• Tessa Valkier

In Conversation with Pan Wei

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

On the 22nd of June, our curator Jade had an interesting conversation around Pan Wei's work and the topic Urban Semiotics. Pan Wei is a Chinese artist living in France. He is interested in installations containing different medium.

Why you choose bonsai to be in your installation? What's the rhetoric of bonsai you find in your work?

For me, it's just a detail that I'm adding to this simulated scene. 

It only represented a characteristic of culture; it's not a particular kind or style of bonsai that I am placed into this scene but just bonsai itself.

Bonsai, as a culture output it has timeliness of what it conveys during the time.

It is still object produced during the dynamic culture changes process. 

During this process where bonsai is placed, which class of society it represents, what characteristic bonsai has itself, all these changes are dynamic and distinguished bonsai's timeliness from the western culture's columns, totems, of engraving way to frozen that still moment, that period of time's culture.

For bonsai inside my work, it's associated with the video.

Bonsai and the installation shared a link and carrying a kind of transformation. Bonsai itself can be considered as a still sculpture, but I attached it with the video cube. So it creates a field that consists of this connection between the stillness from bonsai and the movement, fluidity from video, as my interpretation and understanding of culture. 

And the faux lawn?

This idea pops up while I'm building the model on C4D.

It's a unique human-made product. Imitate products, in some way, revealed the needs of humans. Why we need a faux lawn if we have real grass? That was my question—it like a material I need to build this simulated scene in the real world. Like a code I need for my programming.

And i am observing everything, things we might ignore,  I will think out of its function but more like why it exists and what caused it to appear in our lives. Like you will check and think when bugs showed when u programming.

Your Parcours? 

From China to Paris, this immigrant journey led me to build a bubble. I have my system to deal with the changes, frustration, perspective, and critics.

My Parcours, for me, it's a process continually obtain the new feeds from where I am. Keep collecting but also keep loosing, and this kind of state is keep looping wherever I am.

So it is important for me to get out of this bubble or system I built for my comfort sometimes to stand in the opposite direction push my self having some different experiences.

Thoughts for cities?

Fluidity, and I am a flaneur from the hometown city to Paris, every city i experienced has the river.

Water is the origin of life, and with so many fundamental elements, we have abundant life today.

And these elements in each city can bring up memories. It not quite similar as it was, but it's so vivid meantime. It comes from the sense, either visual or smell. It's a nostalgic feeling. Also, a conversation crossed the space. This gave me the feel everywhere is kind the same the environment took part in the existence. The other part is the reaction from the individuals. Once any factor activated your memory, you can also feel like in oasis, even if you're in the desert. 

What cities brought to me are the memories made of this reaction; through images, communities, buildings, smells, etc...

What's your reflection of Urban semiotic?

Urban semiotic to me are the elements that I mentioned consisted the city. Images, People, community, building...

My reflection is the homeless communities, and my thought and question is, ''exclude the homeless in the city will the city be better?''

Why the homeless community?

It's the very first different scene I noticed when I relocated to France. It's strange to me because it never seems so many homeless in China, then i begin to think why?

#exhibition #urbanity #urbansemiotics

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