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In Motion: Attai Chen

Duration:2018.7.9 - 2018.9.16

Venue:FROOTS Beijing

​Artist:Attai Chen

The world had to break once, otherwise art could not rebuild it. Therefore, its decay is the condition of all creative acts. Only when we know ourselves surrounded by fragments, a consoling order can be formed from the abysmal chaos. The artist composes fragment by fragment, imitating growth, and also imitating decay. The order of the fragments follows the general law of every living thing: the becoming of nature. Floating in the midst of fragments, dead and half-living bodies, almost weightless, the artist can grow and fade for countless times. Only then can he create an opening that we call the aesthetic experience.


Compounding Fractions. As if attracted by a black hole, the fragments rush to the center, because they want to be one again. Or as blown up by a Big Bang, they are willing to occupy the whole infinite space. Is this creation or annihilation? It makes no sense to distinguish between the two movements. For this is about pure becoming, which knows neither directions nor fixed goals. Therefore, what is portrayed is both the moment when these fragile beings are born, and at the same time the moment of their gentle death. One is almost tempted to say: it is a burning bird, dreaming of a next and even more powerful life, and in this dream, it is nothing but transition and glowing flame.


Cordyceps. To be born again and give up this life, that is an old formula of immortality. On closer inspection, nature is full of immortal beings, indeed it even seems impossible to find an ordinary mortal being. A body that once traveled back and forth on a forest’s floor stands now still, only to give birth again. Unexpectedly and wondrously, the rebirth is inspired by a stranger who took his old life; in this transition it adorns and renews itself, and becomes another being - so who dies in this body, who lives? This question is also ours to ask, since we too must ensoul a body and live constantly in the process of becoming, like guests in a stranger’s dream. (Sool Park)

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