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The interview on "A Bunch of Happy Fantasies"

Author: Luise Guest 2018-11-07

I would like to ask firstly about ‘A Bunch of Happy Fantasies’ –Was this the first work in which you used neon lights?
S: It's not the first time. My first neon light work is called "Don’t Touch DON’T TOUCH". It’s an infrared sensor installation. When the viewer gets close to the neon light character "Don’t touch" placed on the ground, the infrared sensor hanging on the ceiling sound immediately. I regard it as both a word and an object, to present and discuss the ultimate form of "power".

Why did you decide to use neon for this work – did you think that it was especially appropriate to the poem written by your friend?
S: Instead of the original subtle space of imagination that slowly unfolds the text layer by layer, when the text is presented in the name and form of the visual object of light (neon light) in the physical space, they can cause an adrenaline surge and send the text directly to the top of the illusion. It's like you already reach a rousing climax before you even have time to react: a kind of conceptual "happiness" has been preempted by another kind of imaginary "happiness." So for me, that neon lights are the most appropriate way to represent these illusionary poems.

What first gave you the idea to use the poem as the starting point and focus of the installation?
S: The idea for the installation A Bunch of Happy Fantasies came from an invitation to the theme exhibition "Sweet Future". At that time I still retained a certain interest in illusionary things and believed that the "sweetness" depended on how illusionary it was. Therefore, I hope to use some kind of "sweet" method to present this illusion. Naturally, I thought of my friend's poem, and this installation entitled "A Bunch of Happy Fantasies" came to me. Of course, using my friend's poetry is not for poetry itself, but to try to represent the illusionary reality around us through this illusionary poetic text.

Why are the characters upside down? Was your intention to create a sense of visual and psychological disturbance, mirroring the drug haze experienced by your friend?
S: The upside-down characters only imply that when we are hallucinated by something, our judgment has long flown out of our reality, and we all seem to view and embrace our "happiness" from a celestial perspective. However, we are still on the ground, our bodies and heads had been twisted by hallucinations.

The upside-down neon characters are like reflections in a pool of water – was this your intention, and if so, what is the symbolism?
S: There is a Chinese idiom, "fish for the moon in water". It means that the moon in the water is just a false appearance, an illusion. They don't really exist, so it's futile to fish for the moon. I use this allusion metaphor, and turn it upside down to reinforce this illusion!

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