Dilemma: Three Way Fork in the Road

Wang Jianwei

1 May 2007

9’ 57”

Working with film and performance, Wang Jianwei has developed a rich body of work that consists of pieces for the stage and short films that usually depict actions which are theatrically staged. The artist seamlessly incorporates references to literature, theatre and opera, whether Chinese or Western, and produces works which also have strong painterly qualities and reflect upon the relationship between history, reality and virtuality. Dilemna: Three Way Fork in the Road is a tale of two Chinese opera performers whose performing space is gradually invaded by a growing number of individuals, hence shifting from a highly stylised performance to such pedestrian activity as eating. As the space gets increasingly crowded, the two performers proceed, as if oblivious to the change that has occurred. This piece epitomises Wang Jianwei’s concerns, that also relate to the rapidly changing country he lives in. Time, history and space have collided, as the citizens of China strive to reconcile elements of a very conflicted past and incorporate the paradigms of a globalised world –namely speed and international culture.