zhexi xu

About MAFAzine ISSUE 4, I want to discuss a young artist who is not known by most people in China, his name is Xiangwei Li.

Some people who know him think that he is not an artist, but just a online celebrity, but in my opinion, he is only good at using the network media to express some of his views and works, he often does some grandstanding or attracting other people’s attention, but in my opinion, this is what attracts me as an artist. 

In 2016, he was targeted by the university for doodling, but he didn’t draw anything pornographic or illegal, just some very common slogans… but the pictures were larger…like…

(no hot showers after 12:00)

(no rain)

(don’t turn on the air conditioner below 30 degrees)

To some open minded teachers in the university, he is a great artist because he has his own ideas, but to the university, he is an asshole because he violates the school’s rules.

After a while, he received two common and very contradictory things from the university. I think it’s very interesting, because what he received was a penalty notice and a scholarship.

And what he did next, I think is even more interesting. He printed the notice of punishment from the university on a piece of clothing.

He decided to wear this dress to face the wall to think about it (in China face the wall, usually refers to making a mistake, to reflect on the wall )

He printed the notice of punishment on the back but its front was very clean, so he decided to open an advertising space to recruit advertisements. So a few days later, a brand new T-shirt was printed with all kinds of strange advertisements.

Then he wore his special clothes went to a very famous contemporary art museum, and just stood still. There was an art exhibition opening that day, he wore a special T-shirt and stood in the corner of the opening wall of the exhibition for tens of minutes. A staff member came over and said to him, “ you can’t stand here, you will affect other people to see the exhibition, “ at this time, a very beautiful girl happened to pass by, he pointed to her and said, “then this girl is also very beautiful, and she also affects me to see the exhibition. Do you want to drive she out”?

The staff did not say anything, he called his supervisor, the supervisor was afraid, if away from him, will cause greater impact, 15minutes later, Xiangwei stood back to the original place, but this time he had a volunteer behind him, in order to block the notice fo punishment on his T-shirt, the volunteer stood back back with hime, continued until the end of the day the gallery closed. 

This is one of his works, I think this performance art work can not be more cool, he made me think about this work all the time. He expressed his own thoughts and disagreement with the rules in this way, and he did what most people dare not do. To me, he greatest strength is the he is willing to break the rules and doesn’t care what other people think. I think many artists now pay too much attention to other people’s views, too much attention to others, feedback and evaluation of their own works, which virtually limits the creation and development of many arts, I think we need to break this situation, let us completely follow our own heart to make works of art.

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