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Maze of Reality

Author: Jiang Mei 2002

The famous "burning" paste works of Xue Song always give people the sense of relaxation and humor. In these years, the contents of his "burning" paste works involve more and more fields, especially on all kinds of classic images and symbols related to history, society, politics, art, among others. They appear in format of fragments of printed matters, and are applied by him freely. It seems that he is acting as the lonely knight traveling in time and space, facing unexpected masters and knowing friends. He often makes little jokes when nodding and smiling. Under the serious imitation surface of his works, which are called as "Greetings to Masters", gleaming ash fragments and carefully selected images and words are expressing the humorous information of history reorganized by the artist. Therefore, people will reach such knowledge on his works, i.e., the selection of raw materials can be serious and academic, and the concepts expressed by the works must be joking and kidding. Turning the heaviness into lightness, clear-up is undoubtedly the forte of Xue Song.

But the latest works of Xue Song makes people familiar to him unexpected and doubtful. Under the same method of burning and paste, and the same sense of pop, the real change is the content of the works. Disappeared revolutionary idealism and the hard life in the lowest level of human beings are presented through symbolic image with the greatest resumption and influence. The background have listed popular image with shimmering fashionable fluorescence, which scatters the dreaming and enjoying hedonism. But the main images after silhouetting, those heroes in revolutionary time, and the tired and poor citizens caught by the lens of Salvador, a famous Brazil photographer look abrupt, absurd, empty and awkward. Different ideals and valuation are completely making face-to-face battle and cruel strike in these works. There will be no winner, because the enthusiasm of revolution and the power of misery will outline money and fashion as giddy and pale, and the expanding desire of consumption will cover the sample of revolution and the misery of reality with the color of loneliness and inability.

What did Xue Song want to express in these works? Anti-consumption, anti-fashion, critique on materialism, critique on mammonism? It seems that Xue Song has said it all, and said nothing. It is just like the history of human beings, which will repeatedly get into mazes. Everything had happened, or nothing seems happen.

June 19th, 2002
Xinzhuang, Shanghai

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