floating desires

Desire ravages Baishizhou.

Last night at Handshake 302, Fu Honghong discussed her wall, “Floating Desires (漂浮的欲)”, the fifth installation of the series, My White Wall Compulsions (墙迫症). Fu Honghong is one of the few CZC Special Forces who lives in Baishizhou. She came to Shenzhen via a rural childhood and urban university, and now works as a graphic designer in neighboring Overseas Chinese Town. On her wall, Fu Honghong wanted to map Baishizhou in terms of the desires–to find a job, to meet a life partner, to buy a house and leave–that although immaterial, nevertheless are the reason that Baishizhou exists as it does.

Fu Honghong used simple and cheap materials to create this map and there is much to be said about how the poor fashion lives (or at least decorate their rented spaces) with double-sided tape, plastic wrap, and acrylic paints. There is much to be said about the beauty that can be wrested from these materials when they are exploited as materials, rather than deployed as poor copies of desired objects. There is also much to be said about the unstable transience of “floating” as if desire were looking for a place (or heart) to rest in; where does desire come from, where does it go when it is done with us?

Fu Honghong concluded her talk with an image of a desirable simplicity or more literally “blandness (平淡)”–a husband, a child, a normal work week, conversation in the evening, walks in a park, the chance to set up an easel and paint. But her work is restless, almost aggressive and as the wind from three fans battered wisps of plastic in an unheated winter room, I felt a stark acceptance of life as lived.

Impressions of last night’s salon also give a sense of how 302 is being transformed one wall at a time.

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