20m (width) 2.7-5 m (height)
Commissioned by the 7th Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (UABB), painted on the outer wall of the Temple of Lord Guan located at the entrance of the Nantou urban village, Shenzhen, which had been chosen as the main site of the biennale.
Because of a reference to the Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo — the empty blue chair, the mural was covered up and then painted over the same day it was completed, while I was arrested and detained for six days for “disturbing public order.”
The work addressed the question of the relation between art and the local people. As the biennale’s visitors would invade their daily space, I wondered how they would relate to such a big international event and what would remain in their memories afterwards. Thus, I thought of literally painting an exhibition, as a souvenir to be preserved for the locals. The temple’s god, Guan Yu, the legendary warrior known for his courage and loyalty who was deified and is worshipped in Chinese folk culture and religion, became the theme of my fabricated contemporary art exhibition, like a parallel universe in connection with the life of the temple. Interestingly, since the mural was destroyed on the opening ceremony, my main audience had been the local people who watched me paint every day. That same winter, my indignation towards the violent evictions of migrant workers from urban villages in Beijing confirmed my will to reflect on artists’ responsibility towards the urban village community.