Guess Love Everyday, 2007. 2’51” / The Explosion Is A Voice At Time The Generation Hear, 2007. 5’46” / Only You, 2009. 2’50” /Italian Aria, 2008-9. 2’42” / Hit Me Baby One More Time, 2010. 5’31” / Excuse Me, Degree Has The Neighborhood Already Had No Toilet?, 2008. 5’37” / It’s Gonna Pop You Idiot!, 2006. 7’01”
Para/Site, China. www.para-site.org.hk
The series of fragments of Huang Xiaopeng, which are presented here, reflect the accurate insight which the artist managed to transmit in his videos, where language, image and singing are confused in a pretended understanding:
Huang Xiaopeng’s work sits on the verge of the Last Empire, a country burdened by History and where the « one » official language has a homogenising role in a place with 292 languages. There is a common denominator through his research which positions language in the forefront of his practice. But this position is a political one that analyses the relationship between language and technology. It is an ironic twist that through his videoworks and installations the artist uses common online translation tools, such as Google, a corporation that has engaged in multiple political disputes with the Chinese Governmnet. Through succesive online translation, language becomes metamorphed as grammar transforms into an abstract set of rules that affect the semantics of words. Although there is a historical significance to his use of texts like the Communist Manifesto, it is this engament itself with technology that overpowers other meanings and takes over the results.
Popular Culture is another iconographic powerful scenario for Huang Xiaopeng, from Bruce Lee’s to Pop Music are part of this selection of videoworks. The artist aprehends parts of the East-West rethoric in a direct way, which does not intend to provide with answers, but will leave the viewer confused about what China means in the contemporary world.
Alvaro Rodriguez Fominaya. “Translating the Last Empire”
Huang Xiaopeng’s ‘over-translation’ pointedly captures the sense of a troubling surplus or a shortfall vis à vis the original. His video soundtrack features pop songs translated from English to Chinese and back again through machine translation in random permutations. The process shows up not only distorted representation, slipshod translation, flat mistranslation but also creative mistranslation’ - ‘out of sync’ rendition that spawns new insight, fresh semantic stuff. The clamour of diverging representations and translations add up to a liberating ‘anything goes’ situation, to use Feyerabend’s phrase. In the jostle of disparate versions we are free to size up representations one against one another constantly-as opposed to judging and prescribing the ‘correct’ one.
Sarat Maharaj. “Huang Xiaopeng’s ‘Over-translation’”
Huang Xioapeng, for example, has convoluted the global matrix to absurd proportions. In Huang’s “You are the dream of my realization” (2009), a billboard size banner announces the results of a kind of ventriloquist telephone game。 For the artist compresses references to globalization through internet translation programs from Chinese to English and back again only to continue the recycling process culminating with the phrase: “thanks to the expansion of the empire economic and culture exchanges become possible to the maximum extent and previously isolated civilizations become linked.” The pronouncement, with its market driven global utopia that subsumes history and binds together all civilizations both past and present, is a cross between the capitalist avatar Adam Smith gone amok, and mega-computer HAL from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968).
Raul Zamudio. “The Return of the Real: The Pavilion of Realism 4”
“By dislodging the time, a slightly different dimension where aspects of our daily lives are revealed begins to open up, for example, exposing every detail of subconscious body language. It can be rather nightmarish and disturbing…”
“Pop music has always been readily consumed but is just as easily misunderstood when ex/imported to other cultures. Work with automatic fast translation software to translate from English to Chinese and/or vice versa - and I then employ the same method to translate back to the source language. By their own right, the two different languages enter into a kind of interaction without human interference. Through the mechanism, there is a misplacement of words, often humourously dark, somehow a real meaning emerges from nowhere, and the semantic misfiring becomes absurdly fitting to the image.
Through the manipulation of real-time in my videos, either by speeding it up or slowing it down, has both aural and visual consequences.” H.X.
Guess Love Everyday (2007): “This is one of my karaoke series. Through the mechanism, the semantic misfiring becomes absurdly fitting to the image. The street robbery science was the court evidence from a police video tape.”
The Explosion Is A Voice At Time The Generation Hear (2007): “Set on a fake traditional street in northern China, decelerated hip-hop music mix and mimics the crowd’s walk and movement (as there’s an invisible wall around them), I want to invite the audience to take part in this absurd karaoke.”
Only You (2009): “By their own right, the two different languages enter into a kind of interaction without human interference… Through the mechanism, there is a misplacement of words, often humorously dark, somehow a real meaning emerges from nowhere.”
Italian Aria (2008-09): “In a much of the Soviet tradition, still today, most of the opera singers are belonging to the militia force In China, though they’re not only sing the revolutionary songs but western love songs as well. By dislodging the time though out the performance, a slightly different dimension is revealed begins to open up, the semantic misfiring becomes absurdly fitting to the image. The image was taken from the state TV program.”
Hit Me Baby One More Time(2010): “The material of this video work is a 5 second footage extract from a Bruce Lee film “Way of the Dragon”. My interest is focusing on the undercurrent nationalism in many Kung-Fu films which linked to the emerging power of today’s China, as the main character always symbolizes a declined nation which once used to be a powerful and great empire.”
Excuse Me, Degree Has The Neighborhood Already Had No Toilet? (2008): “Through out of my journey looking for a public toilet in Hong Kong street, I’m questioning the relation between public function and human urges in a highly organized society.”
Huang Xiaopeng (Shanxi, 1960). He has a BA in Fine Arts from the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in China, and later studied at The Slade School of Fine Art in London before returning to China to take up the post of Professor of Fine Art at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art, China. His work has recebtly been shown The problema of Asia at Chalk Horse Art Center, Sydney, Australia, The invisible Generation, in various public locations, Kiev, Ucrania. His been part of several renowned residenced during 2008, sucha as The Site Gallery, Sheffield (U.K.), The Slade Research centre, London (U.K.), Art Map (HK), and OCAT, Shenzhen (China).