Reception: Sunday, 2nd September 2007, 6.30 - 8.00pm
Exhibition Dates: 4nd September – 5th October, 2007
Opening Times: 1 – 5pm (closed Sundays/Mondays)
In the project When Zhuge Liang Meets Pandas, whether they two really met in history is only a beginning of looking for the truth. The real purpose of the work is to put Zhuge and panda on the history stage again as two separate symbol systems in the culture context nowadays, and to analyze and test the possibility of harmony and conflict of local and global culture, to explore and imagine the truth of today’s culture consuming. The work, mixed up with personal imagination, field researching, and history embezzlement, consists of the multimedia installation to parallel with the multi-culture concept, as to turn to the deep touch of the society.
Part One: Official Political Image
Zhuge Liang’s, a famous Chinese legend, memorial architecture and philosophy represent the value and moral system of the official and the upper-class society. The official image of Zhuge was strengthened and expanded continuously by every generation of the governing class throughout China’s history. Zhuge’s symbolic philosophy became part of the governing policy.
Part Two: Unofficial Narration
Zhuge Liang’s legend has spread for long time as an important part of local folk culture. This unofficial discourse changed the official history and rebuilt it according to their own cultural environments. This unofficial narrative told a different story than the official image, thereby adding separate abilities to his personality and philosophy.
Part Three: The Meeting of Zhuge and Panda
The actual meeting of Zhuge and a panda under the distinct geographical and historical time of the Three Kingdom is in fact possible. Looking for the so called truth of history is only a beginning. The purpose here might be to find a divergent point of view to give a glance at history from the unofficial side.
Part Four: The History of Panda
The modern history of the panda is a western history. The global cultural consumption has absorbed the panda thereby neglecting its diverse historical and political role in China’s history. From this view, China only serves as the breeding place of the pandas. Today, the panda as a cultural symbol, has become totally westernized..
Part Five: The Re-union of Zhuge and Panda
The two stories, Zhuge and panda, respectively represent a regional cultural system and a global one. Today, in their historical origin in Hanzhong, a sculpture and a photo-series of Zhuge with a panda serve to “re-unite” these symbols of divergent histories.