The Dust / 尘埃
The Dust (2021) presents a performance video that situates farming tools and ceremonial objects as the primary protagonists, while humans remain noticeably absent. The artist’s lens shifts from the water-powered prayer wheels in Cuogao Village to the celestial burial ground at Damu Temple, telling a story from the beginning of life, evolution, and blooming desires to perishing bodies, through shots of farming and ceremonial relics.
The video takes on a Sisyphean quality — the tools and relics of worship symbolize the hardships through which humans atone for original sin. A performance without the presence of human figures therefore has no social order. Romances, fights, and disasters never exist, and the only events that take place are those deriving from the original source of everything.
in the beginning,
there is dust.
an endless geographic land of micro-meshing,
limitless webs of merging, leaking, interweaving.
coexistence of the multiples,
there is nothing to remain,
nothing to hang on to,
nothing to be grasped,
nothing to protect or be protected.
everything is free.
everything is flowing.
everything is there for the taken.
there is no such species
but only the prayers’ everlasting dreams,
flowing into the heart of the earth.
centre of a thousand worlds
as temporal beings.
the heart of the earth, first inflamed, then glazed.
objects float in a sensual ether.
mountains give its name to the river.
river tattoos its glory onto the body of the rocks:
gold for touch,
silver for sound,
crystal for tears,
azure stones for the contingent death.
the ultra-violet-era is running from afar.
it runs to the delta,
passes the blue moon,
over the chains of mountains,
out to the seven seas
enters the void.
ancient spirits of the land
drinking their blood as sweet wine,
chewing their flesh as divine delicacy:
swallowing their agony into pre-historical memories.
while the ancient spirits are awakening from their liquid sleep,
the dusk of these astral bodies becomes their dawn.
a fundamentally alien form of life
now burning into the colour of the infinite dusts
from the act of killing.
…they are the forgotten beings
with their forgotten memories
being forgotten in the middle of the forgetting
only appear in disappearing
as slow diamonds within an infinite perishable return
the mystic organ that grinds the silver wind
penetrated by the forgotten memories of the unknown
where dream has poured
with its most vivid transference：
reincarnation of the dead,
and everything in between，
beholds the incessant dusts
of flesh and bones
returning to the burned ground.
multiple livings within multiple deaths
trembling twilight sweeps away the remains
skies echoes skies
earth touches earth
on the naked land where grow the naked lives
the fable may only be written
when the beginning is no longer a beginning
there was no beginning
Medium: 3-Channel video installation
Director: Tianzhuo Chen
CGI: Cattin Tsai, Tianzhuo Chen
Text: Oxi Peng, Tianzhuo Chen
Editor & VFX: Ren Xingxing
Management: Guan Yun, Ren Xingxing
Camera: Yu Hao, Li Kaiqiang
The Sky Burial Platform of Redeng Temple
Commisson by Macalline Art Center
The Dust / 尘埃 – trailer
The Dust / 尘埃
Installation View from Dark Mofo
Installation View from Kyoto Experiment
photo by: Ren Xingxing