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Biography

The interview was conducted at Wenda Gu's home in New York City on July 16, 2000.

Following contains selected questions from the interview with Wenda Gu. The interview was conducted in Chinese and translated into English.

eCA: Tell us about your recent project Temple Exoticisms?

Gu: Temple Exoticisms is latest United Nations project I completed in Lyon(France). Basically the whole installation is made of hair curtain. The texts on the curtain are a combination of false Latin, Chinese, Arabic and Hindi characters. I also designed specially made furniture combining Chinese Ming dynasty and French Louis XV styles.

eCA: How did the people of France receive your work?

Gu: I was very well received by people of France. During the opening ceremony, I was congratulated by Mayor of Lyon and the Culture Minister of France.

eCA: It's interesting that you use hair, can tell us what is that you want people to understand from your work?

Gu: To people, the human hair is direct opposite of art as object exhibited in the museums and galleries. They are as real as people who look at them.I feel the uses of human hairs ultimately close the gap between audience and my work. It will give a sense of unease to the audience, where many will feel themselves as a part of the work and question 'is my self part of the work?' For that reason, I have also display the name of barbershops that I receive hair from. I feel that people can understand that the material itself is more power and able connect to them than displaying piece of stone or metal.

eCA: When did you start the project United Nations?

Gu: I started in 1993. my first monument was the Polish monument, which was taken down a day after it displayed.

eCA: Why was the reason?

Gu: Well, hair has different meaning in different parts of the world. In Poland, the project just reminds people of nazi concentration camp and the holocaust. I encounter similar situation in Israel, but we were able to resolve the controversy.

eCA: Can you tell us how far has the project United Nations progress?

Gu: I plan to complete around twenty-five United Nations in ten years. There are already eighteen United Nations completed and being display around the world. I am currently in process of completing a new monument in Chile, which will be exhibiting sometime this year.

eCA: What is your plan after finishing the United Nations project?

Gu: Well, I want to unite all the United Nations together for a final ceremony, sometime in 2004.

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