photo: KIOKU Keizo

Chapter 3 Welcome to Xijing - Xijing Olympics

ArtistXijing Men
Material/ Techniquevideo, mixed media
Size/ Durationvideo: 35 min., others: dimensions variable
Copyright Notice© Xijing Men
Year of acquisition/ donation2017
DescriptionCHEN Shaoxiong: Born in Shantou, Guangdong, China in 1962. Died in Beijing in 2016.
Gimhongsok: Born in Seoul, Korea in 1964. Lives and works there.
OZAWA Tsuyoshi: Born in Tokyo, Japan in 1965. Lives and works in Saitama.

Formed in 2007, Xijing Men is a collaborative team of ar tists based in East Asia comprising Chen Shaoxiong, Gimhongsok and Ozawa Tsuyoshi. Xijing was created as a fictitious state populated by people who love art in the post-1990 era of the multicultural society and is the stage for a story that unfolds from Chapter 1 to Chapter 5. Characterized by humor and lightheartedness facilitating the shaping of ideas using familiar materials and presented through comedy, Xijing is portrayed not just as a fictitious utopia removed from reality but as a world that illuminates the age in which we live.

"Chapter 3: Welcome to Xijing ̶ Xijing Olympics" is a record of Xijing’s attempt in 2008, the year the Olympics were held in China for the first time, to stage its own, non-competitive Olympic Games at a venue close to the actual Beijing Olympics. The work comprises video of the events, which were held using everyday objects converted to other uses and included fencing in which opponents tickled each other with brushes, boxing in which opponents massaged each other with boxing gloves and wastepaper basketball, as well as some of the equipment that was actually used. The Xijing Olympics gently satirized how the Olympics, contrary to the ideal of promoting world peace, respect for human rights and the elimination of discrimination, had actually become a commercial sports festival for the sake of the political goal of boosting national prestige and ensuring its own continued operation. Xijing Men’s idea of having three artists of different nationalities present one example of coexistence and demonstrate how it might be applied in the real world is cleverly developed as an approach to thinking in contemporary art.