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Letters about “Floors: 25 photos of 25 addresses” from Geng Jianyi

Author: Geng Jianyi 1997-03-07

Dear Tang Di,
My plan for Holland is: “Floor”. The method is: 25 decorative floorings, each 100 x 100 cm arranged neatly and orderly on the ground. Each is of a different material, such as: carpets, marble, tiles, mosaics, wooden floors, and so on. I would have liked to use the photo approach, but it was too difficult for me, so from a practical point of view, it is what it is now.
The rules for the behavior of a person by an object in the environment are close to the rules for locks and keys. I have been interested in this aspect for some time, and I wonder if the Dutch side will eventually be able to fulfil it.

Lao Geng
7 March, 1997

Yesterday Tang Di conveyed to me your opinions on my work. Thank you very much for carefully observing the work of a single artist like me in the midst of your busy schedules. For an artist like me who does not often interact with European audiences, your opinion is undoubtedly important. Of the five questions you've presented, the first one is a bit confusing to me. If I'm not mistaken, the question is: What does that work mean? This question is common and, in my judgment of modern art, it is also very timely. Now I also begin to suspect that I thought the work was obvious in at least three ways: that is, humour, simplicity, and the way the environment regulates the way people behave. That's part of what I care about.
There are a few other questions I can maintain some self-confidence, such as the suspicion of minimalism, because the contemporary audience has good exposure to art. If the European audience friends must think that my work and they share this cultural tradition is not a bad thing. Then, because the Chinese artists I have been exposed to have been thinking too much about this problem for a long time, it is also more restrictive in creation.
The third question is whether to limit the audience to step on the work? Of course, I want to be able to participate, welcoming the audience in is my usual style, I think in the arrangement because there are virtual aisles, so- called I cannot guarantee that the European audience will really step on it.
Fourth, if each floor is reduced, I hope it is not less than 80 x 80 cm. Regarding the material, I hope it is up to me to choose, I am glad that you have provided me with a list of materials, thank you. These are my answers to the question, and I see it as part of the communication, not a reason for me to insist, especially in the case of tight funds, I should solve the problem from a practical point of view, I am now looking for the best solution, and I will definitely keep in touch with you.

Respectfully yours,
Geng Jianyi
24 March 1997

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