Being rather new in the blog scene, I often think about what blogging means (for me) and where I’d like to take this little ‘experiment’ of mine. What do I want to say? How personal/critical/political do I want to be? Writing about interior design, DIY projects, personal finds or art often has a rather upbeat tone of voice. Things I post are generally things I’m enthusiastic about. But lately I’ve been reading up about the social and political climate in China, especially in relation to (critical) art. Having a blog or even a twitter-account there isn’t nearly as easy as it is for me. And it genuinely makes me appreciate my own position. Reading about China doesn’t make you enthusiastic at all. It’s rather depressing actually.
Above you see an artwork of Ai Wei Wei called Coloured Vases. It looks kinda pretty. And it even makes me think of a design image like this, the vases by Dahlhaus.
Though the difference between these two works is huge. Ai Wei Wei used not just any vase, he used Neolithic vases, actual archaeological finds, from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). He dipped them in industrial paint thus destroying their historical value. Doing this could be seen as a comment on the organised destruction of Chinese culture during the Cultural revolution. Or as the continued erosion of the present Chinese culture. What Ai’s exact intension was remains unclear. But this work definitely functions as a critique on China and it’s past. So a pretty image such as this can make you think critically about very different issues.
Being critical in a society with a state-controlled media such as China is hard. They don’t allow for much criticism. Ai Wei Wei was arrested by the Chinese government the third of April, as you may know. Currently his whereabouts are unknown. The Chinese government are holding him (and with him several other artists) captive and will not give the public any information as to why, how or where. I just want to say that I deeply regret that things like this occur. And I hope China will soon release the wrongly imprisoned. Of course this is just one of the many things wrong with the world, but if you want to read a little more about it, click here.
I’ll try and be a little more upbeat next time!
[image coloured vases courtesy of the Artist Ai Wei Wei, image Dahlhaus via Poppytalk]