After the Explosion - The Third Kind of Farming Slack

Chen Han Sheng


Following my “Green & Gray (Agriculture)” and “The Last Farm Boy” solo exhibitions, I farm with Shu-zi (my grandfather Chen Ming-fu's nickname) from the perspective of art. It is only during moments of free time that I get to look around the farmland.  Whether reminiscing or forgetting, directly confronting a foregone existence or sharing the unremarkable, these inspirations have always been the core of my creative state and work.


Many have heard of Renwu, Nanchao, Yanchao, and Dashu, but have no idea that these places enclose Dashe. The Chingyun Temple, located in Shennong (a god of agriculture in Chinese mythology) Village of Dashe District, is a place for worshipping the “Divine Farmer”. In the past, it was an important local belief among the farming community of Dashe. Even with today's declining agricultural population and changes in industrial structure, worship continues to flourish. A shortcut, familiar only to the locals, leads from the south northward toward Dashe. This industrial road circles the Renda Industrial Park. Broad and straight, it passes by the factories, where cows can be seen grazing on the green areas outside. A wall hides the plant areas, tall enough to leave only the tips of chimneys peeking through. Also serving as a noise barrier, this wall was completed nine years ago as a remedy after a plant accident. The exhibition, “After the Explosion”, was hence inspired.


Desire can connect people, affairs, and things that are unrelated. I look at boundaries and contradictions in everyday encounters: the mutual dependence between humans and deities, the juxtaposition of industry and agriculture, the conditions of healthy living and the purpose of hard work, and even the convolution of satisfaction and anxiety. Living alongside crisis is not difficult because, for most, survival is more important than living. For me, the craft is my way of examining contemporary art and labor production. “After the Explosion” distinguishes two kinds of farming slack. One is leisure after farming season is over; the other is leisure by abandoning farm work.  Through this creation, I hope to fulfill the third kind of slack season in farming.