This installation is part of the ongoing exhibition, Jianshan Project, by Tianjin-based artist collective, Space Regeneration Project (SRP). The Jianshan worker housing complex once consisted of more than 20 red brick apartment buildings with shared bathrooms and kitchens on each floor. The buildings are currently in the process of being removed to accommodate the extension of the Tianjin subway system. The buildings' residents were given compensation from the government, allowing them to move to more modern dwellings. Many residents continue to dwell in the partially dismantled buildings with hopes of receiving more government funds.
SRP's Jianshan Project exhibition consists of a series of site-specific works responding to the removal of the housing complex. Artists have been invited to create artworks inside or outside of the buildings during the prolonged demolition process. The whole project launched on July 6th, 2013, and end with the completion of the buildings’ demolition. A series of openings for each project to be will be held so the projects can be viewed sequentially. Every artwork will change with the impact of time, the environment, and people around them until eventually the whole work disappears.
My work, Hongxing Li Inflection, is located in one room inside of a building in the Hongxing Li (Red Star Area). Inflection means to change meaning by modifying word pronunciation. Tone and context change perception- Household objects or a nail in a wall may become tragic and fascinating relics in this place because we know they will be demolished.
Inflection also means to deviate from the straight or normal course- Creating something here in the midst of a destructive process.
Materials found here are pragmatically sturdy and resistant to their imminent destruction. By cementing shards to the walls, the walls are made thicker and fragments of ceramic and glass find a new purpose. Their reflective nature lends them an immateriality though and absence is pervasive. Sparkling paint has traced objects that were removed.
The room’s reflective nature increases its changeability in the face of light and time. The windows are Westward-facing and the room is most illuminated when the day is ending.