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Explanation of 'Adding One Concept on Top of Another'

Author: Shi Yong 1997

I employed Joseph Kosuth's One and Three Chairs as the starting point for my work, since it is not only a piece of conceptual art, but also one which has been legitimized with the power of language in the context of contemporary Western art history. Adding the image of a contemporary Chinese artist to it equals adding an accepted concept of the so-called "contemporary Chinese" to a contemporary Western concept of the power of language. Therefore, the original concept that Kosuth's chair embodies inevitably transforms into a concept of the mutual relationship between the Chair and the Chinese sitting on it, furthermore, leading us into a level of reality, a reality of communication, which is under the protection of muti-cultural strategy and a current cultural scene and, which, conditioned by the mutual guarantee required by both the center and the fringe, deals with how to offer a valid stage and how to produce legitimized performances.

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