Image Consuming/Reality Consuming

Wang Du

(Initially, Wang Du speaks in Chinese, as a performance, because he knows he will not be translated.) Unfortunately I cannot speak many languages apart from Chinese, but you do not understand me when I speak Chinese. I can speak a little French, but no English or Italian... Yesterday especially, there were only English and Italian lectures, which I could not understand, now today, when I spoke Chinese, you had the same impression of understanding nothing. Despite the differences in language, we are all here together in a form of globalization. But instead of this globalization being created through the artists coming to Albisola, quite the opposite is true, because Albisola is global, while each artist comes from a specific place, so artists are local and Albisola is global. Even though the artists coming here had strong points and features to show, Albisola has a very strong issue, which is the shaping of a material like clay. So just clay is global. Thanks to the use of these “old” materials — clay and ceramics — I now have a new possibility, a new material to use in order to express my own ideas. The project I was dealing with while in Albisola was mainly related to image, linked to the reality around us. I have been working for a year on this project related to the Twin Towers tragedy. Its name is Tapis, a carpet... It is as if you are taking a newspaper, scratching it and throwing it in the street... At the very beginning I encountered certain difficulties, especially when it seemed that the project I wanted to realize was almost impossible, because we are dealing with ceramics and I am not traditional ceramist. I had enjoyed helpful cooperation with Ernesto Canepa in the workshop. He was always saying that “nothing is impossible,” even this project. This series of difficulties helped both of us, because on my side I could develop my work, thinking about the project, looking around, and, on the other, we have the traditional expertise and experience of a professional ceramicist.

Excerpt from the Proceedings of the “Local ceramic traditions and globalisation of contemporary art” conference, 19/20 October 2002, Fortezza del Priamàr, Savona.

Conference proceedings Local ceramic traditions and the globalisation of contemporary art

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