The Woman in Front of the Camera

Hu Xiangqian


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video (colour, sound)
2 min 54 sec
Hu Xiangqian’s artistic practice is grounded in performance and video works documented with an intentional amateurishness and crudeness. His inspirations and motivations arise from his immediate surroundings, his intuition, and his artistic contemplation of what it means to be an artist. His work highlights the contrasts in our society and amplifies minor incidents into major social signifiers. In his words, he does not consider what he does to be the making of performance art; rather he focuses on the act of performing itself. Through their absurd characteristic, his works are often very humorous. His earliest work to gain widespread recognition was the 2006 video piece Blue Flag Waving, which documents Hu’s campaign for a seat during an election in his hometown. Though he was never an eligible candidate, he carried out a real campaign and devised a real agenda on how to address the social issues facing the village. The campaign he held is the artwork, accompanied by video documentation of the fake candidate’s attempt to run for office. In this work, public and private spaces, and collective versus individual interests intersect. A woman dances by herself in a Beijing park; she appears to be deliriously happy and oblivious to the gaze of the camera and to the reactions of passers-by, a slice of city life in which our private worlds constantly intersect with the private spheres of others, in public space.
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