A Hundred Year Old Tree Blooms Again

Works by Zheng Guogu

NEW YORK

April 15 – May 31, 2008

A Hundred Year Old Tree Blooms Again No.1 百年老树再长一遍 No.1
2008
Oil on canvas
107 1/2 x 72 in. (273 x 183 cm)
A Hundred Year Old Tree Blooms Again No.4 百年老树再长一遍 No.4
2008
Oil on canvas
107 1/2 x 72 in (273 x 183 cm)
Another Embroidered Two Millennia No. 45
2006-2007
Embroidery
74 3/4 x 74 3/4 in (190 x 190 cm)
Another Embroidered Two Millennia No. 48
2006-2007
Embroidery
74 3/4 x 74 3/4 in (190 x 190 cm)

Chambers Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening on April 15, 2008 of A Hundred Year Old Tree Blooms Again by Zheng Guogu. This will be the first solo exhibition in the United States of the work of this young Chinese artist who was born in Yangjiang, Guangdong, China in 1970. He graduated from the printmaking department of the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1992 and since then has lived and worked in the town of his birth, five hours or more from Hong Kong.

Zheng Guogu is active as a photographer, painter, and performance artist and has gained a reputation as a conceptual provocateur. His early work documenting the youth culture of Yangjiang was photography based and disarmingly casual in approach, but since then he has widened his range of interests without moving away from Yangjiang.

A Hundred Year Old Tree Blooms Again is the development of ideas first explored in his ongoing project The Age of Empire in which Zheng Guogu negotiated the sale of land from a peasant and attempted to legalize the transaction. The current exhibition follows from beginning to end the sequence of events that led to the planting of a massive one hundred year old tree in the courtyard of Chambers Fine Art Beijing in September 2007. The negotiation and purchase, the long overland journey with the tree on a flat-bed truck, the precarious lowering into place in the courtyard, the skillful planting and wrapping by professional plants-men provides the subject-matter for photographs, videos and a new series of paintings.

The moment of truth – whether or not the tree survives – is rapidly approaching. If it does Christophe W. Mao remarks that it will be “a triumph for Zheng Guogu’s skills as a negotiator and a demonstration of his political canniness. It will become a famous tree, a rural immigrant to the big city like so many millions of Chinese although much bigger and older and at the same time a work of art by Zheng Guogu. It will be impossible to miss.”

前波画廊荣幸地宣布将于2008年4月15日开幕举办郑国谷的个展《百年老树再长一遍》。这将是这位年青中国艺术家在美国举办的首次个展。郑国谷于1970年出生于广东省阳江市,1992年毕业于广州美术学院。毕业后他搬回阳江,一个离香港不到五个小时的城市,至今仍生活居住在那里。

郑国谷的作品以观念上的挑战性而著称,其创作媒体包括摄影,油画,行为艺术等。他的早期作品以极其随意的摄影形式记录了阳江青年的生活。从那之后,虽然没有离开阳江,他所创作的作品的广度一直在不段扩大。

《百年老树再长一遍》是《帝国时代》项目的延伸。在《帝国时代》中,经过与当地农民的反复交谈,郑国谷买下了一块地,并努力使这个行为合法化。本次展览展出的作品,紧随艺术家2007年将一棵巨大的百年老树移植到前波画廊北京的院子里的全部过程。购买大树的交涉过程,用卡车将大树运到北京的车程,将大树从上吊进大院的小心翼翼,以及植树工人种植和包裹大树的专业技术,都给郑国谷所创作的摄影,录影及油画等作品提供了主题和灵感。

这个行为的最终结果马上就要揭晓了——这颗被移植的大树到底是否可以存活?如果它确实能在前波画廊北京的大院里继续成长的话,这就应验了茅为清(Christophe W. Mao)所说的:“它将成为郑国谷交涉能力和政治精明的胜利和象征。它将变得赫赫有名——一棵从农村移民到大城市的树,就像中国成千上万的民工一样。当然,它更加高大和古老,也是郑国谷创作的一件艺术作品。没有人会不去注目它。”

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