Wang Gongxin's installation consists of three components: Arrayed on the floor of a large room are hundreds of ziplock bags.


A Chinese potion that cures any ailment to which gullible people are susceptible, PLUS "boosts your guts, sharpens the eyesight, improve self-consciousness, and strengthen sense of leadership."

On a bank of monitors at the entrance to the room, a video demonstrates the use of the medicine. A young woman adds water to the potion, and slops the paste on one eye.

The third element of the work, a projection that covers one wall, documents a peculiar Beijing phenomenon. Every morning seniors gather in neighborhood parks to march and chant, often slipping into self-induced, ecstatic trances.

Their activity derives from Qi gong, a traditional practice allied to Daoism. But their chants are more like contemporary self-improvement exercises - "my stomach is good," "my heart is good."

The artist Wang finds the chants remarkable because they often are extemporaneously inventive, full of clever word-play on Maoist worker songs.

After the Cultural Revolution destroyed every basis for national consensus, the people's search for something to believe in has produced disparate bedfellows - Daoist chants, Maoist patriotic songs, "I feel good" self-hypnosis, and a dash of quackery.



Added comment: "Save old Buildings," or something to that effect.

Yes, like many world cities, Beijing has at least one graffiti artist. On her wanderings, London noticed the unmistakable trace of spray paint on buildings, walls, and in one case, a truck. The artist (or artists) only outlines a figure, and then locals add their comments.


Added comment is unintelligible.

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