© 2018 - 2019 by Qianhui Qian 

By using the publication itself as an exhibition space, it contains photography and poetries. The original intention was publishing minimal writing, by deepening the concept, it becomes a hybrid project between writing, photography, interactive movements and design. The list below are four layers of concepts of this work:

a) Linguistics of the Minimalism

 

When learning a new language, we often need to use a very limited vocabulary to achieve efficient and informative communication. In contemporary art writing, however, those very long, illegible nouns are like the divider of hierarchy. Should writing be endowed with such arrogance, and should the production of knowledge be accessible to all readers? In this work, I try to write poems with the simplest English words and convey all the possibilities of minimalist poetry with these words that can be accurately understood. At the same time, I contacted a group of 10 non-native English speakers, whose average English level is lower than IELTS 5.0. I asked the group of subjects to read the text to verify whether the writing was as easy to understand as I expected and to replace the words they could not recognize in time.

 

By researching the strategy of minimalism poem writing. Aram Saroyan as one of the reference inspired this project on many different levels, not only in language itself but also in the design and layout of the publication. In WORKS (1966), he has shown how the layout of a poem can add one more layer to the work.

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b) Taking Over My Camera

 

By featuring the poems, photography can be a strong, effective way to present the same idea as the words do. Can traditional minimalist photography convey the message of poetries? Does the so-called contemporary "minimalism" necessarily require the photographer's painstaking composition and careful adjustment of the post-production? Do we really feel the pure emotion when we see those neat photos? When I tried this way of photography, I found it difficult to "simplify" the photos. With a carefully selected the camera and the lens, I spent a lot of on composition and endless time adjusting the color of each picture then finally output the image. This process has already become very complicated.

 

Eventually, there is a solution: the photos in this book would be taken by random people I met in my life. The same camera, the photo taker's name and location, a serial number, that is all. I need the others to replace me as a photographer. I need their casual, careless pictures, need them to press the shutter without any plan. The tourists we often see using phones to take photos of scenic spots, or professional photographers and artists, are the ones behind my photos. But their identities are erased, no background, no causality, just images. This is a transfer of power, and the artist is no longer the one who has an unlimited voice in one’s works.

c) Is It Aesthetically Beautiful 

 

What is the aesthetic value? It is an almost immutable truth that when we create art, we produce beauty at the same time. Of course in the art world, there will always be an argument that is beauty itself is the necessary condition to be art. The public acquiesces in the aesthetic value of works created by artists. However, in the artistic practice, sometimes artists do not do the physical works - when they produce a concept and someone else does it for them, do the works still have artistic beauty? I tried to find aesthetics in random scenes. However, some photos taken by tourists and passers-by do not meet the "beauty standard" of images, such as over-exposed images and non-horizontal horizon. But the image was indeed taken under the artist's direction, as part of conceptual art. Therefore,  is it a beautiful image? Is it beautiful because it has artistic value?

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d) A Book as Space

 

Think of books as an exhibition space, not just showing pictures and texts. In minimalist poetry, the author often exhibits typesetting as part of the poem. As an exhibition, rather than a portfolio or collection. This book will show a complete art project, and a solo exhibition about this project is also being planned in later 2019, which will cover some documentary footage, poetry itself, and a book launch.

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Máté 103 3716_ 3733 07052019 Trondheim
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The text is processed twice: First, to eliminate all unnecessary adjectives and redundancy. The second is visualization, which treats letters as symbols and images. In the first step, express the core concepts as clearly as possible without changing them. Writing poetry often convey some vague feeling, but I am committed to making this series of poems can have a hard, smooth texture, by polishing words. The graphical operation, the poem "我在这⾥" (I am here) as an example, the sentence itself contains four Chinese characters, I demolished it and scattered their parts. Even the original sentence “我在这⾥" is incomprehensible to non-native Chinese readers. By disassembling them, they become unrecognizable to Chinese readers and become an image. At the same time, from a microscopic perspective, the letter parts and the whole concept "I" (think of people as a group of countless cells) are complementary.

References 

1. Bob Grumman ‘MNMLST POETRY: Unacclaimed but Flourishing’ (1997)

http://www.thing.net/~grist/l&d/grumman/egrumn.htm

2. Aram Saroyan ‘Complete Minimal Poems’ (Ugly Duckling Presse 2013)

3. Aram Saroyan ‘WORKS’ (a LINES book 1966)

4. Aram Saroyan ‘Coffee Coffee’ (0 to 9 Books 2007)

5. Hansen Einar ‘THE FOG WILL CLEAR THE SNOW WILL MELT’ (2007)

6. Solberg, Anders S. ‘Prega’ (2015)

7. Alix Rule & David Levine “international art english” (Triple Canopy 2013) https://www.canopycanopycanopy.com/contents/international_art_english

8. Alfonso Borragán ‘Black Ceramics’ (2009)