space structure whose feature is that the scenery changes along with the movement of the viewer, and builds up a profound and vast feeling of space by using scattered point perspective, circular engraving, relief and high relief. The artist is going to reconsider the realistic sculpting system developed from the western perspective by using the methodology of Chinese traditional painting, to embark on a Dadaistic and creative exploration, based on the combination of theme, material and the primitiveness of body experience, to go back to the experiment within the confrontation among the most fundamental elements, the body of oneself and imagination, and to trace back to the concept and function of the clay sculpture of the creation of man. These sculptures are just as what Lacan has said: “the somniloquy is fixed.”

 

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