Furen Dai

China and United States

My practice is embedded in a conceptual attitude, with connections to my interest in the origins of language, categories and systems, and complicating long-held standards around race, aesthetics, and value. Humor has an important role in my way of working. I am usually choosing the materials and media that best articulate my thoughts. To me, the fundamental core of artwork is the idea—and subsequently the thinking process that develops out of the idea and at the same time conditions it. I see materials as the physical manifestation of an art language to express the idea. At the same time, I also like to think of the idea coming together through the handling of certain materials and working with them. Material, display, lighting, viewer, architecture, text all contribute to the idea. When I develop a project, each work of the project is in dialogue with the others, like enmeshed in a common matrix, and I consider the exhibition as the final form of that “matrix”.

In that sense, content and form condition each other. My current project around encyclopedic museum, revisits the census and encyclopedic museum history in the United States. I started by creating gouache painting and shooting 16mm film. The initial experiments lead me to creating 3D video and painting frescos. In the past, I also worked with ceramic, neon light sculptures, oil painting, artist book, silkscreen printing and performance.

My previous project, Language Producing Factory examines a language which was developed as a secret code among women in Hunan, China. Later, the language has lost its functionality, women who know the language have been pressured into performing their cultural activities as entertainment for menial wages. Through video performance, I raised questions toward the double-edge effect of cultural tourism.

GlogauAIR Project
CV Summary

Former artists