Chen Zhen

Daily Incantations 1996
nightstools, wood beams, steel, electronic debris, sound mix of the ritual cleaning of the stools

This work was inspired by the artist's personal experience in Shanghai during the period of the Cultural Revolution. "Every morning on my way to school, I would hear the sound of the washing of the nightstools. As I entered the schoolroom, I would hear the sound of the 'daily incantations', the communal reading from Chairman Mao'sRed Books that was intended the 'cleanse the soul.' The double incantation of everyday ritual and the ritual recitation of 'sacred' texts created a juxtaposition that characterized the complex relationship between traditional and contemporary China."
- text courtesy Deitch Projects