The Man in the Coat - Wen Peng’s Art Experiment “One Man Show”
Mar 09 - Apr 09, 2013

Press Release

At the end of 19th Century, Chekhov created ‘the man in a case’. He was odd, timid, withdrawn, and conservative and he wrapped himself in the case like fearing of the plague. Wen Peng’s art experiment ‘One Man Show’ enriched this man’s loneliness and despair. He put his heart at the bottom of the social life, with the perspective of nobody to observe the world and performing in art. This way of interpretation was like ‘the man in a case’——Dressed in a whole white cover, and kept from the world. Carefully arranged a small miniature scenes platform on the top, maybe refer to or metaphor. Its ultimate performer is the finger of ‘the man in a case’, to simulate many vivid and real ‘man’. ——Sealing up his thoughts, lack of cognition and complaining the hypocritical and boring life. The main part of ‘One Man Show’ was the manipulate hand hidden in the white curtain, or the character like the man in a case without a face, which expressed the no-face characters’ life of struggle.

ARTIST: Wen Peng
CURATOR: Jingjing Wan

ORGANIZER: White Box Museum Of Art
OPENING: Saturday, March 9, 2013, 4:30p.m.
DATES: March 9, 2013-April 9, 2013

MUSEUM OPENING HOURS: 10:00 - 18:00, Tuesday - Sunday
VENUE: WHITE BOX MUSEUM OF ART, 798 Art Dist., NO.2 Jiu Xianqiao Road, Chaoyang Dist., Beijing, China
CONTACT US: +86-10-5978 4800

Curator Article

The ‘One Man Show’ series’ art concept carried the characters which were lonely and small and live existed in this particular era. The bodies have their own soul and thoughts. Life was moving silently, and these people were becoming the man in a case. The image of faint no face character was telling their stories. For example, in Wen Peng’s ‘One Man Show’ script, all the characters like the beggar Jiaer with creative spirit, Xiaowu, aimless Moumou, Laoyang with fantasy and so on, seemed absurd but can be perfectly logical and reasonable. All these social characters like nobody, who even did not have opponents. Just one guy lived his own life on an empty stage, performing and leaving, as he did not come to this world.
The characters in the ‘One Man Show’——the beggar Jiaer’s pride of his begging and his feeling to his father; Xiaowu’s adventure, sexual impulse fantasy for female on the bus and starting in Guangzhou, the last outbreak of life and rapid decline; Moumou’s aimless going out at the weekends and his sexual fantasy towards ‘Chinese-American joint venture’ mixed females; Laoyang’s developed after the earthquake and his paradise of his town, all the characters were performing, fantasying, and wandering in the bleak life themselves. Wen Peng uses an absurd and exaggerating art expression to reflect the current social people’s lonely behavior and state of mind. So it shows that the lonely people write, taste, appreciate and perform their loneliness, which may be the direct meaning of ‘One Man Show’.
This scene is the chaos and origin without thinking, and also is a radical experiment in art. It comes from his own repressed life, like a kind of picture monologue. Its main spirit is to stop this art experiment from being art formalized. Taken the loneliness and autism as the creative motivation, while taken the dark and depressed inner world as the subject expressed in his art experiment, criticized and ridicule the social status with a unique form of expression, considering facing a variety of helpless life and swells. The experimental art is to give the audience different understanding and interpreting. Art that could be elegant and beautiful, and also a kind of retroaction, completely is destroyed or self monologue. This is also an accusation and fool for traditional art. He wants to break the rules, and uses his body and kinds of materials to create new artistic forms which are abnormal. In this scene, Wen Peng collected, and made himself completely free  and naked loneliness. So his art experiment has an imaginary poetic meaning and fantastic reality. It’s a kind of helpless cry, and a closed enjoyment.


    Wen Peng

Installation View


Media Report