Hu Weiyi 胡为一     

Selected works

Pearl Eyes , 2016, Photography light box (LED lights, photographs, acrylic glass)

Pearl Eyes, 2016, Photography light box (LED lights, photographs, acrylic glass)

I quietly wait for the light to pierce my body , 2014, Photo Installation (detail)

I quietly wait for the light to pierce my body, 2014, Photo Installation (detail)

I quietly wait for the light to pierce my body , 2014, Photo Installation

I quietly wait for the light to pierce my body, 2014, Photo Installation

"I quietly wait for the light to pierce my body", 2016


Hu Weiyi is a prominent member of what might be called the Very Young Chinese Artists. Born in 1990, he embodies the new generation brought up with globalised culture and emancipated from their elders. Delivering a message that is seemingly less political than intimate, he recycles and reassembles with brilliance and relevance the most varied references.

Hardly surprising that the structure of his work ( "I quietly wait for the light to pierce my body ") evokes both a gleaming Christian triptych and a puzzle for informed adults of which we should imagine the missing pieces.

It consists of three parts made of a combination of photographs of body fragments and objects, all tied together by a thin lighted wire that runs through them as for a live electrical installation.

At its subject we could invoke simultaneously archaic dread of fragmentation, BDSM practices, body hook suspensions, the romantic Chinese legend of the red thread, the dismembered and patched body of Egyptian God Osiris, the creature of Dr Frankenstein, but mostly the wacky "Mars attacks" transplants or the monstrous centipede from Tom Six’s Movie "The Human Centipede” that are closer to the artist’s culture.

This "new man" brought to us with a mixture of seriousness and humour is an allegory of our lives filled with holes, drilled, wired, connected, transfused with these tubes that pierce us and attach us to others and objects, these sensory channels through which are injected ink, drugs, milk, blood, ideologies, love and hate.

Body art is used of course, but the performance (the piercing) is outsourced and we are shown silicone phallus and vagina.

The formal research being more important than the fascination with pain of mutilation or sexual provocation. Each photo appears as an entry point for a possible story. The meaning is not set, it moves constantly as the cable changes color indicating whether it is sewn to "good" or "bad" objects.

This thread of light, both a fostering navel cord and an intrusive optic fiber, gives a fantastic dimension to the work. Sutures that hold back the other lovingly, but also grafts that attach him cruelly. And opening to the outside, it can let out the fluid, emptying the being of its substance.

Whoever connects with this work can not help but letting himself sink into the flow of images, memories, signifying quotes and echoes interpenetrating each other with equal value. But is it not this inevitable over-interpretation(Überdeutung in the Freudian sense) that recognizes a work of art.

Text by Eric Vinassac

胡为一是今天可谓“非常年轻的中国艺术家”(Very Young Ghinese Artists)中的出色一员。生于1990年,他代表了在全球化文化浸润下成长起来的新一代中国艺术家:卸下了前辈在历史和意识形态层面的负重,关注个体更胜于关注集体政治,并在创作中融会贯通了最多元化的借鉴和参照。



这个主题,让人产生众多联想,例如,婴儿对身体被肢解的恐惧(Heinz Kohut),虐恋游戏(BDSM), 中国古代浪漫的红线传奇,古埃及神话中欧西里斯(Osiris)被碎尸的故事,科学怪人(Frankenstein)的造物,或是艺术家自己提示的,“火星攻击”中的荒谬移植,Tom Six恐怖片中的蜈蚣人。



相之于“对伤害的迷恋”,艺术家本人更倾向于承认这是一个对形式的追求:每一张照片都可以被看作进入一个可能的故事的开端。每个故事的走向都是不固定的,所产生的意义也不尽相同,正如这条随着不同的连接的身体局部或物体而变换颜色的冷光线,不同的颜色影射了“好的”或是“坏的”物体(Mélanie Klein儿童精神分析学)。

这条冷光线, 既是一根普通的光纤,又是传输养分的脐带,为作品赋予了幻想色彩。它用爱将另一半紧紧缝合,又残酷地将之吞并移植。一旦向外打开,脐带就会失去流质,从而掏空体内的精华。


Eric Vinassac

Hu Weiyi 胡为一 Pulp Landscape III,   2014, Video Installation

Hu Weiyi 胡为一 Pulp Landscape III, 2014, Video Installation

Hu Weiyi 胡为一 Pulp Landscape III, 2014, Video Installation (detail)

Hu Weiyi 胡为一 Pulp Landscape III, 2014, Video Installation (detail)

Pulp Landscape III, 2014
Old suitcase, three cameras, three turntables, acrylic sculptures

Is this man was once a man? Did he possess a soul?
                              Robert Walser « The Rose »

Hu Weiyi is a facetious young man. He has made a device which pulled us with lightness to think about questions so grave and universal as the origin of  evil or the status of  images. We see, in a magician suitcase, small photos of cherubs, girls and boys, fixed to three wheels turning as merry-go-rounds and which are shown on the opposite wall by a species of magic lantern, in short all the elements of a party for children.

The mechanism is clever because all that we look, really touched, charmed by the poetry of the installation, totally changes its meaning as soon as we are told the explanation of the work.

It is no more photos of ordinary children collected by the artist that unfold in front of our eyes but the portraits of great criminals when they were children.

Their crime can be various, news item or History, but all and all, murderers, serial killers, dictators, terrorists are nothing less than innocents. These executioners' faces in power contain, behind their cute artless milked, disasters with which we shiver because we know that they arrived.

The farandoles of nursery schools which we imagined turn out of phantasmagorical macabre rounds. We cannot see it on the images and yet - it is the most disturbing- we cannot refrain from thinking that everything is there already.

Beyond the guessing game (who will be who?), we wonder about their humanity. Can we see ourselves in them? They would be as us and we would carry in each of us the same virtual violence?Or rather not, if they looked like us when they were children, these monsters are not our sisters and our brothers. The randomly juxtaposition of psychopaths and politicians leaders is there to underline subtly what gathers.  Do not trust appearances: the Devil likes taking the face of an angel. And the images are his favourite delusions.

Then the merry carousels become as the wheels of an infernal mechanism. Even the suitcase which contains this small lesson of history in moving pictures, takes quite a different sense. Suitcases of the forced and sudden departures, suitcases which you do not have time to finish, suitcase of the deportees and the migrants, the exodus, the exiles, suitcases which squeeze into camps, last thing which we embraced in the jostling before leaving the world of the living, wooden suitcases made in the Gulag, suitcase full of forbidden books of the little Chinese tailor, suitcases which say better that everything, with their poor signs of wear, the violence, the fear and the hatred from which the men can suffer.

Text by Eric Vinassac


"Pulp landscapeIII” continues the concept real time live cinema of "Pulp LandscapeI" and "Pulp LandscapeII". In an old suitcase, three cameras shoot continuously on the objects which rotating on three turn tables. The images that the cameras create are projected lively on the screen around the suitcase. The images will randomly switch, like "montage" in the movie.
The shooting objects consist of childhood pictures of important people, for instance the photos of great men, celebrities, politicians, murderer or terrorists. Most of these children photo looks very cute and innocent, just like the present state of an ordinary child. Sometimes these images can't let people into associated with their true identity. I print them on the acrylic glass, then cutting based on the shape, combined them with each other on the turntable.Finally I want them to show a prospect like a kindergarten where children play with each other. These natural and harmonious images obscure the real identity of these people, and the original relationships between these people. Historical narrative is deconstructed by the children's play and start to tell a different story.


































作品《低级景观III》延续了《低级景观I》和《低级景观II》的现场电影概念,在一个旧皮箱中,三个摄像头持续地拍摄三个圆盘上缓缓转动的物 体,实时地将拍摄到的画面传输给投影机并播放。画面会随机的切换,如同电影中的“蒙太奇”。 圆盘上的物体由我搜寻各类重要人物小时候的照片组成,如伟人、名人、政治家杀人犯或恐怖分子等等。这些图像上的孩子看上去天真烂漫,如同普 通小孩儿所呈现出的状态一样,有时无法让人联系到他们真实的身份。我将这些照片打印在亚克力玻璃上,并且按照形状进行切割,再根据人物的形 态动作相互结合,最后构建出一副如同幼儿园中小孩玩耍打闹的图景。这幅看上去非常自然和谐的图景模糊了原有这些人物的身份和他们之间的关 系。历史的叙事被一群孩子的嬉戏打闹重新解构,并开始诉说不一样的故事。