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HAN Bing

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Curriculum Vitae

Works:
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Everyday Precious
Love in the Age of Big Construction 2
New Culture Movement
Theater of Modernisation
Urban Amber
Urban Amber 17
Urban Amber 27

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Han Bing’s New Culture Movement performance photographs present a series of posing individuals, families and workers holding bricks. They document the artist’s understanding of how hard people work to earn money to buy bricks to build a decent house. Art critic and curator Maya Kóvskaya states “the hopes of these working people with bricks in hand, who Han Bing documents, are fragile and small, and they bear a poignant irony of which these people are keenly aware. While bricks were quintessential signifiers of modernity in the 80s, many rural people are still working to leave behind their thatched-roofed, dirt-floored handmade homes of stone, mud and straw bricks.”
In the city the task of many migrant workers is to pull down brick buildings to make way for the construction of modern buildings made of advanced materials. “China has declared war on the brick masonry as a symbol of the outmoded, “backward,” underdeveloped world they plan to leave in the dust…. Although repudiated by the ‘upwardly mobile’ urban society as ‘backward’, the lowly brick is still the best, most rural families can expect.”
Kóvskaya writes that ‘property ownership and the ethos of possession’ is now less of an illusory dream for rural communities. But at what price? A family that now wants more materially may choose to save their money for a house rather than on the education of their children.
‘China under Construction: Chinese Contemporary Art of the Everyday Comes of Age’, China under Construction: Contemporary Art from the People’s Republic”, Maya Kóvskaya, 2007

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