20 December, 2015 — 6 March, 2016
J.M.J January 20, 1861.
Dearest, honored and beloved Father,
Since my sentence is yet to come, I wish to address you a new farewell, probably the last one. My days in prison are going by peacefully. Everyone around honors me, and many even love me. From the great Mandarin to the last soldier, all regret that the law of the kingdom condemns me to the death sentence. I have not endured any tortures, like many of my brothers. A slight strike of a sword will behead me, like a spring flower picked by the garden Master for pleasure. We are all flowers growing on this earth, picked by God at some point, a little earlier for some, a little later for others. One is the crimson rose, another the virginal lily, another the humble violet. Let us all try to please the Lord and Master, with the perfume or radiance we were given.
I wish you, dear Father, a long, peaceful and virtuous old age. Bare your life cross gently, following the path of Jesus, till the calvary of a felicitous death. Father and son will meet again in heaven. I, small transient being, am to leave first. Farewell.
Your devoted and respectful son.
J. Théophane Vénard
I like the idea that calligraphy can become an act of pure labor.
－Quoted from Danh Vo “Mother Tongue”, published by “Phung Vo 2009-2012″, Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2013
These ruins become so clear and alive only in the rays of twilight, when memories inundated by tidal waters float to the surface, making bubbles. Those vital particulars engender sympathy for life, but also help us move towards a new cycle: we are already so familiar with the manufacturing industry that our belief in human potential is lacking, and so is our belief in twilight, in our intimate relationship with other species. But when twilight approaches, everything will return to its position, and the limpid greyscale will produce an authoritative dusk, the reversal of the food chain and the sense of direction of particle motion ——In the dregs of the belly of history, the distorted human form will evolve into an inhuman form. It will stand up quietly and migrate without scruples to the fringes of the swamp, to the distant, deep-sunk city.
We go back to our room, lock the door, shut the window, and switch on the light. We only read letters from the family and refuse to think about all the sorrows of everyday life, but they still slip through the cracks, letting in hallucinations of the disaster site. In many years, when everything is gone, will there still be a feeling of absence in the air? Will those digital images that were stored in cloud storage be left behind just like what happened to those old photos? But still, it was only the writings from long ago that was able to trigger secret resources that have been hidden for years—as one day we will be remembered as long as we have really lived. If only there was such thing as a real life.
When life is given back to the hands of time.
Courtesy Vitamin Creative Space
Opening: 3pm, 19 December (Saturday), 2015
Exhibition Duration: 20 December, 2015 — 6 March, 2016
Opening Hours: 11:00 – 17:00, Wednesday to Sunday
Exhibition Venue: Mirrored Gardens
Address: Hualong Agriculture Grand View Garden, Panyu, Guangzhou, China