A Conversation with Hsieh Tehching, from The Black Cover Book

This is a translation of a 1993 conversation involving three artists from the Chinese diaspora Hsieh Teh-Ching, Ai Weiwei and Xu Bing. Through candid dialog they tease out the motivations behind their conceptually driven artistic practices, their individual perceptions of social systems and politics, a “Western” art system from which they are marginalized, the concept “Modern art,” the Duchampian imagination, contingency, and postmodernism, etc. Their dialogue helps to situate the frame of mind of émigré artists working and living in New York in the early 1990s, with particular attention to the spiritual and social motivations behind art-making, while elaborating the moral and ethical dimensions behind their work. While the three men do not always agree, a clear sense of the early-career motivations behind each of these artists’ work can be garnered from their discussion.

Content for this article is available at MIT Press. It is available as: No Access/Subscription Only . Click here for more information.