Water  fire  earth

Category: Installation, video art, performance art, interactive media art

Artist:Tan Tan


Participation of festivals, exhibitions:

  • 2014 “Sound/Body/Image/Power” Multi-Media Art Festivalchi K11 art space,Wuhan,China
  •  "Self-Consistency" Installation and Video Exhibition at Creative Capital International Art Festival, Wuhan, October2014

This is a series of art containing three parts, a video installation “Water-flower in the mirror, moon in the water, an interactive media installation “Fire- nirvana, and a performanceinstallation “Earth-Sukhavati.

These works focus on the past and present of the original natural elements “Water, Fire, Earth” of our world, which are mutual core elements of the “classical elements” by ancient Greek philosophers, as well as the core substances of “I Ching” in China, their movements and interactions cause the changes of the universe, thereby affect the life of every human being.

From bringing back the attention of the natural elements, Tan Tan hopes to explore the current status of their running in contemporary China, which is a crazily “booming” country getting further and further from its origin…

Part 1

Water-flower in the mirror, moon in the water

Category: video installation

Materials: one projector, two round mirrors, one water container

Two reflections of a“turning moon” are refracted by two mirrors, one reflection is on the ceiling, the other is in the water of a container. The audience will only know the reality of moonif they get close to the images, in fact, the moon and a 1 yuan RMB coin are transforming into each other.

Which moon is real? Which moon is fake? There is an ancient idiom in China that says, “flower in the mirror, moon in the water”, which means the desires of human are vacant in the universe.

The video of this installation below:

Part 2

Fire- nirvana

Category: Interactive Installation

Materials: interactive sensors, led lights, one microwave ovenone artificial skull  

When the audience get close to a “normal microwave oven”, it begins to work automatically, they will discover quickly that there is not any food under the light inside the oven, but a turning skull! After about 1 min turning, the microwave oven becomes dark and still again, waiting for the nextcustomer.

It is well-known that a microwave can produce kind of “invisible fire”, and people often doubt about the safety of the food warmed by it. In this work, a microwave oven represents a cinerary casket, the container that preserves most of the modern Chinese people today after their death instead of tombs. Having the same fleshes with our ancestors, who made fire from drilling woods, will we have our Nirvana inside the new fire? 



Category: Performance ArtInstallation

Space: a whole big room

Materials: abandoned earth

I hired some workers to deliver a lot of abandoned earth from a construction site into the exhibiting space. This construction site will become the new building for the art space and a shopping center. The delivery lasted for nearly 20 hours, began from one day before the opening of “performance Art Session” at 2014“Sound/Body/Image/Power” Multi-Media Art Festival, ended with physical theatre “Omnipresent”. The workers covered a full room of the art space with earth gradually, and then the room became the first scene of the theater. Some performers buried themselves under the earth, and get out of the earth suddenly, as if they were born from the land…

During the whole festival duration, the audience stepped on this earth land to watch the videos of course of the earth delivery and the theater. At the closing day of the festival, the earth was sent back to the construction site.

This work attempts to let people reconsider what is earth. As a vital source of life, earth becomes more and more the foundation of the booming real estate industry in China nowadays, which makes people have less and less chances to step on the real earth lands. 

Performance art: workers loaded the earth into the art space--

Physical theater “Omnipresent” started on the land of earth--

The installation of earth was exhibited after the performance of the theatre--