发表:2015-02-08 20:22阅读:514


Stones from other hills

Now many people online launch collective attack onhim, and especially people in the circle of art critics, who join together tocondemn him. They think him as a man who passes himself off as an artist and aman who plays art just for fun, and a man who has turned into a person frombehind the scenes now. It seems that they are all defending the purity orprofessionalism of the art circle, which I think has gone a little too far.

First, I think art is what everyone can do, as long ashe likes and sticks to it. Don’t we often say "Everyone is anartist"? In such a case we don’t allow Han Xiao alone to do art, isn’t itwrong? Moreover, in contemporary artistic environment, we especially appreciatedoing art with amateur attitude, because now too many of our country's criticsand artists are doing art professionally, who have earned some money but have forgottenthe yearn for art.

As for what happened recently, I can’t say too muchabout that, because I was not there and I was ill-informed. And as for who isright and who is wrong, it is the business of the two people. And I hope theycan forgive each other and soon reach reconciliation.


Here I only want to talk about Han Xiao as an artist.

I met Han Xiao in early August, 2013, when he came tomy lecture in UCCA "Being happening - performance art and contemporarylife". At that time, the display of “Punch-Card” by the performanceartist Deqing Xie was in progress, and my second treatise Scene ofPerformance Art was published. We met under a situation when everythingsurrounded by performance art. So I can say that we met because of performanceart.

Han Xiao is a successful plastic surgeon, and in Jinanhe has his own Han's cosmetic plastic surgery hospital where 200 people areworking (in 2014, a branch of Han's cosmetic plastic surgery hospital inBeijing was opened). He is well educated fine man who loves reading andthinking about philosophical questions. He has completed the graduate coursesof art major. A few years ago he began to be interested in contemporary art,and made some installation art and image works. In recent years, he has beenmore interested in performance art, a kind of art needs practicing what onepreaches and the most vanguard art form in contemporary art. And he tried andexplored this art form with his own identity and the best way - plastic surgeonand surgical site as the main way.

OnSeptember 20, "Power of the flesh" organized in UCCA by curatorGuanYuda, Han Xiao performed for two hours, and for the first time that I hadthe chance to see his live performance. His performance art overlapped thesecond day of the 14th Open Performance Art Festival held in “SpaceStation”, not far from the scene of Han Xiao. Because I was tired ofnon-selective performance works by junior and senior performance artists inOpen Performance Art Festival the day before, I was determined to watchperformances in both events. I would put particular emphasis on Han Xiao’ soloperformance. I was shocked by his live performance, which was much better thanI expected. In his performance, he set the related equipment of the realoperating room in an art exhibition hall. It was an exhibition of integratedmedia. It can be seen that there were instrument and equipment with sense ofsilver metal just like exquisite and cool installation, mixed display of imageon broad screen and artist’s action, and together witht the curious andrespectful audiences. Han Xiao’s performance art shows a cosmetic surgery onhis own body, which means to conduct operating on himself with scalpel.Firstly, he did the preparation work before the operation: he drew a linebefore hair line on forehead and then started shaving head and sterilizing.Then sitting on a medical chair with rearview mirror, he used a hair remover tonail hair on back side of head. He tried his best to do this operation all byhimself and only allowed the assistant to help him when it was difficult forhim to reach the operative wound. The follicles of hair root removed should beseparated and cleaned by another medical staff. Afterwards, follicles should befully planted on forehead. There were two video recorders to crosswise projectthe operation on a broader screen on wall simultaneously. By this way, themicroscopic view is magnified and the little bleeding became turbulent bloodfire. During his show, people were all staring without blinking. He transplantedtwo hundred hairs in total in this performance.  

After the live performance art show, Guan Yudaimmediately organized a question and answer session. While answering theaudiences’ questions, he said that the reason why he transplanted back hairs tothe front was that he was already 40 years old. At this stage of lift, he feltthat life was flowing and time was flying. He became panic for being old andbelieved that the hair moving backward means a man began to grow old.Therefore, he tried to turn back the time and transplanted the back into frontin order to make himself look younger and stay confident. The reason seemsreasonable and honest enough, for it is based on his own experience andthinking. Watching his performance just like reviewing an excellent film forthere is magnificent and effective scene and vivid visual effect. Hisperformance was so interesting that I forgot to see the other live show finally(I am so sorry. But I can not be present at two places at the same time). I amappreciative to have this opportunity to watch Han Xiao’s performance inperson. The performance and the unique effect make me see another differentart. Meantime, I feel pity that other performance artists failed to watch thelive performance.

In that October, I wasinvited to Europe to participate in several performance art festivals. One ofthose is Malamut, the biennial performance art festival, in Ostrava of Czech.And another one is La-Bas, the “Basement Performance Art Festival” in Finlandof Northern Europe. The curator Irma Optimisti wrote an invitation letter toinvite me to participate in as the researcher. In addition, I also visited somerelated institutions. I was deeply impressed by the live performance of HanXiao and recommended Han Xiao’s performance to the curator Jiri Suruvka. Heasked Han Xiao to formulate a work plan. After Han Xiao submitted the sketch asrequired, he was quickly approved. Then the curator wrote to him that thesubmitted pictures of his works were published as the introduction head of theperformance art festival on local newspaper.

Therefore, Han Xiao and I flew to European countriesto participate in performance art festivals in the end of October. This journeyallowed us to discuss more about works and life. He has so many exciting ideasand I am interested in studying performance art happened in western countries.Also, I am writing my third book named “Performance Art Overseas”. Thus I namedthis European journey as “walking scalpel and pen”.


On the opening ceremony of the biennial performanceart festival in Czech, Han Xiao’s performance was the third one. He conductedhis performance, named “Ji-Cosmetic Surgery by the Artist Himself”, calmly. Heoperated a minor surgery facing a mirror-- he filled the pits on the bridge ofhis nose. Hundreds of people kept quiet and shocked by his performance. Whatsurprised me most was that he talked about his life experience in English whilehe conducted the operation. He explained the implied meaning of nose accordingto the Chinese Fengshui theory, which showed the mysterious and ancient lifephilosophy of Chinese. Not like his performance carried out in China, this timehe operated the whole surgery independently without any assistant. And hisEnglish is clear and humorous. When he finished his performance, people allswarmed to congratulate and kindly talk with him. It was very harmonious. Thecurator Jiri passionately hugged him and, the great artist of Milan Kohout alsoembraced him and photographed with him. Professor Tomas Ruller from Brno shookhands with him and appreciated him that his works were different with those ofOrlan, the French performance artist who always let others to carry out plasticsurgery for her. Most of the people around Han Xiao, however, were young men andblonde.

Several days later,professor Tomas invited us to Art College of Bron. Tomas is the founder andformer president of the Art College. Seven years ago, he quitted his job as apresident but became the professor of performance art. He is also a famousperformance artist and one of the three founders of famous international blackmarket of performance art group. His office is the database of performanceartistic material and filled with several layers of various books andvideotapes. In the center of his office desk, there is an English version of mybook called Performance Art and PsychicHealing, which I gave him as a gift when we met in Venice a year ago. Hearranged two performance art shows for Han Xiao and I this time, and anotherlecture to his graduate students. The first show was arranged in city galleryof Bron, which is an excellent art space. The second show was arranged in hisschool, the lecture and discussion were held after the performance.

“A living mp3”by Han Xiao in city gallery made everyone feel exciting and impressed. Wearinglong gown (the clothes weared by people during the period of Republic ofChina), he elegantly sat in front of a big desk and in face of the audience. Henarrated his experience of travelling to Europe together with two Chinesepartners in grace English and described how they thrillingly passed customhouse and went through freezing Siberia to come here. Then he showed two ovalboxes and opened them, from where there were two grasshoppers with their headspoking out of the boxes. They crawled up the table and started singing duet. Wecould know how inspiring and successful this work was through the audience’sopening mouths, staring eyes, and appreciative looks. Afterwards, he discussedwith the audience on other such small animals in their countries. They alsodiscussed the growing background, living environment, and different livingcustoms and cultural interests in different areas. I truly appreciate thisperformance! Even an experienced artist can hardly impromptu create such awork. This is really a decent work.

Before he went abroad, it was a time of politicalstruggle between Xi Jinping and Bo Xilai in China. Thus he created the worknamed “winner-take-all and loser-lose-all” with the aggressive crickets to showall audience the life-or-death struggle. It could be taken as teach throughactivities, which played so smartly that no traces were left. Also, when heintroduced his works to students in Bron, he played the video again that allowme to have a chance to watch it.

Then we went to Austria,German, and Netherlands, and Finland in northern Europe. Through the journey,we visited art exhibitions, art galleries, and art institutions. We weretreated enthusiastically all the way. One characteristic of our visit is thatthere were no language obstacles for both Han Xiao and I, since we all spokeforeign language and we were able to communicate with foreign artists andinstitutions smoothly. Thus we were respected by others. Han Xiao owns moreadvantages than other artists based on this point.

There is one thingimpressed me a lot during that travel. Sometimes, Han Xiao would do someunexpected things. In Brno, Professor Tomas treated us enthusiastically andmade us to live in his beautiful villa-like home. He allowed each of us had ourown bedroom and changed new sheet for us in purpose. It was convenient for usto live, eat and discuss on art in this way. Also, he made breakfast for us;and frequently he would let Han Xiao and I to taste the wed wine. In general,people away from home shall greatly appreciative of such a treat. However, HanXiao reluctantly lived for one night and then moved to a luxurious hotel on thesecond day. Tomas were unclear about what was wrong and kept asking me whathappened. I also felt embarrassed and explained that he was a little allergiclately. Later, I directly told to Han Xiao that this kind of act was theinvisible damage to friendship and suggested him to pay attention to culturaldifference in order to avoid misunderstanding. Because he was lack of life experiencein Western countries, so he overlooked the cultural differences. In westernworld, only good friends shall be invited to the host’s home; and if you wereinvited to live in their home, it means the host taken you as his honorableguest. This is rather different and even opposite with the Chinese way ofentertained the guests. In general, Han Xiao does have some particular habits,but it is fine for someone to own some small faults.

In 2014, the mostauthoritative Taiwanese art magazine named “Artouch” interviewed me andpublished the article called “Analysis ofCurrent Situation on Performance Art in China” in March 2014. The interviewwas about the current situation of Chinese performance art. At the last sessionof the interview, it asked me to name three or four creative performance artworks and performance artists in recent two years. Han Xiao is the thirdperformance artist nominated by me. Here I attach the linkage of the article(seen in the following appendix) and write down the paragraph concerned withfour artists including Han Xiao mentioned in the original text.  

“Thirdly,I would like to introduce the most potential four performance artists and theirworks. Li Liao, graduated from Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, transforms lifeexperience into art. He went to assembly line of Foxconn factory as worker andworked for 45 days. He bought an iPad mini produced by Foxconn with all incomeand in his show latter, he display the iPad mini, his work contract, workclothes, and work card. I always adopt Li Liao’s story to encourage studentsnot to be afraid of days after graduation, to live seriously in person, and totransform them into art works.”

   I believe that the work named “Your 1 yuanmeans my 2 hours” recently created by He Ling, the artist from Hunan, hasachieved to the best state of performance art. He Ling published the claim onmedia that anyone who paid 1 yuan could own 2 hours of He Ling and ask him todo anything under the permission of laws. The best state means that performanceartist delivers the autonomous right of using body to others. He becomestotally passive and the passivity becomes reality by social environment andinterpersonal communication.    

Wealways say “cross boundary” so that I will talk about an artist named Han Xiaowho crosses boundary from medical field to art field. Han Xiao is a successfulplastic surgeon and also an artist. Plastic surgery is closely related withbeauty and body. With respect to “the power of body” performed at UCCA in 2013,Han Xiao planted hair by himself and transplanted hair on back side of head tothe front around hair line. The operation was live broadcasted and removal ofhair follicles and bleeding blood were shown to audience through amplificationby camera lens. The whole process was filled with sense of form. Orlan, theFrench artist asked doctors to operate on her while Han Xiao is the firstartist to operate plastic surgery by himself.

DingLiping from Taiwan lived in France for a long time. She is an artist ofacoustic performance and just returned to Taiwan. I invited her to Nanning for“the wings of the edges”. Her performance was named “For fresh water comingfrom its resource”. She invited present audience to print the shape of theirfaces on white paper and then piled them up. She declared that she would readthese people and she slowly dragged bucket across mountain of paper. I alreadyknew that she was a sound artist so that I closed my eyes to listen soundscreated in performance show. I heard sound of waves in friction of papers and collisionsof buckets. It can be said that Ding Liping’s work is the best piece in thatperformance art festival.

Here I would like to put forward some reasons toindicate that Han Xiao can work on art, to prove that he is eligible to becomean artist and he can do it very well. I know that Han Xiao owns his own ideason performance art and he is a unique and special artist. His potentialityremained to be explored and created!

In fact, everyone can workon art only if he believes that he needs to do it. Besides, not everyone workson art is desire to become famous or successful. Human are free to own variousideas. Among successful contemporary great artists, many of them choose art onhalfway or from other fields. It is uncommon to choose or focus on art and moreuncommon for one to stick to explore art. Please let people with same goalstreasure each other and the journey of art will become more splendid for mutualdifferences and integration.

The most serious thing inlife is how to treat our lives, how to spend our life, and how to share ourlife with others. In order to work on art, the first thing should be done is toface and express life. Therefore, everyone works on art owns nothing differentwith common people. What we need to do first is to be a kind, generous, andgood man.


               CaiQing at Nanjing University in February 2015


Open Performance Art Festival is a annually festivalfounded by Chen Jin, Zhu Ming, and Shu Yang in 2000. It is the earliestinternational performance art festival and is still held in China nowadays.

“Space Station” is agallery located in 798 and hosted by Fu Xiaodong.

Ostrava is the second largest city of Czechand famous for its heavy industry.

The famous female performance artist named Orlan wasborn in Saint-Etienne Loire of France in 1974. She is famous for beingconducted plastic surgery for several times with the performance art ofchanging her original look according to the aesthetical standard of male. Atpresent, she works and lives in Paris.

The above quotation: “Artouch” art magazine(2014-3) “Analysis of Current Situationon Performance Art in China”


Other two former texts can be referred to:

Travelling to Europe


Malamut, thebiennial performance art festival in Czech










月的20号由策展人管郁达在UCCA策划的肉身的力量,韩啸做了他的长达两小时的行为艺术,使我有机会第一次看到了他的行为艺术现场。时值正以在不远处空间站中举办的第十四届“打开”Open行為艺术节的第二日重疊,我正好看腻了前一天Open行為节中老少參差的轮流登场, 行为节的第二日我就打算两面兼顾,侧重看看韓啸的独场。看到他的現場让我挺震撼,比我想象的更好。他的表演是一个將真实的手术室中的相关設备移置在一个藝術展空间,这是个綜合媒體的展覽,我們可見銀色金屬质感的仪器設备如同精美而冷酷的装置,寬大屏幕的影像和藝術家本人行動的混合展示,而且圍滿了好奇肃穆的觀眾。韓啸的行為是自己给自己做美容,也就是用手术刀給自己手术,他先在脑门前的发髻线前又画出了一条线,开始給自己剃光头,消毒,做完了手术前的准备工作。他坐在有反照鏡的医用椅子上开始將一个机器,也許是取毛器往后腦勺的頭髮处釘,他尽力自己做,在他手抅不到的時候有一个助手在一边幫他一下。取下來的髮根还要分開毛囊,通過另一位医务人員清洁整理,之後他再如數將毛囊植到前额上。現場有兩台录像机,同時交叉地投影到墻面一个更大的屏幕上,微觀的景象成了大千世界,細微的流血,變成了洶湧不息的血火喷薄。人們的眼睛都睜得大大的,都不眨眼了。他本次現場共移植了兩百根头髮。

 当年的十月底我应邀要出国参加几个欧洲的行为艺术节,一个是在捷克Ostrava的行为艺术双年展Malamut,另一个是应邀去北欧芬兰的“地下室行为艺术节La-Bas,策展人Irma Optimisti专门写來邀請信,让我作为研究员身份参加,另外还有些路过要訪問的相关机构。看过韓啸的現場印象很深,我向捷克的策展人Jiri Suruvka推荐了韩啸的行为表演,策展人让他出个作品计划,他照办寄去,很快回答他被通过了。并且策展人之后又来信告诉他,他寄去的作品图片,还作为本次行为艺术节介绍封头登上了本地的报纸。


   在捷克的行為艺术双年展开幕的当天,安排在第三个表演的是韓啸。韓啸沉着应战,作品為-艺术家给自己整容,他当场对着一面小鏡子做了一个小型手术,为自己的鼻梁上的凹坑充填补平。大厅里上百人鸦雀无声,人们为他的行為震惊了。更令我吃惊的是,他一边工作,一边用英語讲述他的生活经历,解釋鼻子这个位置在中國风水面相上的寓意,帶出了中华神秘古老的人生思辨。手术一路做下來都是獨立操作,這次可不像在国內有助手,而他讲出的英語清晰而幽默。当他做完了,人們拥上來向他祝賀和亲切交谈,場面非常融洽。策展人Jiri熱情地与他拥抱,还有行为艺术大师米兰Milan Kohout也走向他与他搂在一起合影,來自Brno的托馬斯Tomas Ruller敎授与他握手表示非常欣賞他的作品,說他的作品与法國行為藝術家奧兰的不同,她是让別人給她整型。围绕他左右最多的还是年輕人和更多的是金发美女们。

   几天后我们应托马斯教授的邀請來到Bron城的藝術學院,托马斯是該艺术学院的創始人,原來的校長,7年前他不当校長了成为专教行為藝術的教授,他本人也是著名的行為藝術家,是著名的行為藝術國際黑市最早的三个創始人之一。他的办公室就是一个行為艺术資料庫,书和各种录像带、盘疊了幾层,在他的辦公桌正中央,放着一本英文版的我的书《行為藝術与心灵治愈》, 这是一年前我在威尼斯時遇到他時贈送給他的。這次他为我和韓啸安排了兩場行為艺术表演外加一次給他的研究生們的讲座。第一場表演安排在Bron城市画廊,这是个很捧的藝術空間。第二場安排在他的學校的一个場地。表演完正好接着讲座和討论。
   在城市画廊中韩啸做的作品《活着的音波》A living mp3让在坐的每个人都兴奋和难忘,他身着民国时的文人長褂,優雅地坐在一張大桌前,面向觀眾,用他不紧不慢的英語講述着伴隨他西游歐洲的兩个中国小伙伴,他們如何惊险地通过了海关,如何經历西伯利亚的寒冷來到了这里。他亮出两个椭圆形的盒子,打开盖子,那两个小東西一前一后探出了头,是兩个蝈蝈,它們爬到了桌子上開始不停的二重唱起來。看看觀眾们張大的嘴,睜大的眼睛,和他們熱情地围上来仔细观赏的神情,就可知這件作品多么打动人心,多么的成功了。接着他和人們談他們國家同样的这类小動物,聊到了更多的生长背景和生活環境,不同地域的生活*惯和文化趣味,⋯⋯我可是太欣賞這件作品了,就连老练的艺术家也难即兴做出这样的作品,这真是上得了正席呀!







“ 第三,我想介紹四位近年我觀察到具有潜力的行為藝術家和他們的作品。毕业于湖北美院的李燎,將生活经历转換成藝術。他到富士康工厂的流水线上当工人,工作45天之後结束,用全部的工資买了一台富士康生产的iPad mini,然後展出这台iPad mini,以及他的工作合同、工作服、工卡。我经常用李燎的例子鼓勵学生,不要害怕毕业后的日子,身體力行認真过生活,然後转換成好的藝術。














UCCAUllen Center for Contemporay Art 的缩写,“尤伦斯当代艺术中心”在北京798中最大的艺术空间和专业性较高的艺术机构。




著名女行為藝術家奧兰Orlan,1974年出生于法國Saint-Etienne Loire她以发表多次做整容手术,按男性世界的审美标准改变原貌的行为艺术而闻名,她目前生活和工作在巴黎。


以上引文:“典藏”艺术杂志2014.3 行為藝術在中國---现状分析”http://blog.artintern.net/article/534520





捷克行为艺术双年展 Malamut







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