I have not been to many exhibitions before. I do not like going to exhibitions prior to the enrollment of MAFA. Most of times in my previous life, reading the context is a struggling process for me. From where I have been living for 20 years, we were forced to answer massive amount of questions regarding context reading for that a higher grade in Language and Literature (A mandatory subject in China, same as “English” and Maths) could make us proceed to a higher education which both our parents and us could accept it. In fact, about 50% of the questions are related to context reading, where you are told to answer some some weird questions about the emotions and images that the author wants to reveal, a bit like profiling his character and contextualising. It has been making me sick for a long time although I have always been good at answering those questions.
Yesterday (Yesterday of the draft date which I could not actually remember) I “randomly” came across Brain’s workshop and he took us to Peter Doig’s exhibition which I think just “imported” from New York.
Besides all the perspectives they have mentioned in the magazine and newspaper about reading the painting. When it comes to reading it, I tend to read it the same way when I observe the crime scene. In fact, my father used to be a detective and he often showed me some raw pictures of crime scene which were very different from the pictures shown in the CSI series. Those pictures cultivated my own ways to read things(not just paintings, like everything and I constantly conceal myself not to let someone else read me)
The clothes of the characters in the painting obviously depicts certain kinds of trend in the revolution activities of arts. There are subtle trend of being more obscure of the structure of the painting from right to left. But why there is only one person wearing the gloves when two of them are working with the trees? Why the guy on the right is holding the cam but the monitoring screen is facing the other two men working? Why the Sakura( or something similar to Sakura) is falling to the right?
There should be some reasons.
The actual story is as below:
The guy to the right is just an outsider acting as a tripod. The man in yellow is actually recording himself working with the orange guy so the camera needs to be flipped and facing those guys working. The left tree is taller than the right tree and there are some “Sakura” blossoms on the top branches. The yellow guy is trying to make a scene that the “Sakura” blossoms would be falling on them when they are shaking the trees by cutting the tree. When the wind blows from the left, the blossoms falls to the right on the guys holding the camera which is totally not the yellow guy was expecting.
The moment is so vivid and fluid and changing. On the top of that, it is romantic because it is not out of the expectation! But no one as far as I am concerned has noticed the subtle things in the painting and read it like a crime scene but read it like an artwork, which is really sad for me in the art world nowadays.
In addition, If you look very closely, you would see there is a small boat to the left hidden in a mirage-like city just behind it. There are also three men on it but the image is really vague. I am thinking that they are doing the same thing and there are also three trees planted on the boat so that they are not staying on the beaches but all on the boat!
That is how a magical realism painting should be read and I feel really sad for the art critics.