Exhibition Event Title
Chen Zhen: Daily Incantations
Date of Exhibition Event
May 4 - June 8, 1996
Location of Exhibition Event
Deitch Projects - 76 Grand Street New York City
Sculpture, Wood, metal, Chinese chamber pots, electrical wires, electronic objects, sound system.
230 x 700 x 350 cm. (90.6 x 275.6 x 137.8 in.)
“The gallery space was filled with 101 night stools (Chinese chamber pots), which Chen Zhen and his friends purchased on the streets of Shanghai. The night stools were suspended like bells from a stadium-like structure reminiscent of an ancient Chinese musical instrument. In the corner of the structure was a large globe completely covered with old radios, televisions, telephones, and other debris of electronic communication. Speakers installed inside each of the night stools played the sound of the ritual cleaning of the stools that Chinese women traditionally perform every day. (Deitch Projects, “Chen Zhen: Daily Incantation”, 1996, available on https://www.deitch.com/archive/deitch-projects/exhibitions/daily-incantations).” The "incantations" suggested by this work, according to CHEN Zhen, refer to doctrines in the "Red Book" by Mao Zedong. By transporting such a culturally and temporally alienating work to New York in 1996, CHEN Zhen wishes to "bring to the West traditional Chinese objects that it is making obsolete" (ibid). (Jerry Wu’23).