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Recent Creative Ideas

Author: Shi Yong Feb,1998

Recently nearly in one year, the idea of my works mainly concerns with the "public image" which exists in the medium space. Exactly, facing to the western medium, the "Public Image" is ironical. And it reflects another cultural reality in the dialogue and interchange between the western and the non-western: the so-called multiculturalism defined by the western culture seemingly tells you that the line between the ethnocentric culture and the marginal culture is being eliminated. At the same time, the name of "discrepancy" a new taxonomy of cultures is laying you cleverly in a special symbolic display window for the purpose of distinguishing. Then, you were forced to come back to the marginal position one more time. The difference is only that the previous line with the air of the colonialism is now replaced by that of the post colonialism. Therefore, in the cultural reality controlled factually by the western power, the so-called non-western character who is redifferentiated and redifined has to take the "Public Image" in line with the defined standard as an effective and safe extrance. In that case, you can keep a "legitimate" position in the stage of so-called ethnocentric culture. This is the reason why I take the "Public Image" as the subject of any works.

In the series of my "Public Image", two concepts - making and performance relating closely to the subject are being ultilized fully.

About making, in the department stores in the United States, I saw a lot of things labeled "Made in China". It is strange that I had never seen such merchandise in China. Later, I got to know that they are only made in China according to the samples same from the U.S.A. I understood another meaning in the sentence "Made in China": It is cheap. So the concept "making " in my works signifies particularly the words "Made in China".

About performance, it's obvious that the performance in my works does nothing with the drama acting. It only belongs to the "Public Images" itself. His or her object is the medium, the viewers. So in the minute when he or she stands before the medium and the viewers, the property of the performance has been destined.

Shi Yong
March, 1998
In Shanghai

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