Artist Statement – Miao Xiaochun
About Beijing Hand Scroll
Hand scrolls are not suitable for public exhibition, but they are very suitable for private observation: one can scroll it open slowly and enjoy every detail. The most famous hand scroll in history is obviously Qingming Festival Along the River. This long scroll of 25 cm in width and 529 cm in length depicts a city in a detailed and vivid manner. No hand scroll can surpass this achievement.
There is no way that we can use this way of observation and depiction nowadays to represent a city; we don’t have that kind of scrutiny and patience anymore. Maybe it is because we have other new media and new possibilities; these possibilities include photographs, videos and computers. If I take a picture with a special round-shot camera, then I can get an extremely long image; after computer software processing and mounting, a scroll is made. This way I can have all the fun of enjoying hand scrolls again. This kind of hand scroll is obviously very different from traditional hand scrolls. It is not a macro overlooking view, yet it is very truthful and meticulous; it is not as concise and embracing that one scene can represent many aspects of our lives, but it is able to cover all aspects that at least 100 scenes can represent 1 perspective. Therefore, I’m determined to make a vast and voluminous work with countless scrolls to represent a city like Beijing in order to compare with Qingming Festival Along the River in a respectful way because it fascinates me with its completeness and vividness.