A moment of history
Finally, I can actualize my childhood dream-to express my understanding of life in my artwork.
I was born in the poorest mountain village in China. Because I came into this world to parents labeled as politic dissidents, a normal childhood was unimaginable luxury. I could only hide behind a small hill in my backyard watching the people passing by, waiting for my mother to bring food. Struggling to survive and wishing for a new kind life were the contents of my childhood. In my early memory, learning about the outside world started from the small hill in my backyard. On the hill, I could oversee a few other villages. Until nightfall, the fading village lights were within my eyes’ reach. When it rained, chunks of soil eroded away so fast that the hill seemed to disappear in front of my eyes. Other children would run home, but I always charged up the hill and covered the soil with my small body to protect it from the big rain drops. When the rain stopped, I would look at the soil that had been washed away and cry hard.
The sixteen peach trees in my backyard were my little childhood buddies that kept me company. One day, some people forced their way in and cut down all the peach trees. They said they needed fire wood to make bricks. I cried my heart out an entire day. My mother was so worried that she promised to plant sixteen new peach trees the next spring. When the spring came, we did plant sixteen new peach trees. I made small fences around them and painted great colors on them. I watched the baby peach trees grow and saw them smile. Then I realized that I had grown up and they had become children.
I remember clearly the day I was insulted by a village leader. During the stage show day, the leaders’ kids were playing on the stage while I was drawing at a corner. Out of my image, one of the village leaders came to me and seized my scratch book, and threw it on the ground. In addition to the violent physical behaviors, he literally humiliated me in the most cursed way saying “Mirror yourself in your urine. How dare you want to draw, a condemned political bastard!”. At that time, I was only twelve years old.
In those old days, accompanying me, there were only hungry, worry, and humiliation. Human beings and human lives were political slaves. The people with the same fate as I and my family lost their dignity and basic human rights. They endured the invasion and persecution that was not even bearable for animals. In contrast, another group of people were driven to the top and practiced their inhuman rights and killing. They never thought of the consequences their behavior would cause. Life was disgraced to the tool and prey for politics. I believed, at that time, that all the children with the same fate as I would be killed for their rebellion. I knew that they would remember the crimes and wish for a better life in the future.
Once I left the village for college and my family returned to city life, my childhood memories gradually faded. In my dreams, I often went back to my peach orchid and climbed on my little hill, my childhood life stage. Decades have passed. I have progressed from a child struggling for life to an artist enjoying life. I often question when life would be free from control and destruction, when life would be able to return to its basic nature.
Thousand of years of human history show ruthlessness from human beings, not only towards its own species but also toward all forms of life in this world. Cruelty and remorselessness from human beings have become the irony of human civilization. Love and hate co-exists. Life and death are intertwined.Retrieving and looking at the tragedies in human history, we learn that any wars and merciless controlling have been condemned by justice. However, the trauma and loss can never been remedied. Even today, lives in many countries and areas are at the edge of being destroyed. Stop all forms of wars. Demand justice for all life. These voices are the cry of six billion people in this world. What a pity to see some people continue their killing and controlling. They would never learn from history that they are following their predecessor’s foot steps in this cruel business. I believe that someday humans will apologize for the lives that have been cut short. The killers will be destroyed by their own weapon.
It is easy to express well wishes. It is hard to defeat evil and crime. I must use my life to scream, to wake us up to the countless lives that have already perished. I believe it is the reason that keeps me alive...to actualize my childhood dream with my artwork. Desiring for life was my childhood dream; exclaiming for life is my art pursuit.
at Gong Studio
915 20th street, Sacramento