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陌生地形(Strange Terrains)系列是我开始于2013 年的长期艺术项目,它关注散居于中国和越南边境的族群——莽人。
莽人是一个人数极少的族群,在两个国家的边界形成之前便一直在此迁徙游耕。随着前现代的模糊疆域被逐步转变为民族国家意义上的明确的神圣边界,莽人的生活与身份认同也逐渐改变。在通常的叙事中,这是一个前现代族群逐渐走向文明的过程,也是强势文化同化弱势文化的过程。然而,与此叙述相平行,我们却可以察觉到另一条线索:莽人在使用自己的实践策略,游走于国界之间,瓦解着象征空间;他们在现代生产方式的废墟中重新分配意义,制造和言说着新的传统,使清晰的空间重归模糊,让明晰的意义再次混杂。或许,莽人的行为可以追溯至更久远的谱系中:这是从国家的诞生之初就与之一同诞生的对治理的抵抗,是自外于谷地文明的遥远的山地生存。
从2013 年开始,我就一直试图把自己抛入这片场域,在知识和体感之间寻找着那条被掩盖的线索。它永远存在于某些光滑的叙事之间:“自然”与社会之间;不同的民族国家之间;“传统”与全球化之间;历史与当下之间;自我与他者之间。由此,我在这片陌生地形中重新学习进而穿越,并得以追问:何种平面在此以何种方式杂合?何种新的知识因之出现?何种实践在制造这片空间?当下何以在这个特定的历史中出现?


The series "Strange Terrains" is one of my art projects which would last over 15 years. The project is a study of an unrecognized ethnic group on the China-Vietnam border - the Mang people.
The Mang people is a small minority group living in this area even before the two nations and their border existed. Their identities were changing with the process that the flexible frontier becoming sacred borderline. This process was considered as a pre-modern ethnic group being "civilized", or the powerful culture integrating the weak culture. However, I would like to point out another way to describe it. In this version, it was the Mangs wondering in the borderlands, which weaken the symbolic space of the nation states; It was the Mangs telling stories in their own ways and building their new tradition with the materials coming from the modern world. In both ways, the clear meaning of the space would become fuzzy again. It was a kind of resistance against the governmentality, and also a kind of weapons of the weak, which could trace back to the very beginning of the forming of the nations.
I tried to enter the field since 2013 in both intellectual way and perceptual way. This is strange terrain comprising multiple familiar planes: between "nature" and society, between nation and state, between "tradition" and globalization, between history and the present, between kin and other. Here, on this strange terrain, I am learning how to traverse further, and go on to ask: what kinds of planes come together here in what complex way? What boundaries form? What new knowledge emerges as a result? What practices recreate this space? Through which historical practices can the present be revealed?

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Solo Exhibition The Fool's Gold
OCAT Shenzhen, curated by Chen Baiqi
June 6–August 18, 2019

莽人与风景

A letter by curator Chen Baiqi

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