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Hiroshima City Otemachi 1-1-26 307

四祭 -SI ZHAI-



四祭 -SI ZHAI-


[Comment from the artist]
 The year 2020 was a special year for me, as the spread of the coronavirus changed the world. In an instant the world seemed to stop and everything we did seemed wrong.

 I am a member of the teaching staff of the Department of Mural Lacquer Studies at Hubei Academy of Fine Arts, China, and I am coming to Japan in 2019 and staying as a visiting scholar. I was taught by Professor Tomotsugu Otsuka at the Department of Lacquer Studies at Hiroshima City University, who was a great help to me. During my year in Hiroshima, I have been exploring and researching the possibilities of lacquer on a daily basis. Having lived for many years based in Wuhan, Hubei, I was a witness to this special year, experiencing the changing seasons and feeling anxious and contradictory. My feelings for those who have passed away are reflected in this work, and at the end of my year-long stay as a visiting scholar in Japan, I will hold a solo exhibition entitled 'Four Festivals'. I felt that in Japan the differences between spring, summer, autumn and winter are more distinct than in other countries. I named this special year 'Shisai' (Four Festivals) as a reminder of my impressive memories. (In Chinese, the four seasons and the four festivals are pronounced the same.)

 The works in the exhibition are divided into three themes: 'Dust Light', 'Shikigong' and 'The Silk of Time'.
 The theme of 'Jinkou' is one that I have been working on in recent years. The Bible says in Genesis 3:19: "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust". Dust is a very mysterious thing, and when bathed in light, the weight of life mingles with the lightness of material dust, and the beauty of each moment is inspiring.
The main material used in 'Shikigatari' is a specimen of an earthworm corpse. Worms are nocturnal creatures that prefer to live in damp, dark environments, breathe through their skin, keep their bodies constantly moist and live off the oxygen contained in the soil, and are light and heat intolerant. Sometimes they become more active at the turn of summer and autumn, and when they fail to return to the soil when it is daytime, the sunlight kills them. Sometimes I think that life is like an earthworm.
The Silk of Time is a work created by collecting found objects. I used to make a lot of toys this way, twisting aluminium wire, wood and bamboo together, which was my favourite way of playing when I was a child without toys. The way of entangling has remained the same from the past to the present, and toys have become unplayable pieces of art.

Tan Dali.

 It has already been nearly a year since Dr Tan came to Hiroshima City University as a specially appointed researcher. During this time, he has been diligently searching for his own research in the difficult circumstances of the Japanese environment and culture, as well as the effects of coronavirus infection in a foreign country. We feel that his work this time sends a powerful message that further deepens his conception of all things. We hope that this will be the start of his further activities in China and the development of lacquer expression in both countries.

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