We visited the Bric Biennial. Of all the works shown, I would highlight Animalistic Punk – Fish by the Chinese artist Yi Xin Tong. It is a tapestry which represents a collage of images from Tv of fishermen. It combines images of current fishers to reference the fishermen's revolution in the Song dynasty, which was an era of Chinese history between 960 and 1279.
This transdisciplinary artist uses art as a space for activism and global communication, specifically about the censorship of the internet by the Chinese government. Through his work, he reflects on media control and abuse of natural resources in China.
By presenting a tapestry, the artist refers to a historical and ornamental art related to high culture. By doing this, he is appropriating a high culture format to display a history of the working-man, elevating their stories. He uses this traditional technique to attack the idea of art as an institution.
I wonder if, in this piece, the visual appearance becomes more relevant than its conceptual meaning. The message seems distorted by the ambiguity of its images. The intent of the work seems to be hidden under its image, which looks more concerned with achieving its validation as a work of art by taking advantage of a ”cool” aesthetic based on new technology, but with a clear intention to connect with art history. In any case, the work caught my attention because its appearence, and that is the most important thing these days, no?