Scene, make up, and a round of cards: the thing about Ye Funa and our village
He Wenchao Translator: Daniel HO
Ye Funa doesn’t actually know how to play “Feint of the Golden Flower” [a card game similar to “Three Card Brag”; the “golden flower” is a middling hand, hence the “feint”]. She doesn’t even know how many people are needed for this game. So this is the first thing to make clear to the ladies and gentlemen reading this (or the audience). The second thing you must know, ladies and gentlemen, is thatfolksinmyvillage,CimanVillage,don’tevenplay this. The game that rules the roost back in Ciman is actually “Farmers and Landlord” [“Dou Dizhu”, literally “Fight the Landlord”].
And so as a result, when Ye Funa announced the title of the exhibition, as a witness, a hanger on, a go-between, and a character in the drama, I can’t say I haven’t thought about advising her to change the name—but in the end I decided otherwise⋯. In all honest truth, “Fight the Landlord” sounds too intense and realistic—not merely for the folks in the village with that tiny “one and three-tenths of a mu” plot of land on their hands [roughly 1/6 of an acre; 0.0667 hectares, or 667 sqm]—but the entire peasant class in all of China had been “struggled” against, in full frenzy, as vestiges of “landlords” by the machinery of the state and the demons of capital. And then came news of the victory,
in hoodwinking sweet talk with both carrot and stick on hand, undertaking a highly effectively extermination of this class—beyond physically, but sometimes physically, too.
To this end, a dazzling or appetizing round of “Feint of the Golden Flower” is much less forthright or tragic, even a bit jolly and enjoyable. It could very well serve as a sacrificial offering for the spirit of this age of progress, or as a radiant “banner to summon souls”[zhaohunfan] for the“Chinese Dream” of our various dear gods and spirits—saving us the trouble of finding our ways when we awake from the dream. The above, and below, opinions about this exhibition “News from Nowhere” I hope I can express as a self- appointed“village representative”, rather than merely as a professional art critic once again piling on needless explanations about the work. When the latter part of me comes out bobbing my head all satisfied, I would ask my dear readers to forgive and forget, without exception.
A little more literarily, in this, I ought to be a “man with a blue scarf”. If Mr. Martin Gayford can write a book because he “modeled for Lucien Freud”, then my brothers from Ciman Village and I, as the “fish on the chopping block” for the artist Ye Funa (as the expression goes), we should at least have a go at coming out with some testimony…
以上，以及以下，关于“炸金花”这一个展的所有言论，我希望自己都能以“村代表”自任然后出之，而不仅仅是一个职业艺评人又一次叠床架屋的作品阐释，凡有后者出来摇头晃脑之处，还请诸君一律自动删节。文艺一点说，在这，我应该是个“蓝围巾男人”（man with a Blue scarf）。如果马丁.盖福特可以因为“为卢西安.弗洛伊德做模特”而写一本书的话，作为艺术家叶甫纳刀俎下的鱼肉，我和我的茨满村那些弟兄们，至少是应该努力凑出一些证词的…
Full Text Download：Scene, make up, and a round of cards He Wenchao.pdf