interview was conducted at Wenda Gu's home in New
York City on July 16, 2000.
contains selected questions from the interview with
Wenda Gu. The interview was conducted in Chinese and
translated into English.
Tell us about your recent
project Temple Exoticisms?
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.
How did the people of France
receive your work?
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.
It's interesting that you use
hair, can tell us what is that you want people to
understand from your work?
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.
When did you start the project
I started in 1993. my first monument was the Polish
monument, which was taken down a day after it displayed.
Why was the reason?
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.
Can you tell us how far has
the project United Nations progress?
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.
What is your plan after finishing
the United Nations project?
Well, I want to unite all the United Nations together
for a final ceremony, sometime in 2004.