Radicalness: Revolutionary Road of Art
The world is in peace now, but the fight between historical activists and historical nihilist is not terminated. If the scales are tipped to one side, it is just a transitory victory. There is nobody who can predict how long the true winner will hold his triumph. An indisputable fact is that “ten thousand years are too long, seize the day”. The fairest rose can’t bloom for a hundred days. There is no man living for 100 years. These are ultimate issues that all of us have to face. They have determined our life philosophy and struggling methods. We need to choose revolution, or conservative, or improvement.
In the first ten years of the 21st century, “there is a small change in three years, and big changes in five years”. The relationship between “when” and “climate” is no longer the omen of the lunar 24 solar terms. They are compressing human’s destiny in time in an accelerated way. People build a tall construction in three days, win a war in five days, finish writing a book in ten days, and have an Olympic Games in fifteen days. The buzz of life forces your lordship to go bravely forward to victory. It says: “come on, come on!”
All these have provided artists with endless and inexhaustible materials and abundant associations. Artists can’t rule the world, but they have the ability to illuminate the world, whereas making the world an umbrageous or gloomy place. An artist’s path to success is not an arms competition or sports competition. It does not follow the jungle law of “swifter, higher, and stronger”. Instead, the artist is about to be a stranger with badly split personality in the crossroads, in the maze and in annular ruins.
Obviously, the artist’s radicalness is quite different from that of the revolutionist’s: he is always trying to transform himself rather than others to achieve his goals. Therefore, no matter how radical the art form is, it is only a kind of “modest revolution”, which is a civilization program that can be general accepted and praised.
An artist also likes to see things as empty and blank, while a revolutionist is to see bullish and red. The contrast and the dangers hidden in those two views form a subtle law in keeping the earth in normal operation.
Luckily, when facing the civilization ruins, a cultural heritage, the Old Summer Palace and a brand-new landmark (the ExpoGarden), Fu Wenjun chose “an art of the radical” as his own revolutionary road. He is courageous enough to combine elements of the past and the present to create “Gardens of Nations”, writing his understanding of the contemporary world.
The “World” has been “different” for a long time. People’s surprise and praise tend to be calmed down already. A idiom from the Book of Changes says “Change is the everlasting rule that nothing can escape from it.” Facing changes with constancy is supposed to be everyone’s tactic in mind. The silent world in Fu’s A Tale of Two Gradens is rooted in the three-layers of tradition (of course, globalization is also traditional), revolution, and the globalization; moreover, it is more like a fable lasting from the ancient times, occurring, being rewritten and being exclaimed over at the same time.
Revolution has happened. The radicalness will not terminate. The art and artists are on the road.