- I am supposed to tell you some of the words I heard deep down in the sea
The exhibition continues the artist's "image-scanning" work on mountains since 2018, focusing on The Hengduan Mountains in Southwest China.
From rocks and minerals to tools and technology, we have expanded the grand picture of the current world by digging down into the earth after a long period of evolution. Metals and mining industry are irreplaceable in the long history of mankind. When casting the internal world of capital, from the surface of the sphere to the interior of the sphere, "mines" also draws a panoramic view of human beings’ madness system. The mining industry in the inaccessible mountains of Southwest China is essentially a game of exchanging time between people and the earth. In the artist's works, mines, tunnel and ores exist as metaphorical representations, with the intention of discussing the modernity experience, geological time and ecology hidden under the image, as well as the madness system. Through various medias such as video and photography, the artist has been trying to gather heterogeneous things and re-measure those faults, cracks and contingencies, and to draw atlas for the areas before they are named, so as to open a virtual geological age.
I am supposed to tell you some of the words I heard deep down in the sea
*「我在说从深海听来的几个词」源于Paul Celan为Edgar Jené所写的文本：“I am supposed to tell you some of the words I heard deep down in the sea where there is so much silence and so much happens.”（我在说从深海听到的几个词，那里如此沉默，但又有很多事情发生。）
As Nan Shepard described in “ The Living Mountain”, "the real sign of a long-term connection with a territory is to be ready to face uncertainty and accept the fact that you can't get all knowledge." I have long forgotten the reason for returning to Hengduan Mountains in the southwest of China. After the stage of "building towers in the void", the distant / nearby, known / unknown world scale is reopened with another kind of in-depth promotion. Therefore, in the experience that I must experience, I began to explore the power of connecting the sense of locality, so the mountains began to appear that they had a story of themselves’ to tell.
No matter they are mountains or rivers, what people cherish are not necessarily the dominance of things. In the visible and unimaginable nature, the mountains at a glance are just a thin image of reality. Whether it is the "past and present lives" of glaciers or the "sublime fragments" of mountains, those secrets are about the internal and ancient life force that has been flowing for thousands of years in the huge scale of eternal movement. Since the absolute beginning, the "vein" bred in the ocean seems to be an internal clue, leading to the mystery of lost time, nature and the earth. The southwest regions of China are considered as the "resource area" in the linear history, I take the mines and relics of the region as the incision to work in the temporal and spatial stacking of mountains and the land relationship. From the past mining industry to today's mountain ecology, I try "image-scanning" the western mountains through a broader narrative.
As the original ark, will the motionless earth ripple? On the way of exploring, I carry such questions and am determined to lead some fragmented knowledge stored in distant time and space here, and believe in and follow some certain traces. Invent the future with ancient knowledge and disappearing language in this re-illuminated area; Also dedicate it to those dark, deep and unknown time, things that have disappeared or are about to disappear.
In the end, let's go to the wilderness tacitly, no matter where we meet.
*It is quoted from a text written by Paul Celan for Edgar Jené: “I am supposed to tell you some of the words I heard deep down in the sea where there is so much silence and so much happens.”
Text /陈萧伊 Chen Xiaoyi
A Thousand Plateaus Art Space, Chengdu, 2022