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Impermanent Instant

Jun Li
Artists' Books
13 × 20 × 0.1 cm

Li Jun is a graduate of Chongqing Normal University (2000) and of the Photography ? Digital Media Studio of China Central Academy of Fine Arts (2006). His work has been included in the exhibition “Humanism in China: A Contemporary Record of Photography” which travelled from Guangdong Art Museum to Germany, showing in museums including MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt and Museum für Fotografie in Berlin.

We Chinese people are struggling in the whirlpool of cynicism with no exception.

This is my understanding of time. Our expressions are frenzied; our bodies are twisted. We march forward with vigorous strides. People get extreme self-satisfaction in all respects, but what upsurges behind is a more thorough dissatisfaction and helplessness, because some in-born things cannot be fulfilled, and the reality cannot be altered. From within we get caprice. This status seems like a person who has stopped psychological growth in his childhood. His body is mature but he has given up the self-improvement and satisfaction of the mind. He just indulges in the pleasure of enjoying life whenever possible.

However, those unfulfilled parts are always more important and genuine parts. But we decide to forget them and bury them in a secret way. We are struggling, but we are not in a dilemma.

When I moved to a new place, there was a pharmaceutical factory surrounded by a wall across the street. One day I passed there, the support of a crusher suddenly stuck out above and broke the cement wall. What was inside the wall was a giant real-estate construction site. Several years later, this building has almost become a signal building of this place, gigantic, luxurious, supercilious and extremely complacent.

Meanwhile, I began to enjoy spending time in a lane as wide as two or three streets, holding myself aloof from the world with a cup of tea, a book and an afternoon. It’s like concealing myself in the crowd. Less than one year later, news came that wide, shallow and shaft lanes were going to be transformed into “New World” of Chengdu. Soon, the removing companies and the engineering team entered; the inhabitants moved out. The wonderful time was finally over. The giant arm would eventually overturn all the obstacles in the front.

One day, I passed this new scenic spot and saw the wall that has been processed with special technique. On the wall some images before the transformation were shown: a street vendor riding a pedicab, several old men with their pet birds and so on. All the backgrounds of the images were dim, as if this place used to be so dirty and messy. The application of these images is a kind of comparison. It seems to be yearning for the past, but actually it is singing praise for the beauty and order of now using past chaos.

Undoubtedly now is our best time, and maybe the last best time.

  1. Impermanent Instant

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