Dialogues with the Peasants of Tiangongsi, Öl auf Leinwand, 1998
Even though the Peoples Republik of China withdraw their national participation on the 50th Venice Biennale because of the SARS-crises on May 13th, more than 40 artists and artists-groups are exhibited on this years Biennale. While almost all of this artists deal with the urban problems and the socio-cultural changes in the Chinese cities, the Beijing painter Chen Shaofeng goes since 10 years another way. 1993 and 1996 he researched in different villages in Hebei-province the situation of farmers. He recorded the dates of around 140 people, querying their working situation and their 'social' activities but also their personal situation. 1996 he revisited the same persons a second time and noted down all changes. Within this research he created 280 impressive portraits and elevated therefore villagers for the first time out of their collective and gave the 'voiceless people' a voice.
Chen Shaofeng travelled 1998 with a specially constructed double-easel in his luggage to Tiangongsi village in Hubei-Province where he created 250 paintings from women, men and children living there. He 'upraised' the people to artists and challenged their creativity, sametime he was painting their portraits the farmers made a painting from the artist. This 500-pieces large serie 'Dialogue with the Peasants of Tiangongsi village' will be presented in Europe for the first time after presentations on the Fukuoka Asian Art Triennale 2001 and the Guangzhou Art Triennale 2002. In autumn the artwork will be shown in the National Gallery Beijing and is invited to the Sao Paolo Biennale 2004.
The 'Research in Hebei-Province' will be donated to the Museum of Eastasian Art - SMPK Berlin. Jaana Prüss and Alexander Ochs take part in aquiring the work and request companies, collectors and friends of the museum to help making this endowment possible.
The endowment-project is supported by the Asien-Pazifik-Forum Berlin.