ZHANG HUAN / WORLD IN THE TEMPLE IS A WORLD OF HOPES









MONIKA BIELSKYTE / YOUR NEW SCULPTURAL/INSTALLATION WORKS (SUCH AS BUDDHA FINGER) STRIKE ME BY THE FEELING OF A LOSS SPECTATOR EXPERIENCES LOOKING AT THEM. HOW IMPORTANT THE EXPERIENCE OF MISSING IS FOR YOU? CAN YOU MAYBE TELL ME MORE ABOUT THINGS THAT (NOT ONLY IN YOUR WORK, BUT ALSO IN THE WORLD AS YOU SEE IT) ARE PRESENT THROUGH THEIR ABSENCE?

ZHANG HUAN / 当我在拉萨看到这些残件时,有一种神秘的力量在感动着我,它们自身带有一种历史痕迹和生命信仰,象人的肢体一样。这与生活经历有关,车祸可使人残废,暴力可使你的头颅打开,战争会让无数无辜人失去生命,灾难使人家破人亡、妻离子散。这些残件无法不让我思考人类本身。

WHEN I SAW THESE FRAGMENTS IN LHASA, I WAS MOVED BY A KIND OF MYSTICAL FORCE. THEY THEMSELVES CARRY VESTIGES OF HISTORY AND A BELIEF IN LIFE, LIKE THE HUMAN BODY. THIS IS RELATED TO ONE’S LIFE EXPERIENCE: A TRAFFIC ACCIDENT MAY LEAD TO A DISABILITY, VIOLENCE MAY CRACK YOUR SKULL OPEN, MANY LIVES ARE LOST IN WAR, YOUR FAMILY MAY END IN CALAMITY. THESE FRAGMENTS MAKE ME THINK ABOUT BEING HUMAN

MB / BUDDHA FINGER WORKS MAKE ME THINK OF THE SKY BURIAL IN TIBET, I KNOW YOU HAVE SEEN IT YOURSELF SOME TIME AGO, WHAT EXPERIENCE WAS IT FOR YOU?

ZH/ 如果我能选择死亡的方式,我将选择西藏的“天葬”。
IF I COULD CHOOSE MY THE WAY OF DYING, I WOULD CHOOSE THE SKY BURIAL IN TIBET

MB / YOU HAVE SAID EARLIER IN YOUR LIFE, WHILE YOU WAS STILL DOING PERFORMANCE WORKS, THAT BODY IS THE LANGUAGE & THAT ANY OTHER LANGUAGE ELSE IS TOO REMOVED FROM LIFE EXPERIENCE. NOW, THAT YOUR WORK FORMALLY SEEMS SO DIFFERENT I STILL FEEL THAT BODY IS THE MAIN LANGUAGE FOR YOU, THOUGH NOT ONLY THE HUMAN – YOUR BODY, BUT ALSO THE ‘BODY’ OF ASH, ‘BODY’ OF THE VISION (BUDDHA IMAGES) ETC, WHAT DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IT NOW?
ZH / 你说的很对。
YOU ARE RIGHT

MB / I HAVE AN IMPRESSION THAT YOU, DIFFERENTLY THAN MOST CONTEMPORARY ARTISTS TODAY, CREATE WORKS NOT NECESSARILY FOR THE FINAL RESULT, BUT MORE AS A RITUAL. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT IT; WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RITUAL FOR YOU?

ZH / 在作品过程中我努力要体验的是生存,身体和真实,而厌恶作品中的表演成份。
DURING THE PROCESS OF MAKING ART, WHAT I TRY TO EXPERIENCE IS EXISTENCE, BODY AND REALITY. I HATE THE “PERFORMATIVE ASPECT” IN THE WORKS

MB / SEARCHING FOR THE MEANING?
ZH / 我只关心我个人的生存状态,心理状态,我只关心我的生活。无为而无不为。
I JUST CARE ABOUT MY PERSONAL LIVING CONDITIONS, MENTAL STATE AND MY LIFE. (TAO)NEVER DOES, YET THROUGH IT EVERYTHING IS DONE (THIS SENTENCE IS FROM THE WISDOM OF LAO TSE)

MB / CAN YOU TELL ME MORE ABOUT TIBET & HOW YOU SEE ITS PEOPLE’S TRADITION OF THE PILIGRIMAGE? THE IMAGES IN YOUR MEMORY OF IT THAT SEEM MOST POWERFUL & DO YOU FEEL IT HAS AFFECTED YOUR WAY TO SEE THE WORLD & TO CREATE?

ZH / 西藏的特殊地理环境产生了西藏人,产生了西藏文化。强撼的高原地理与气候的背后,有种超自然的魔力。藏民面对恶魔般的自然下,使人窒息和难以生存。藏民不得不寻求一个更强大能与自然抗衡的英雄,这个英雄就是佛。藏民对生的意义就是死亡,对死亡的意义就是再生。 藏民为了获得再生用两年时间从自己的山村出发,徒步扣着长头奔向圣地布达拉宫。
THE SPECIAL GEOGRAPHICAL FEATURES OF THE AREA HAVE GIVEN RISE TO THE TIBETAN PEOPLE AND TIBETAN CULTURE. THERE IS A SUPERNATURAL MAGIC BEHIND ITS INCREDIBLE HIGHLAND GEOGRAPHY AND WEATHER. BECAUSE THIS HELLISH/NATURAL ENVIRONMENT TAKES THE BREATH AWAY AND MAKES IT HARD TO LIVE, TIBETAN PEOPLE HAVE TO LOOK FOR A MIGHTY HERO WHO CAN DEFEND THEM AGAINST NATURE, THIS HERO IS BUDDHA. TO THE TIBETAN PEOPLE, BIRTH MEANS DEATH, DEATH MEANS REBIRTH. IN ORDER TO GAIN NEW LIFE, TIBETAN PEOPLE LEAVE THEIR VILLAGE FOR TWO YEARS AND TRAVEL TO THE POTALA PALACE ON FOOT, KNEELING DOWN AND KOWTOWING ALL THE WAY

MB / 关于你作品里的历史的痕迹 TRACES OF HISTORY IN YOUR WORKS?

ZH / 生命是一个轮回的过程,我想表达和记录这个过程。
LIFE IS A PROCESS OF SAMSARA. I WANT TO EXPRESS AND RECORD THIS PROCESS

MB / 艺术的限制?LIMITS OF ART?

ZH / 艺术没有止境,关键是你的头脑不能有止境。
THERE ARE NO LIMITS IN THE FIELD OF ART, IF ONLY THERE ARE NO LIMITS IN YOUR MIND. HISTORY CAN BE BORROWED, ALTERED AND REIMAGINED BY ONESELF. IT REMINDS ME OF A SONG THAT WAS OFTEN SUNG BY PEOPLE WHEN I WAS YOUNG, WITH THE WORDS: ‘TO LIFT YOUR SWORD ABOVE THE HEADS OF THE DEVILS.’ BUT IN MY OPINION, THIS SENTENCE SHOULD BE REWRITTEN AS ‘TO LIFT THE SWORD ABOVE OUR HEADS OURSELVES’, UNTIL OUR DEATH’

MB / 对你来讲,在生活中什么是最真实的?WHAT IS FOR YOU LIFE AT ITS MOST REAL?

ZH / 吃喝拉撒睡呼吸。
EATING, DRINKING, SHITTING, PEEING, AND BREATHING

MB / 香灰?ASH?

ZH / 香灰对我来讲不是材料,她是一种集体记忆,集体灵魂,集体思考,集体祝福。去寺院的善男善女们,有的祈求早得贵子,有的祈求家人平安,有的祈求早日康复,有的祈求来年好运发大财,有的祈求熬过难关、告别贫困、事业顺利。寺院里完全是另外一种希望世界,医院里则是另一种面对痛苦和死亡的挣扎世界。
TO ME ASH IS NOT A MATERIAL, BUT SOMETHING THAT EXPRESS A GROUP SOUL: COLLECTIVE MEMORY, COLLECTIVE BLESSINGS AND COLLECTIVE COLLAPSE. PEOPLE GO TO TEMPLE PRAYING TO BUDDHA TO GIVE THEM OFFSPRING, OR PRAYING PEACE FOR FAMILY MEMBERS. SOME PEOPLE PRAY FOR SICK PEOPLE TO GET WELL SOON, SOME FOR GOOD LUCK AND MAKE A FORTUNE IN THE COMING YEAR. OR THEY ARE PEOPLE WHO WANT TO WEATHER THE STORM, STAY AWAY FROM POVERTY, WISHES A SUCCESSFUL CAREER OR BUSINESS. IT IS TOTALLY ANOTHER HOPEFUL WORLD IN TEMPLE, WHILE IT IS A STRUGGLING WORLD OF SUFFERING AND DEATH IN HOSPITAL

MB / 时间? TIME?

ZH / 时间一秒一秒地给我们,所以要一秒一秒的用。
TIME PASSES SECOND BY SECOND; SO IT SHOULD BE USED SECOND BY SECOND

MB / 重生?REBIRTH?

ZH / 轮回转世与因果报应是密切相连的,也许上世我是一头驴转世过来的,来世可能又是一头驴。我不知道,全靠我的造化了。孩子是生命的连续,人死后49天才能真离开人间。
SAMSARA AND REBIRTH ARE TIGHTLY TIED TO CAUSE AND EFFECT (YIN AND GUO). MAYBE I WAS A DONKEY MY PAST LIFE, AND MAYBE I WILL BE A DONKEY AGAIN IN THE AFTERLIFE. I HAVE NO IDEA, IT ALL DEPENDS ON MY LUCK. CHILDREN ARE A CONTINUATION OF LIFE. PEOPLE TRULY LEAVE THIS WORLD 49 DAYS AFTER DEATH









THE ENTIRE 12 PAGES ARTICLE WITH ZHANG HUAN IN THE PRINTED EDITION OF SOME/THINGS MAGAZINE ISSUE001