Looking – not – looking

Wei Na


September 21 at 5 PM, 2013


September 21 till October 12, 2013


CEAC, Xiamen, China


This series of work ‘looking – not – looking’ was finished in Holland. I was interested in recording the world around me during the time I stayed in Amsterdam and came back to my hometown-Hohhot of Inner Mongolia for summer holidays.

I was inspired that night while I was sitting at a restaurant in Amsterdam. There were only a few customers there. A young man was eating hamburger; a middle -aged woman was idly rotating a spoon in a cup; an elderly man was reading the latest newspaper… There was no conversation. The atmosphere led to meditations as well as melancholy, only slightly eased by the brisk tempo of faintly played wind music and the charming smile of the woman eating sandwiches in the photo placed on the counter.
Later my eyes were drawn towards a young woman who sat next to me. She looked self-conscious, and her face was a bit pale. She was trying not to let her tears flow down. I noticed her trembling fingers were rhythmically tearing a piece of gasket; a broken purple nail on the middle finger caught a scrap of paper; the activated blood vessels were beating…

I heard some noise from somewhere in my head. ‘There might be something gone wrong for her, as if she had knocked against a hard corner of the world’. Yet something about the scene moved me. There was poetry in that woman. Or it was picture of sadness – and yet it was not a sad picture. Its appeal made me thought of certain other equally and unexpectedly images that had touched me: the broken beer bottles, the steps were covered in flower petals, unfeeling eyes…and the work of a sixteenth-century philosopher on pessimism and a twentieth-century artist. It has the power of a great melancholy piece of music…
Wei Na 2013


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