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Halfway House

Author: Shi Qing Mar,2009

The phrase 'Halfway House' is obviously and intentionally being altered, and is now to be understood to refer to pausing halfway, questioning, contemplating and looking into new possibilities. Factory is a series of works tailor-made for the architectural layout of a work unit from the era of planned economy; and thus emulates the aura, mode and layout of that era. The furniture is from the artist's family and is representative of the basic furniture standard of a household at that time. Also, certain past and forgotten items have been given their respective spaces. Industrialization in an era of building socialism in New China is not only a positive reinforcement of modernization, but can also be seen as naturally abandoning tradition. Moreover, the social institution structure continues to emulate the communist principle of work units from the Yan'an era. The isomorphism of the family and work unit replaces and extends from traditional organizations of the nation. The work Farm is also inspired by China's urban experience of the same era. The balcony, an architectural product of the metropolis, continues to be a private space that bridges agricultural tradition and modern living experiences. The artwork utilizes the mode of containers to underline China's awkward position of being the freight yard of imported social and economic models, as well as express the artist's awareness of the impact of Western socio-economic systems. While the artist reveals the relationship of the modifier and its object between Western modernity and China, the artist raises even more fundamental questions, such as which angle should we judge and verify our own value system? Or that system's possibility of output? Especially under the current global economic circumstances, it should also be a moment when we pause, reflect and recommence.

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Halfway House


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