I was born in Qinghai province. After college graduation, I moved to a place by the Qinghai Lake as a volunteer teacher for the first time in my life. There, together with 182 children I initiated a life-long commitment with 10-year cycles. Last year (2016) marked the end of the first 10 years and I met with them again, continuing as a ritual into the second phase of the story. My speech is about the first 10 years of this story, which touches upon topics including ethnicity, religion, geography, emotion and time.
Background of the story:
I had my photograph taken with each of the 182 pupils from Wanquan Primary School in Gangcha County, Qinghai Province. We each held a balloon and each photograph has been preserved along with a strand of each pupil’s hair. On the reverse side of each photograph is a signed agreement stating that a reunion in 10 years’ time is expected, and that another photograph is to be taken and another strand of hair is to be collected then from each of the pupils who remain willing to participate in the performance. This process of repetition is to continue until the end of my life.
Between 2005 and 2006, the artist served as a volunteer teacher in Gangcha County by the Qinghai Lake.
Liu Chengrui (“Guazi”)
Liu Chengrui was born in 1983 in the Amdo Tibetan region in Qinghai province and was raised in a semi-nomadic family. He currently lives in Beijing. His works take the form of on-site and off-site performances, videos and texts etc. His on-site performances highlight extreme repetitive experiences of the body in a specific space and time. His off-site performances investigate interpersonal relationships that are established for an artistic purpose on the basis of identity and cultural equality between him and his various collaborators, shaping each other’s life and social characters. Most of his off-site works last for the duration of his lifetime. Most of his writings are poetry and are produced in an oral style. He has independently published two anthologies of his poems “So The River” (2013) and “Which Way To The East” (2014).