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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 // no generations / no future / no past / an endless geographic land of micro-meshing / limitless webs of merging / leaking / interweaving / coexistence of the multiples / aimless / careless / needless / thoughtless / 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 / called ‘human’ / 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 / then everything falls // 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 // turning(breathing) / turning(breathing) / turning(breathing) / turning(breathing) / turning(breathing) // as slow diamonds within an infinite perishable return / of suffering / the mystic organ that grinds the silver wind / penetrated by the forgotten memories of the unknown / until everything falls // into that infinite return/where dream has poured/with its most vivid transference / reincarnation of the dead / the living / 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 / in fact / there was no beginning / but the dust // dear souls….”


Medium: 3-Channel video installation

Duration: 23:12

Year: 2021


Director: Tianzhuo Chen
Music: 33EMYBW
CGI: Cattin Tsai, Tianzhuo Chen
Text: Oxi Peng, Tianzhuo Chen
Editor & VFX: Ren Xingxing
Management: Guan Yun, Ren Xingxing
Camera: Yu Hao, Li Kaiqiang

Spicially thanks:
Khanpo Dawaghatso
Master Sun
Sihu Monastery
Kharnang Monastery
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