God's World_Symposium on Sim Up's Contemporary Sculpture

Afternoon of July 2, 2008
School of Further Education of the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University
Academic Director : Zou Yuejin

Zou Yuejin
God’s World –Symposium on Sim Up’s Contemporary Sculpture starts now. This is a small symposium.
Firstly, I will introduce the artists participating in the symposium.
Mr. Jia Fangzhou, critic, and editor-in-chief of Chinese Art Criticism Network;
Dr. Yu Ding, professor and vice-president of School of Humanities, China Central Academy of Fine Arts;
Dr. Gao Ling, art critic;
Dr. Yin Shuangxi, vice editor-in-chief of Art Research of China Central Academy of Fine Arts, and director of China Sculpture Research Center;
Yang Wei, art critic, art director of Songzhuang Art Promotion Association;
Choi Jinsuk, professor of Philosophy Department of Sogang University of South Korea. He is a good friend of the artist. He studied in Philosophy Department of Peking University for Ph.D. He knows Chinese, Korean, and English well.
Mr. Sim Up, author of God’s World, sculptor from South Korea;
Zhao Zhengwu, associate of Mr. Sim Up, and planning assistant of the exhibition. He is Korean-Chinese and received his master degree in South Korea.
I will firstly introduce the origin of this exhibition. About one and a half year ago, Cui Xianji told me that an excellent South Korean sculptor created works in Beijing and suggested me to take a look. At that time, I considered that Sim Up was an excellent contemporary sculptor. I also promised to curate an exhibition for him. The works being exhibited were created by him in the past two years. Sim Up his works World. I suggested him to change it to God’s World and he agreed.
From the model of figures and the subject being reflected, we notice that Mr. Sim pays much attention on the present predicament, problems, and sufferings faced by the human being. We could realize these problems from Zhao Zhengwu’s interview on him. In the interview, Mr. Sim also talked about his pursue of art. There are some key points in the interview, such as resistance, subject, and critique of abstract and formalism art. He always consciously thinks about these artistic problems, which might have some relation with his understanding of South Korean art and his dissatisfaction. The works of Sim Up reflect the clash between different value systems of the East and the West. All the problems expressed in his works, such as oil problem, pollution problem, war problem, especially the relationship between America as the most developed capitalism country and other countries, exist in current days. His works are full of consciousness of hardness. I hope that people could interpret the meaning of his works from the subject and the manifestation of art in this symposium. I also hope that critics could provide some suggestions for the improvement of his works. We as Chinese critics pay attention to the works of South Korean artists and the problems faced by the works and human beings from the point of China and Chinese art. In other words, although the artist is from South Korea, the problems are universal and international and currently exist.
From the trend of art, the art of Sim Up has the character of both critical realism and symbolism. I really like and accept his way of art. The mainstream of Chinese sculpture is pop sculpture. I think that Mr. Sim’s works could bring insight and specific value to Chinese sculpture. So I am very glad to act as his curator and organize this symposium. I still do not write an article. I would like to hear the opinions of critics. Then Mr. Sim will talk about his creation idea.

Sim Up
Industrial revolution and technological revolution brought excessive exploitation and developing, which made people to enter a world with superfluous material.
What we could see today is almost the impact of American value system on every corner of the world. It even caused impact on the development of human beings, including the serious threat faced by the environment of human beings. Under such condition, I think that the fate of human beings is threatened. I try to express such threat and the suffering of human beings. In the art field of South Korea, formalistic and commercial works hold the mainstream. My works have strong elements of critique. There are some limitations on the works like mine in South Korea. But I notice that there are many different kinds of arts in Chinese art and different publics. I am glad that my works could be exhibited here.

Yin Shuangxi
I think there is great critique in Sim Up’s works. His works have a strong character of modernism, which is reflected by the critique and negation of capitalist society and his value system of maintaining a strict attitude and ruthless critique on it. This has great relation with the economic development and national characters of South Korea. I have visited South Korea six times. I visited some valuable exhibition of South Korea, including the poster, printing, and magazines created by many artists during the times of the Gwangju Uprising that record the active struggle of intellectuals, ardent love of life, and their respect to freedom. These works have strong personalities. Chinese would put up with it if it had happened in China. But South Korean did not put up with it. You can notice the armed police patrolling in the streets when you are in Seoul. These police have advanced equipments. Marx said there are great resistance where there are strong police in a country. The South Korean are worth the respect of us. They have great national pride. Such struggle spirit is different with the oriental philosophy that places great emphasis on spontaneity.
A few days ago, I wrote an article about Park Changhwan, a South Korean sculptor. His works were exhibited at Watch Gallery, Jiuchang Art Complex. His early works in the period of university also reflects the sufferings of people. But now he turns to the expression of the empty and floating conditions of human beings. He likes to use the image and color of iron. I visited the studio of a famous English sculptor when I went to England last winter. He also created lots of such figures with true iron. He put them in every corner of city. You might notice an iron sculpture looking at you when you pass the shop window of a department store. You might meet such sculpture at the corner of a street. These sculptures are full of every corner of the city, even on hillside and coastline. In the west, there are many contemporary artists that express the survival conditions and the struggle of human beings by describing reality as it is and using even the human body as an objet. I think the works of Sim Up have such contemporary characters, just like those of the Western artists. He has profound thought, emphasizing the essence or ideal and valuable things. He thinks that the ideal and the valuable system are impaired and he would like to protect and promote such ideal. One important character of Chinese contemporary art emphasizes the visual experience and the instant pleasure. But the works of Sim Up emphasize thought, reflection, and critique, which seems incompatible with Chinese contemporary art. Many Chinese artists pay attention to personal feeling and individual life experience of an instant. So the art presents a trend of trivialness and fragmentariness. They do not have the power and interest to build a macroscopic and unified artistic interpretation.
Based on the above opinions, I think that the critique in the works of Mr. Sim is the heritage of modernism that should be inherited in the times of post-modernism. Habermas thinks there are still many unfinished things of modernism and there are many things which need to be reflected and improved. I just chatted with Yu Ding about the American science fiction movie and the future world. We often watch the films where there are many virtual people or future robots that form a kind of confliction and a relationship of control and anti-control. People produce themselves by asexuality. But those being produced try to control the human being. I do not think this problem from the point of organic evolution. There might be such mutations happened.

Yu Ding
I will speak following the topic of Mr. Shuangxi. On entering the exhibition, I feel like that I enter the film studio of Resident Evil. I like this movie, which is followed by two sequels. I have watched two or three times of each movie. The movie tells about zombies. Zombies, including vampires and other related figures, are a subject frequently reflected in many films and novels. In such works, zombies reflect another status of human beings, which is a physical status of people when they suffer many misfortunes after they are dead. In fact, it is not only the physical status but also the spirit status of human beings. Why do so many people like this movie? It is a kind of critique and reflection on modern civilization, which has relation with what reflected in the exhibition. Resident Evil depicts the story of clones. With their high-tech, people could produce clones by the transferring of gene. There is a beauty being produced in the movie. She suffers various tests. For example, she might be shot when passing a channel. Then people producing her will throw away her body. People will improve her gene to produce more advanced clones. This is in fact the ideal of human beings, hoping to reach the status of perfect people. Those being thrown away are just trash, some of which will change to zombies. In the movie, such zombies are the lowest. They eat the bodies of the clones being shot and then thrown away.
What is the result of the movie? The clone beauty being improved eventually has the consciousness of a human being. She begins to resist. She looks for the truthness and the essence of people being alive. In the end, she kills all of the people that created her. She controls the clone factory and produces many of herself according to her gene. She reaches the most perfect status of a human being, which is universal ideal status. The world will be controlled by her species with perfect gene. And common people will evolve to a kind of lower being. This is what the movie tells about. I think there are many philosophical meanings in it.
Through this exhibition, I could experience the meaning expressed by the works. I like to find the meaning of works from their figures and language. The significance of the works is not what the artist says but what the visual experience brought by the works. There exists the significance behind this visual experience. To me, these works look just like the zombies, for all of the muscle of the model are atrophied and dried, just like those of mummy. What are these in fact? They make me think of the state of people when suffering great disaster. But there exists a language paradox. For example, there are two men fighting in the middle of the sculpture. From the model of sculpture, the muscles of their backs and legs should be tight and be full of power. But if we observe their muscles, we will notice that the muscles are weak and powerless. Every part of the two seemingly powerful men in fighting and struggling reflects only weak. So do the zombies crying or howling on the wall. All of these like the Gates of Hell and the Last Judgment. But what is the difference between these works and those of Rodin? The muscle of the figure in Rodin’s sculpture is full of power. And his sculpture language is full of power. He expresses the vitality of a human being in the rising times. But I only experience the destruction instead of vitality from the language of these sculptures.
I think there are many typifying trends in the sculpture language of the artist. In other words, he has his own language. One example is elongated arms. The arm of each person, including the muscle tissue, is same. This shows that he intends to create sculpture in this way or it is a reflection of typifying. I do not think that it is modernism, for modernism pays attention to personality. His works are contemporary or incomplete post-modernism. This might be a question. But I do not have a clear idea. And we can discuss about it.
Another question is the confliction between subject and language. From his idea, we could understand that he objects the development of human civilization started from the Western industrial civilization. To him, the American culture represents the industrial civilization, which is what he objects. But the paradox is that he adopts the American industrial language and method. This question needs to be answered by the artist. I think such figure is the Hollywood style produced by industrial method. The so-called Hollywood style just likes the zombies. All of the zombies are same and can be produced and cloned. All of the things have the Hollywood style. So he uses the American way to resist against American, which is the paradox between his language and what he hopes to reflect.

Zou Yuejin
Mr. Shuangxi just said that the struggle method of the artist does not follow the oriental thinking but American or Western thinking.

Yu Ding
This is the reason why such struggle is powerless, for oriental thinking emphasizes implication and restraint.

Zou Yuejin
Do you mean that there exists a confliction between the subject and the reflecting method of Sim Up’s sculpture? The above two critics revealed the subject of Sim Up’s works and pointed the inner confliction of his arts. I think that each Oriental in contemporary world, instead of Sim Up alone, is faced with such confliction when thinking about the relation between the West and the East. But I do not agree with the statement of zombies.

Yu Ding
People will have the same appearance when they shrink to mummies. All mummies have the same appearance. They will have the personal characters when they are not mummies.

Gao Ling
I have never seen fiberglass works like these. At first, I think the works are made of metal, for there is a layer of rust on their surface. He creates a rusty effect on the human body to imply that human beings suffer a kind of invasion or impairment. As to the model language, the bodies of the figures are elongated and transformed. He emphasizes a feeling of alienation through this. There is not any other color in the works except the color of rust. All of these are used to express a kind of alienation in the philosophical concept.
We also notice that his works have strong characters of narration and symbolization. But the consequence of them is not clear. There are elements representing the West, such as U.S. Dollar, American Flag, and the Statue of Liberty. These things produce many byproducts of the industrial civilization of capitalism. For example, there are cans of Coca Cola, broken bodies, and other things produced from the private part of female statue. He tries to express the trash and the negative things. In the works, gun also represents violence. So the artist expresses a strong tendency of realism. He pays much attention to social reality. On entering the exhibition, I noticed this point. If a person is not told that the works are created by South Korean artists, he might think these are from the hands of Chinese artists.
Of course, we know that he has two studios at Huantie and Suojia Village. South Korean artists like him will be influenced by Chinese mixed culture of today. In South Korea, the problem is much simpler than that of China. China of today just likes South Korea of twenty years ago when Mr. Sim was still a student. Today, China has become an experimental field. As there are some conflictions and energy, it is suitable for Mr. Sim to move his studio to Beijing. Thus he could keep his stance of student times when he pays much attention on reality.
Just like what Mr. Yu Ding mentioned, there is a consequence between the object of resisting and the method of it. I just look the draft interview made in advance. It shows that Mr. Sim generally accepts the Oriental culture, including tolerance in the Asian culture. Patient and tolerance are important concepts of the Oriental culture, in which people do not emphasize on struggle and resistance but the tolerance. People hope to solve the confliction through tolerance, which is the soul of the Oriental culture. But how is this soul reflected in the works? One way is just putting forward the problem without reflecting it. The other is to implicate the pursued goal in the works. I think the latter will be better.
Mr. Sim tries to reflect the current universal problems faced by human beings, especially those of Asian countries, for the development of Asian countries like China lags behind that of South Korea. Chinese problems are outstanding, for Chinese experience the clash of civilization only in the past thirty years. More importantly, artists and critics should express their pursuing by the model and visual language. I think it will be better. Strong critique is an important character for an artist. But the artist should also express such critique. It will be better if the Oriental civilization and culture could absorb the new culture formation of the valuable part of the Western culture.

Zou Yuejin
The positive side of toleration means a kind of virtue, for it tolerates different opinions. What is negative side of it? Weak. So toleration has dual characters. It contains irreconcilable conflict, jus like resistance. You also put forward a suggestion to the model of Sim Up indirectly. The model is powerless from the point of resistance. Is it what you mean? In other words, the model of muscle should be more powerful and highlight the aspect of resistance. It will have a better visual effect and do not give people an impression of zombies, just like what Yu Ding said. This might be the opinion of Gao Ling. He uses the rust because it is full of power and has the sense of time and the depth of history. We thought the use of bronze, but it is classic and could not reflect the character of contemporary.

Yu Ding
There are two ways to present power. One way is like the model of Rodin where every body is full of power. The other is just like the model of Giacometti where the statue is as thin as nails but is full of power.

Zou Yuejin
Giacometti emphasizes spirit through the way of expressionism. From the point of model, his works are full of power.

Jia Fangzhou
After looking the exhibition, I think God’s Beings is more suitable for title of the works than God’s World. The works in fact express the living beings, their survival conditions and sufferings. But why does Mr. Yu Ding say it is like zombies? To me, the works are like cultural relics being dug. Some of the figures are solidified and have the texture of iron with rust on the surface. Rust means the concept of time. It represents the eternal struggle. When a person died of earthquake or great disaster is dug out, he still remains the state of struggle. The works just give me such feelings. They maintain a state of struggle. From this point, I think Yu Ding’s interpretation makes some sense. Moreover, he emphasizes the formation of weakness and thinness instead of the power of muscle, which reflects the current living conditions of human beings from the formation and physical fitness. It is not power, resistance, or confrontation but struggle. When mention about the artist’s exploration on the subject, I think this is worth being learned by Chinese artists. He treats the survival conditions and problems of people from the point of all human beings.
There are three kinds of disaster faced by human beings. The first is the irresistible natural disaster. People always appear insignificant when faced with natural disaster, as the Wenchuan Earthquake just happened. The second disaster is terrorism. Terrorism is a great threat to human beings. For example, Beijing Olympic is a good thing and the world hopes to appreciate the great sports gathering, but we have to carry out security check in subway in order to prevent terrorism attack. Terrorism casts great shadow on us. 9.11 Attack leaves great shadow on the heart of American people. This is the second disaster faced by human beings.
On the other hand, America as a powerful and leading nation deserves sympathy when it suffers the threat of terrorism. But some people also regard him as the biggest terrorism. I watched a program of Phoenix TV, The Vanishing Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The first episode reviews the incident of bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. There is no any other architecture except the Chinese Embassy. So the missile aimed at it. Such event is unprecedented in the history. Isn’t it terrorism? The scene is still reserved now, just like when the embassy was bombed. The apartment where the ambassador lived is used by a tramp.
What does this event explain? I support America as an international police when he is in a position of justice. There are some things in the world that need the protection of police. But this police will not be justice and is a threat when he concentrates on the interest of himself. This causes a problem when he wants to invade where he likes.
I think the works of the artist have clear goal. For example, the characters, like the Statue of Liberty, the flag like that of America, and U. S. dollar, have clear symbolic meanings. Such a symbolic meaning, an unscrupulous great nation, is a threat faced by human beings. This is a problem. But we should not negate all aspects of America. There are some positive aspects of him. For example, Bill Gates donated $580 billion, all of his property, to charity. It raises a question of what is capitalism and private ownership of property. Private ownership does not have its original meaning when people donate their private property to charity. People named it Full-Donating, which means people donating all of his property without leaving any property to his descendants. This is a new trend in the development process of human society. The extremely developed capitalism makes wealth go to a few people, who then donate all of it to society. I think this is worth studying. I could not understand such thing. There is no such thing even in the ideal communism. A man collects much social wealth with his wisdom and then donates these to society. When talking about the problem of contradiction, I think that each person, the society, the world, and human beings are full of contradiction. We could not praise or negate a thing only from one side. This shows the universal of contradiction. I think it is valuable when artists understand the problems of human beings from macroscopic perspective and respond to the current survival conditions of human beings.
The third disaster faced by the human being comes from the new civilization, such as the tail gas of motors, environment pollution, and global warming. Former United States Vice President Al Gore presented a film named An Inconvenient Truth. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for it. The film uses a lot of data to illustrate the disaster caused by the new civilization of human beings. The disaster is a great threat to the human being. The so-called new civilization means the endless extravagance on the sources of the earth. This is caused by human beings themselves, so we have to undertake the result. In this sense, I think that the reflection of Sim Up on human being is important and valuable. His works in fact include all of reflections that people should have on themselves. We could make progress and overcome the hidden troubles and disasters caused by human beings only by such reflection. If we could improve earlier, our survival conditions will be better.

Zou Yuejin
The artist thinks the subject of the works is resistance. But Mr. Jia experiences struggle from the works, which is clashed with the subject. If we could experience the struggle, resistance becomes the attitude of the artist. In other words, the attitude of the artist changes to resistance.

Jia Fangzhou
The work comes from another space. The leg is buried in the wall as if it runs away from another space. There is obvious feeling of struggling and running in it. It is just like the feeling when life is going to die and it tries to let himself survive.

Yu Ding
Struggle and resistance are the same in the essence. But there are subtle differences between them. From the point of sculpture language, resistance is a kind of power and struggle is also a kind of power. But it is more suitable to interpret struggle as weakness. When there is not enough power, it reflects a kind of struggle instead of resistance.
Moreover, I do not agree with what you said. You seem to interpret the struggle as the resistance of the artist himself. The artist in fact has the same stance with his works unless his works do not reach the effect of what he hopes. Laocoon, the ancient Greek sculpture, is the kind of struggling work. Laocoon struggles when he is entangled by the snakes. It is a kind of struggle full of power. He combines his idea perfectly with the language. If the artist tries to express resistance, he might need to find a more powerful way when people think that the power of resistance reflected in the works is weak. It is not important to distinguish whether what is reflected in the works is resistance or struggle. It is a kind of helplessness when what art brings to us is powerless resistance or struggle. Then, there can be another interpretation on the works, an interpretation of works themselves. The works are independent of the will of the artist.

Zou Yuejin
We might have different interpretations on the works. The artist emphasizes the powerful resistance. In this sense, there is a distance between the effect of the works and the ideal of the artist.

Jia Fangzhou
Each work is different. This one obviously expresses the resistance. But resistance is actually offset, for the heads of two bodies are sliced.

Zou Yuejin
The work where the figure is shot by a gun is called “Heroes.” The work with U.S. Army is called “American Gunmen.” The work with an old man in wheelchair is called “Life under the Insurance System.” Some works in fact have relation with current social system instead of American culture. For example, insurance system tries to lengthen people's lives so that insurance institution or other social institutions can make money. People’s life becomes a money making machine. Life itself should be invaluable and independent. Some works express struggle and resistance on the whole. Some others have their own meaning.

Yu Ding
In fact, many people discussed about the problem of subject. He does not like Chinese artists who start from personal emotion or experience. He shows the universal love. There is a problem being discussed in the internet, the common value of human beings. The common value of human beings is also the universal principle. There is also a kind of universal standard and value system in the artistic field, especially for contemporary art. Where is the universal value under such multiple and mixed circumstance? What is it reflected and expressed in art? I think this is the interesting thing of the exhibition.

Yang Wei
When talking about the elements of resistance, I think there are such elements in the works of Mr. Sim. Some popular things in contemporary art are fresh or smooth, which is the leading motive of contemporary art. But Mr. Sim’s works are different. And the difference forms a kind of resistance. He surely knows it. Why does he make his works so variegated and rusty? And the model is elongated and presents a classic solemn feeling of modernism. I think that he intends to do all of these. From this point, Mr. Sim gives his works a strong feeling of resistance to reflect his emotion. He also gives a clear object of resistance, that is, the material culture caused by various cultures represented by American culture.
Of course, there is a confliction in it. Mr. Sim could not find a better way to express such resistance. So he changes it to a kind of struggle. Mr. Sim discusses about the characters of the Eastern culture like tolerance in his article. But these characters do not seem to be reflected in his works. This implies a great question, which language could we use to express such Eastern tolerance? I agree with Yu Ding that the works of Mr. Sim adopt the American critique method. In a sense, the American critique method of contemporary art is the most valuable or has the greatest significance. If we just tolerate, which language could we use to reflect such tolerance or how much does it contribute to our reflection of today?
I notice that there is a confliction in the works of Mr. Sim Up. But the emotion of sympathy expressed in his works exists not only in the Eastern culture but also in the Western culture. It is the common affection of the human being. What is the role of his past cultural or philosophical background when an artist turns his emotion into the artistic language? This is a critical problem faced by not only Chinese artists and South Korean artists but also the artists of the world.
In Asia, the change and the economics are developed quickly. After all, most of the rules we use come from the West. And many of our culture sources come from the Western culture. This makes Asian people have a psychology of resistance or fighting against the Western culture. What kind of weapons could we fight with against it? We might use atom bombs, guns, or those produced by the Western capitalism to fight against them. This arouses a confliction, just like what was said in Zhu Qi’s article, that people taking the money of capitalism still resist it. It is in fact a reflection of intellectuals of the Western capitalism. But could we as the intellectuals and artists of East Asia provide the third possibility when reflecting this modern material civilization? If we could not put forward such possibility and just fight against the West in a Western way, then our reflection could not be as profound as theirs.

Yu Ding
It is best to fight against your enemy with the weapons of them. You might not have idea to fight against them with another way.

Yang Wei
This is a confusing question, not only to Chinese artists but also to South Korean artists. Even all artists of East Asia are faced with such dilemma. The works of Mr. Sim Up just reflect such predicament, specifically the predicament of the Eastern civilization. So he resists, struggles, and cries, which is instead a way of the West.

Yu Ding
This is the way to resist America. He does not dare to attack you when both he and you have atom bombs. But at the same time, you just follow his way when you own atom bombs.

Deng Pingxiang
I like the works, including their subject and language. I think that he builds a kind of significance in his works. He provides various possibilities for us to interpret. But Chinese popular contemporary artists try to clear up significance of works. I think that such clearing up of significance reaches to a critical point. It is time to re-build significance. There will arouse great problems if deconstructing in this way. I think it will be transformed to nihilism, which is the worst doctrine under certain conditions.
My first impression is that the subject or theme of his works reflects the soul of the human being. Subjects, like suffering and great problems of the human being, are important to the artist. Several people just mentioned the resistance. I think his resistance is reflected in two layers.
The first one is alienated resistance against people. He selects the conflicted characters as the object and symbolization of resistance. The second one is the resistance against culture and hegemony. He resists the symbolized characters of American culture. At present, these two kinds of resistance are great problems of human beings. Especially, the developing countries are faced with both of these resistance. For example, with the inflation of desire, every person is materialized. But the result of materialization might be much worse for Chinese people than for American people, for the different conditions of Chinese people and American people. American people experienced the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, so they have their cultural power to resist materialization. Chinese people did not experience the Renaissance and complete the Enlightenment movement. So did most Asian nationalities. And they do not have the power and object to resist. Thus the power of materialization combined with hegemony is great. From the point of human beings or the world, the subject of this sculpture exhibition is very important and active. So it is full of value and significance.
There is a theme of violence in his works. I think the artist tries to fight against violence. But when he emphasizes his objection against violence, the boundary point is both clear and vague. Here I have a question. I notice that there are two characters of guns between two bodies. One is AK47, which shoots from a human body. What does AK47 represent? The former Soviet Union, the Middle East, and present terrorism have used it. So it is a symbolized weapon. The other is American M16, which shoots a human body. Does the artist mean to process these characters in such way? I would like to hear the opinion of the artist.

Deng Pingxiang
It is clear that there is a strong significance of anti-hegemony and anti-violence in two layers. I think the artist is pessimistic But such pessimism is also active, for there is positive meaning in his resistance. What is the final effect of such resistance? I think the artist does not draw a clear conclusion. So in the end, he expresses pessimism. Because of such subject, he is incisive and great.
One pessimism philosopher said that evil desire of human beings is the real motive of human civilization. But in fact we do have the emotion of pessimism in our lives. Good people are always beat by bad people, which is the pessimistic but general direction of human beings. But human beings will finally win the evil. Recently I read an article. When asked which kind of people is better since Renaissance, the ancient people or the modern people, a winner of Nobel Prize in Literature answered that ancient people is better than modern people and modern men is more evil. His answer is the same as I think. I think that in fact people growing up under the background of Chinese traditional culture are better than modern people. Modern men have much more complicated evils and desires than ancient people. But what is the improvement? The law, rules, system, and concept are improved. But the individual is more evil. Modern civilization brings you many enjoyments. But it also increases your desire. This is a confliction. The sculptures provide us with much more space of thought. I think they are pessimistic on the whole, for the artist masters the essence of pessimism. But at the same time he is active. This is my impression of his works.
Finally, I will discuss ontology language. I do not know whether the artist understands the new historical aesthetics having arisen in the Europe of 1980s that resisted deconstruction and modernism. I think the language, or subject, or the sensitivity to problems, or the spirit of the artist coincides with that of new historical aesthetics arising in the Europe of 1980s. No wonder he selects such language. His language draws on the experiences of the European sculpture language after the Enlightenment. From the point of reflecting the artist’s passion for literature, such language is best. In this sense, I think the artist selects a good language. And he also has a kind of passion and sensitivity to sculpture, which shows his talent for sculpture.

Zou Yuejin
Mr. Deng thinks that the resistance of the works has multiple meanings and degrees instead of one. Next, Mr. Cui Zhenzhe will give a speech.

Choi Jinsuk
I did not participate in any symposium on art. I am a scholar of philosophy and do not have much knowledge about art, especially sculpture. So I only talk about my feelings. People agree that the subject of his works is resistance. But his resistance doe not only aim at modern industrial civilization. Resistance is an expression of the existence of a human being. The survival of a human being could be accomplished by resistance. Our birth from the uterus of mother is a process of resistance. All process of an individual’s realization of himself is also a process of resistance. In this sense, we could experience the strong desire for survival from his works. Through his works, he tells us what the healthy type of life should be. As to me, he tells us that we could experience our existence only by maintaining the attitude of resistance. From his works we could experience deperation. But some of his works reflect hope. Mr. Jia just mentioned that he is a man full of hope and is not fully a pessimist if he reflects resistance. The Statue of Liberty representing imperialism and extreme capitalism is expressed as the soil of greed and violence by Sim Up. He surely resists it. As the artist resists it and the Statue of Liberty is rusty, it shows that resistance protects success, which is the progress of survival.

Zou Yuejin
If life means resistance and resistance is universal, then surely it can resist against specific object of nowadays.

Yin Shuangxi
We discussed feminism in the past. In fact, there are different kinds of feminism. One is white women’s resistance against men. Another is African American women’s resistance against white women and all of men, for African American women are on the edge and are oppressed by white women. The exhibition only expresses the suffering of human beings caused by industrial capitalism. But all of capitalist countries, including America, are also victims. Yet developing countries or countries of the Third World are oppressed by developed countries at the same time. So there are two kinds of circumstances. But Sim Up seems to mix these two circumstances in his works.

Zou Yuejin
On the one hand, it reflects the resistance to the Western culture represented by American culture. On the other hand, both the West and the East are corrupted by the industrial civilization. So not only the East but also the West should resist the materialization of industrial civilization.

Yin Shuangxi
When looking his works, we could experience that these come from his inner mind. What he expresses is not the personal oppression but the cry for the sufferings of human beings. You will not have the idea that his works are created for certain institutions based on the commercial purpose. Why is the art critique disappeared in China today with the introducing of international capital? There is a strong trend of fawning on the market. Of course, there are still some artists insisting the critique character of art. But why is there a strong odor of fawning on market and capital in art areas like Jiuchang Art Complex and 798.

Zou Yuejin
In the interview, Sim Up expresses his negation on the formation of modernism. Why does he reject it? He said that in South Korea, the public do not understand formalism and could not understand its meaning. So artists, galleries, critics, and market operation form a kind of union or plot in order to push modernism and abstract art to the market. As the public could not understand them, these arts have to be pushed forward by the professional people. He thinks that his works are anti-modernistic and anti-commercial, for modernism is commercial in South Korea. In China, the situation is different. Modernism is not popular in China. So is abstract art. But realistic and image art, including contemporary art has its good market.

Yin Shuangxi
The question is easy. The development of South Korean art is influenced by the development of the Western art. The mature system of gallery and museum has built. When you visit Leeum Samsung Museum of Art, you will find the works of American masters. So they currently have a complete system. Chinese modernism does not build an education base in academies, let alone the market base. Chinese rube boss and upstart do not understand modernism. They might think that people cheat them with it. So they will only pay for academic realism and vernacular pop art instead of modernism. They could understand realistic and pop art, so they will feel better even if they are cheated with these arts. On the contrary, they do not feel good when faced with abstract art.

Zou Yuejin
This shows that the commercial trend of Chinese art is completely different with that of South Korean art.

Yin Shuangxi
We should look this problem from different points of view. Sim Up uses the representational realistic method, which does not mean that the contemporary art of South Korea is all representational realism. The installations of South Korean artists also contain their understanding and idea about the contemporary world, some of which might even be critique. Our academic realism, the so-call pseudo-avant-garde realism, and pop art are highly commercialized. So I think the present condition of Chinese contemporary art is not in the best period. I hope this is an interim. And I hope such interim could be as short as possible. Artists and critics gradually realize that the current condition is not healthy. There should not be full of praise, as if it will be better with more money in the market. I wrote an article named “Late Pursuing.” I think that the market now follows the steps of avant-garde art. Where are these art speculators when the avant-garde art fighted its way during the 1980s? Why don’t they support the avant-garde modernism at that time? They pursue them when these arts are successful. In fact, they just follow the higher market price of these arts. They never understand the value of these arts.

Jia Fangzhou
There are two judgment systems of art. One is the academic judgment system, which judges a work or an artist according to the value of artwork itself instead of market. The other system is judged completely by the market billboard, where people pay much attention on the artworks being sold and they follow the works with the highest price or artists with the highest total price of works.

Zou Yuejin
The symposium is successful. My interpretation of Mr. Sim’s art is simple in a sense. But today, people give complicated and rich interpretation, which shows that art will get rid of the control of artists when it is created. It is an independent being. And we could interpret it from different points of view. Thanks, everybody for participating in the symposium. Thanks, everybody!