我喜欢在巴黎游荡时寻找那些有意思的东西，我创作的很多材料是直接从街上拾到或回收来的生活废品、工业物品。我希望让这些物件保留自身的材料属性和它们自带的灵性，因此以就近转换的方法对它们进行很少的改造。例如《菜刀温暖》，当我在路边发现那块儿电路板时就觉得它太像⼀把断了齿的刀，于是给它安装了一个手柄，现代集成科技与原始工具就是这样很偶然的重合。⽽印有“这就是巴黎!”(Ici c'est Paris!) 的足球是去年夏天出现在家⻔前，它经历过巴黎街头的⻛风⾬雨，身体残破不堪，自身含义已经很完整。对我来说它既是⼀颗球，又是巴黎，也是今天的世界。
我自⼩学习音乐，⽽雕塑专业是我成年后第一次自主的选择。从我开始创作时，我就一直在思考这两个出于直觉选择的媒材，思考它们的关系以及对我的意义。2015年在德国尼尔廷根艺术家协(Kunstverein Nürtingen E.V.) 群展《ReForm》实现的作品《管⼦的回声》是我思考过程中的一个重要节点。低沉的人声在巨型管道迷宫中被束紧、滚动和扩散，⽽而管子缠绕如肿瘤般增生变异。在冷静的外表下，t在空间中似乎遵循着自我法则生长、蔓延，形成无限循环的有机形体。这件无明确符号和附加注释的创作是我复杂心境的准确表达。⽽同样是表达内部对抗的张力，《晦暗之光》呈现的是一盏悬置着的12头吊灯，以呼吸道彼此连拽的胶皮⾯具在封闭回路中杂乱交流、利益牵扯的复杂局⾯。面具的目光则随低音盆中硬币的弹射，机械疯狂地闪烁着。通过这件创作，我想让周遭空间坠入固化、冰冷、令人窒息又难以自拔的病态气氛中。
管子的回声，声音装置，PVC管、音响（内置），尺寸可变，2015，摄影：Kunstverein Nürtingen E.V.
EXIT，视频，书籍（西方艺术理论与哲学），声光模块，灯带，铁丝，椅子，130cm x 60cm x 60cm，2016
2013年我因一场突发的脑血管堵塞晕倒在巴黎街头，被朋友送进医院时已是昏迷，经四天调治才止住呕吐可以进食。住院时每天被医护人员推着病床走来走去，时常因等待检查而被置于走廊几个小时。在病床上我因为不知道自己还会活多久而感到恐慌，又因无法回报父母之恩而无比愧疚。当时复杂的西方哲思早已抛却脑后，留给我的是最简单的问题:如果我死了，什么最遗憾?如果能活下 来，还想做什么?于是当我从病床爬起来回到巴黎狭小的出租屋之后，就明确开始了创作。我不愿再把精力放在缠绕不清的哲学、学院派的刻板规矩中，而更渴望去体会创作本身的乐趣。我相信只 有血脉通畅，作品才⾃自然会有蓬勃的生命力。我也相信作品与人一样都是有肉身和灵魂的，它们相互通电就会产生能量，从而启发思维、带给人想象力。我始终觉得用创作自身形式和内容的感染力来打动人、触碰人的精神世界才是有效的。在今天，艺术被制定了太多规范，然而创造的本质是超出既定框架的。媒材的划界、形式的桎梏、哲学的外衣、政治的口号......它们仅是用来评估、竞 争、固化思维、⽣成利益的手段，在创作过程中本身是不该去考虑这些问题的。
艺术到底是什么?或许我不能给予很好的答案，甚至我没有想过艺术的真切模样，我能做的只是跟 随内心的节奏去拆组手中的材料。为了让更多东西在眼前出现，在拆组中我不断尝试和奔忙，直到 它们膨胀、扩张、饱和，最终突破这个让人窒息的现状的包裹。然后当我回过头时，就会看到了一个清晰的、完整的自己。而留下的那些感动，即是我生命的所有...
菜刀温暖，声音装置，电板，手柄，蜂鸣器，距离传感器，arduino，电池，38cm x 12cm x 8cm，2013
Chu Hongrui: The Fierce Confrontation in My Works
Homeland and Foreign land
I was born in Benxi of Liaoning Province, an old industrial city in the rust-belt Northeast China with changeless stale-grey sky and countless hillocks and factories below it. People on this lifeless land have long been victims of stereotypes and parochialism. While their everyday life and behavior still tell much about the profound influence of collectivism and bureaucracy, they are also passively facing the inflating desire that comes along with the rapid development of China. Growing up as a witness to the great disparity between the economic prosperity and the unprogressive social atmosphere, I therefore show particular attention to the primal forces of Shamans, psychic, industrial production, individual needs, inner confrontation and crises in my works. All the complex emotions of oppression, madness and gloom in my works also come from this very experience. After I moved to France, life in a different environment has given me new experience and inspirations. China today enjoys fast and dynamic development with people working hard for matter pleasures and their sweet dreams. In France, however, people enjoy a placid pace of life and more leisure. On the downside, China’s Carpe-diem lifestyle reveals great anxiety and a sense of crisis deep beneath the surface, while France, complacent about and bound by its past cultural prosperity, become narrow-minded and slow in dealing with new situations. Like many people, I also feel nervous thinking whither my future. This anxiety has become a motivation for my works, impelling me to clearly understand myself and the real world and find a way out.
Desire and thinking as human instinct
In my life, I often feel that I am under strain which has never stayed away from me no matter where I am, be it my hometown, or Dalian, where I studied before, or Paris where I live now. I have always been trying to find out the source of this tension and strain. Perhaps that is the very reason for the fierce inner confrontation often seen in my works. Viewers may feel under stress seeing these works, but actually I felt relaxed when I was creating them. I love creating new works. For me, it is a process of continuous self-exploration and free expression of one’s own will, therefore no need to deliberately put pressure on myself.
I love wandering in Paris looking for interesting stuff. Many of the materials I use in my works are daily or industrial scrap that I picked up or recycled directly from the street. In the hope that these items could keep their own characters and spirits, I chose to make only small changes to them when I used them in my art based on their original features. My work ‘frightened curse’ (Chopper) is an example. When I first saw the circuit board at the roadside, I felt it looked so much like a broken chopper. Therefore, I mounted a handle on it, making it a fortuitous combination of the modern technology of circuit integration and old tools. Another example ‘Alienated World’ is the football with the printed words “Ici c'est Paris!”. It showed up in front of my house last summer with its worn-out body after experiencing all the vicissitudes in the streets of Paris, which gave it a complete meaning. For me, it is not only a ball, but also an epitome of Paris and the world today.
Sound is the transition from unsettledness to a trigger point
I have learned music since I was a child, and to learn sculpture was the first decision I made as an adult. Since the start of my artistic creation, I have been thinking about these two media which I chose on intuition, their relationship and their meaning to me. My work ‘Echoes’ at the group exhibition “ReForm” held by Kunstverein Nürtingen E.V. in 2015 serves as a juncture in the timeline my thinking. Deep voices tighten, roll, and spread in a huge maze of entwined pipes whose shape looks like a proliferating mutated tumor. Beneath its calm surface, sound and tubes seem to be growing and spreading in space according to their own law, forming an organic whole like an infinite loop. This symbol-free and note-free work is an accurate expression of my complicated thoughts. In contrast, ‘Darkness of Light’, another work expressing the tension of inner confrontation, presents a complex situation where a hanging ceiling lamp with 12 bulbs and rubber masks were connected in disorder by tubes. The eyes of the masks flicker in a mechanical and crazy manner, whose pace was synchronized with the vibration of coins in the woofer. Via this work, I want to create a morbid atmosphere that is stagnant, freezing and suffocating around it.
French arts stuck in theories and rules
After over 8 years of stay in France, my experience of studying in a French art school and artistic creation gradually made clear French people’s preference to concepts and theories, both in art academies and the art industry. Academic education is designed to help clarify students’ thinking by constantly questioning, examining, and studying artworks. In the process of facing countless questions, students are seeking the rationale for the forms of creativity and the context and system behind the artwork. This is an intensive thinking training in that the impulsion and intention of artistic creation are reduced to a mere few keywords, while factors like media, materials, methods, space, aesthetics and literature are carefully differentiated and precisely quantified.
My attitude to academic education has changed from ignorance, reverence and compulsion to numbness, rejection, and acceptance. We have to admit that the methodology adopted by French academies is scientific and efficient from certain perspective because it helps beginners quickly find a “ladder” leading to artistic creation. However, this ladder sometimes only leads to labyrinths of thoughts and spiritual wastelands. Though it advocates rigorous logic and forceful conversations, it only offers onesided and arbitrary views that miss the whole picture. People who follow this methodology can deviate from their original aspiration and instead try as hard as they can to comply with all the tedious rules. As a result, they forget the importance of free expression and get caught in the chain of conventional inference and awkward philosophical questions. When an artwork is lacking in flexibility and reflection of personal emotion and intuition, it becomes bland and fails to tug at the heartstrings.
Way out - abandonment of the so-called western authority
In 2013, I fell in a street in Paris after a sudden cerebral thrombosis and tumbled into a coma when I was sent to a hospital by my friend. I did not stop vomiting and could not eat anything until four days after the treatment. Every day in the hospital, I lied in my hospital bed and the nurse would push it around to different rooms, but I was also often left in the hallway for hours waiting for my test. Lying in my bed, I struggled with the fear of death and the guilt over being unable to repay my parents for bringing me up. At that time, all the sophisticated western philosophical thoughts disappeared and only two simple questions remained in my mind: what would be the biggest regret if I died? What would I do if I survived? That’s why I started to create my art as soon as I got back to my narrow apartment from the hospital. After my recovery, I no longer bothered with the morass of philosophy or the rigid academic rules. Instead, I had an even stronger desire to get immersed into the joy of artcreating itself. I believe the work can exhibit full vitality only when it has unobstructed “blood flow”. I also hold firmly that an art work also has its body and soul, just like man. When they are connected and electrified, they become forceful, inspire viewers, and stir imagination. I always think that the most effective way to move people and touch their soul is through the form and the content of the work. Today, too many rules have been created in art, but the essence of creation cannot be confined by any established frameworks. The distinction among different media, fetters of form, guise of philosophy, political slogans, etc. all of them are just means of assessing, competing, rigidifying thinking and generating interests. Hence, they should not be considered in the process of artistic creation itself.
What is art, anyway? Maybe I cannot offer a good answer. I didn’t even think about the truth of art. All I can do is dismantle and assemble the materials in my hand. To bring what’s in my mind into reality, I have been busy trying different ways of dismantling and assembling until I felt the materials expanded, saturated my vision, and finally broke through the stifling reality. When I look back, I will see a clear and complete self. All I have in my life are the moving moments that my works bring to viewers…
CHU Hongrui est né en 1982 à Ben Xi, ville industrielle dans le nord-est de la Chine. Il vit et travaille à Paris. S'inspirant de son expérience personnelle et de ses émotions, ses travaux exposent l'état de repression dans la société actuelle par le point de vue froid. À travers la poétique et l'absurde expression de soi, il explore une tension entre le désir individuel et la suppression.
Article| Chu Hongrui
World 2017-321 ETRANGER, PARLE PASSAT ——French Contemporary Art