EXHIBITIONS


As vol.1 and vol.2 of the video series Random Combing of Chinese Oral Literature, the video work Reliquary finished in Aug 2005 at Lianzhou city of Guangdong Province.

With the result that a series of “Structure”text put the oral literature down for the narrative subjects, and the local intricate intangible cultural heritage: dance, game, fable, religious ceremonies, custom, handicraft, architecture and arithmetic etc, have been represented as objects or beholders.Frequently, these intricacies are undistinguishable between subject and object. They are apt to break the Subject-object Dichotomy, be self-confused, pull narratives back to the subject rapidly, or go their own way, letting the chips fall where they may, reversing the position of subject and object when they get the run upon.

Ultimately, the finished works become a series of personalized videos accompanied with instantaneous carnival in manner of being obsessed by subject, emphasizing the structure and restraining the narratives. 



During the first Lianzhou International Photography Festival, Li Lang, Dong Bingfeng and the organizing committee held a discussion with regard to creating a visual work based on the city of Lianzhou itself.  This was how the "Village of Four" project was born. "Village of Four" is a name given to a remote village in the northern part of Guangdong province, where the only residents were a couple living in a house that can be seen in this series. There is a traditional saying that the number of residents in this village cannot exceed four. Li Lang’s approach was taking one still picture every ten minutes from dawn to dusk, creating a total of 80 images in the process. The images were then repeatedly displayed by a slide projector. During playback, for every 3 seconds the viewers could hear a very boring sound (the sound of the slide carousel rotating) to further enrich their aesthetic experience. This artistic form lands itself between still images and motion picture.


"Village of Four" is a collaborative project between Li Lang and Dong Bingfeng. By using two different forms of medium, photography by Li Lang and video by Dong Bingfeng respectively, they have expressed their own perspectives on the same subject.


“What ‘Village of Four’ tries to convey is the contradiction between reality itself (from a sociological standpoint) and the concept of the installation work that arises from it. By creating photographic records in regular intervals of ten minutes with fixed exposure settings, the work leans towards the aesthetic context of motion picture rather than the strict standards of traditional documentary photography. After the same scene has been relentlessly duplicated over and over again, details of the images begin to change subtly over the separate moments of time. As the “images” are displayed one after another, an irreversible statement of opinion has been formed that questions the permanence of photographic images." (Dong Bingfeng) As what Dong Bingfeng referred to as the “aesthetic context of motion picture”, there is a factual clue in the work of "Village of Four" that is parallel to reality and technology: from still photography to slides to movement (video). And the way the project is presented: with the same subject during the same period, three different ways of expression have been devised: (1) still images, (2) continuous presentation of these images, and (3) motion picture. As such, Li Lang's photography comprises the first part of the project, his slide presentation the second, while Dong Bingfeng's video work makes the last part. What is more prominent here is the slide presentation by Li Lang. As the slide projector produces its own sound during the presentation process, it becomes a natural component of the project itself, constantly interfering with the viewers’ psychological responses, pulling the audience away from the motion picture experience back to the realm of still photography..


What makes "Village of Four" an interesting experience is the three different types of stimulations that are presented to the viewers at the exhibition, and the constant play on the interchange between psychological intuition and visual receptions. On the other hand, it could be interpreted that both were present at the same time. This vague and incomprehensible feeling makes reality seemingly within reach yet gradually becoming more complicated over time, with facts and reasoning both united and divided simultaneously.