Me and my Father
In November 2019, my father had just undergone surgery for a perforated colon and narrowly survived. It was the first time I signed a life-threatening notice in the hospital in my hometown. That same month, I started a new job at an art institution.
On January 16, 2020, I bought a ticket to go back home early to take care of my father. I had to transfer trains at Hankou Railway Station during the Spring Festival travel rush and was forced to quarantine at home for 80 days. It was the longest time I had spent with my parents since I became an adult.
Family portrait in 1957: from left to right, the third child Wang Xingmin (Xinming), grandma Zhang Xinyu, eldest brother Wang Xinghuang, grandfather Wang Ronghua, second child Wang Xingqiang (Xinqiang);
On January 3, 2021, my father, struggling with illness, came to Beijing for treatment. The three of us reunited and lived together for four months. I cherished this time of being together with my family. My father was eventually diagnosed with septicemia, and on April 28, with blood pressure of 68/20, he was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance. It was the second time I had signed a life-threatening notice. Relatives from my hometown drove over 1,000 kilometers overnight to take us back. After a long journey, we went straight to the ICU ward in my hometown, and I signed a third life-threatening notice.
On January 19, 2022, my father passed away. I do not remember how many times I traveled between Beijing and my hometown during this period, nor how many times I signed a life-threatening notice.
I hope that things will get better in 2023.
Title: Genealogy Chat
Artist: Vigi Wang
Location: Jingzhou, Hubei
Date: February 8th, 2019
Description: The artist starts from their own family and raises questions about the “missing” genealogy, tracing their roots and ancestry. In 1957, a photo of my father’s three brothers and grandparents was taken in a photo studio in the park, which was the earliest photo of “left-behind children”. Sixty-two years later, during the artist’s return to their hometown for the Chinese New Year, the genealogy that had been interrupted by the previous generation for historical reasons had turned into a blank book. To complete the tradition of compiling family genealogies in prosperous times, three elders were invited to gather together and discuss the family genealogy on the banks of the Yangtze River where they used to live. The family genealogy carries the life history of the family, records the source of the family, the trajectory of migration, and the entire historical and cultural process of family life, reproduction, marriage, culture, ethnic rules, and family rules. Only by understanding history can one know where they come from.
Chinese performance artist. She was born in Jingzhou, Hubei in 1982,obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese painting from Xi’an Academy of Fine Arts in 2005, Tsinghua University Academy of Arts and Design Master’s degree in art management, and currently works and lives in Beijing. She engages in both independent creative work and has years of experience in art institution administration. Her artistic practice encompasses multiple mediums, including performance art, video, painting, installations, and ready-mades. She excels at combining theoretical concepts, personal narratives, and her upbringing, expressing them through her unique artistic language and style. While her artistic creations often stem from personal narratives, they resonate with a wide audience. Her works not only focus on personal liberation and redemption but also aim to explore the complex relationship between public responses, fantasies, and reality. As the founder of French phenomenology, Maurice Merleau-Ponty once said, “The body and subject are actually the same reality: the body is both the object of experience, existing and experienced, and the subject that experiences and is conscious.” Through her embodied performances, Wang Hua refutes the dualism that philosophers like Descartes have claimed, which treats the mind and body as separate entities, thus restoring the dignity of the artist and humanity as sentient beings with interconnected thoughts and senses.
The artist believes that life itself is more important, and the experience of life is a form of intellectual perception. Through the conflicts and reconciliations in her years of life and work experiences, she attempts to find a balance between reason and sensibility. She has participated in numerous domestic and international art residencies and engaged in art activities through personal projects and group exhibitions.
Currently serving as the Director of Shanzhongtian Art Center in Beijing 798 Art District and the Exhibition Hall Director and Head of Business Department at Ten P.M. Sleep Enterprise. Responsible for building new art museums and galleries, managing operations and overseeing the initial team formation, as well as maintaining relationships with artists, curators, and the government.
Previously worked as the Beijing Market Manager at Diancang Art Magazine, responsible for market development, promotion, and brand establishment in Beijing. Also served as the Business Development Manager at CHAO Art Center in Sanlitun. Worked as the Contemporary Art Department Manager at Beijing Wuxing Cultural Development Co., Ltd. Held the position of Market Manager at Beijing Yongle International Auction Co., Ltd., the sole authorized market department of Christie’s in Beijing. Responsible for Christie’s international management and auction processes, client service development, market expansion, media relations, and artwork collection. Worked as the Media and PR Manager at Long March Space, responsible for overall gallery image promotion, developing annual PR strategies and budgets, and promoting international and domestic exhibitions of represented artists.
Internationally, worked as an Executive Curator at Grace Exhibition Space in New York and Assistant Director at Eli Klein Gallery in New York. Served as an Executive Curator and Gallery Manager at OPEN Contemporary Art Center/OPEN International Performance Art Festival. Engaged in art brokerage at Wuxi Fengming Trading Co., Ltd. in Taiwan.
Title: I Am at the Baltic Sea
Artist: Vigi Wang
Date: April 2014
Location: Baltic Sea
Materials: Flag, seawater
Process: The artist used seawater from the Baltic Sea to clean a Chinese flag and then raised a glass of the water to the audience in a gesture of respect.
Concept and statement: The artist uses the two most prominent symbols of identity – the body and the flag – to express the ultimate reverence for the sacred and divine. The flag represents power, while the body represents freedom that can be dominated. The artist’s action of lying naked on the flag reflects a desire to transcend institutionalized power mechanisms and promote the beautiful vision of borderless artistic freedom.
A group photo of the three brothers in 2019: from left to right, father Wang Xingmin (Xinming) is 69 years old, uncle Wang Xinghuang is 74 years old, and second uncle Wang Xingqiang (Xinqiang) is 72 years old.
目前擔任北京798藝術區山中天藝術中心&十點睡覺大企業展覽展廳部總監 & 商務部負責人。搭建新的美術館和畫廊，負責企業的管理運營及團隊初期組建，維護藝術家和策展人及政府關係。
曾擔任典藏藝術雜誌北京市場部經理，負責北京市場開發和推廣，品牌建立；三里屯CHAO藝術中心 商務拓展經理；北京午行文化發展有限公司 當代藝術部經理；佳士得拍賣公司唯一授權北京永樂國際拍賣有限公司市場部經理，負責佳士得國際管理運營及拍賣流程、客服開發、市場拓展、媒體公關、作品徵集; 長征空間公關媒體經理:負責畫廊整體形象推廣、制定全年公關策略和預算、推廣代理藝術家國際國內展覽推廣工作。美國紐約Grace Exhibition Space執行策展人；美國紐約藝萊畫廊總監助理； OPEN當代藝術中心/OPEN 國際行為藝術節執行策展人&畫廊經理；無錫豐明貿易有限公司(台灣)藝術品經紀。