Installation View / 43.5 x 33.5 cm / 48 pcs (2013)
The Reading Project (2013) Statement
How we actually read? What we really read from our reading?
Texts or books are usually related to reading in terms of daily experience. We read more than texts or books, of course, no matter if we are fully aware of this: we read images, the new context of juxtaposition of images and texts, and the structure among images.
The Reading Project is an exploration of reading as an activity and making a (photo)book as an object, examining how the image-text-object relationship is interlocked by signifying and being signified, and re-creates the context by the duplicated images. This project assumes the meaning we get from reading activity is not something in essence, fixed or already exists that can deliver to the readers/viewers and to be received by them. But rather, the meanings are produced and practiced by them in the process of decoding. What we read and decode should not be taken as a given, and in fact we organize and produce its significance. We cannot ignore the hidden structure, however, from which we create meanings or understandings, since the reading/decoding activity does not indicate anything goes.
This project, therefore, is the attempt that puts the images and the texts into codes. It is the experiment to link up the texts with their signifieds, to construct a series by its arbitrary rule, to re-create a context, and finally to materialize the concept into the book object in order to emphasize the base of reading activity. It is also an examination of polysemy that is dynamic and motivated by the readers/viewers. We can experience the subtle differences only if we get rid of usual practices of reading.
Reading is regarded as a quiet, private and solitary brain activity, which is even characterized an asocial behavior by some writers. In despite of the tranquility, there is the underflow generated by dynamics of tension during the activity. As the literary critic Terry Eagleton put it: “Meaning, if you like, is scattered or dispersed along the whole chain of signifiers: it cannot be easily nailed down, it is never fully present in any one sign alone, but is rather a kind of constant flickering of presence and absence together.” As long as we perceive the flickering moments or indefinity, we may eventually realize that is how and what we read.
And I’m reading.
Solo Exhibition Shudian Bookstore Gallery (2017)