The end of May was filled with the preparations for the exhibition in CEAC. I wrote a text about the work, and together with Wei Na from CEAC we designed the invitation card and poster. The show combined text and image, and the title ‘Revenge of Fish’, is meant to show how three small words immediately can project an image in your head.
But the title was also inspired by Xiamen where most of the works were made. Fish and other sea animals are omnipresent here, living, moving fish: in markets inside tubs and buckets, and in restaurants inside aquariums that often form whole walls. I’m a human hypocrite and I still eat fish but for the first time they also provoked my empathy. It’s inevitable here not to see what strange and beautiful creatures they are. And not to see they can barely move in these small spaces. So the title is also a bit of a tribute to Xiamen’s fish.
The days preceding the exhibition were filled preparing the space, trying out different arrangements and mounting the works. Guest Ton, and students Sucy and Yi were great helps. Most of the show consisted of new works, made in Xiamen. They were supplemented with a few pieces from Europe offering some background.
In the center three display tables showcased textworks and adapted book pages. Next to them a pedestal with a small bookwork you could leaf through. In a corner a monitor with headphones showing the video ‘Of Music In Language’, an former work still showing well how the textworks can be put into music.
On the walls large rice paper paintings, adapted Chinese newspapers, a smaller ink painting, and a collage of small ink drawings mixed with some of the many photos I took from the sexy banyan trees.
The opening was festive. I was specially happy with the first guest: May Lee, the managing director of CEAC who was still recovering from her operation. I had been emailing with her for months from Holland to prepare the residency, and since she fell ill just before I came, this was the first time we met, very special. There were quite some visitors and Ineke’s husband, artist Siggi Gudmundsson, helt a speech after which there were drinks and a nice ambience.