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MOUTH-EYE-QI-FOOT-MOUTH — Nhozagri Solo Exhibition

MOUTH EYE QI FOOT MOUTH---the World of Possibility of Nhozagri


by Fu Xiaodong


A living particle which is unwilling to face the excess of joy, lacks freedom, without joy, and remains sternest should reach its extreme. This is just a trap. The being that is fulfilled, should apply excessiveness, not deprivation, to reach extremity.

                           ------L'expérience intérieure, Georges Bataille


Ancient amoeba is a single-cell protozoa, belongs to the class of Sarcodina and Rhizopoda. The body of amoeba is bare and soft. It can protrude from all directions its pseudopods and has several blisters and telescopic bubbles. It is a transparent ellipsoid that can produce fission. This free-living amoeba can enter the body of the host from the nasal cavity and engulf the brain nerve cells. Therefore, it is the most important observation object for single-cell genetic experiment, and also the starting point of all the strange deformed monsters. Slime is a kind of fictional little mud who appears in video games and fantasy novels. As a sticky substance and a jelly-like semi-liquid, it is green, soft and elastic, constantly splitting and blending. In reality it is based on amoeba and originates from the Cthulhu mythology system---a huge deformed monster that can melt anything but stones into its body.


The conception of Nhozagri Kingdom of its soft-body subjects comes from the legend of these unicellular or multi-cellular deformed mollusk. They grow wildly, in a casual, melancholy, loose, and weak way. For these cute subjects with flock satin and fluffy hairs, "their appearances stay in the moment of captivation", their "eyes are full of illusion and hallucination", therefore "exposing their own past and future." "There are some events of things that condense a moment of things, just like a petrified magic." They are a blue sky, or a bank of white clouds, a block of time and space. They infinitely rebound with human existence, and functions with each other reciprocally and recursively. One can stay in "one place", play "one thing", and have a "complex mind". The soft-body subjects are not just some images, instead, they can be anything in this world--- ions, air, and light can all become soft-body subjects gathered by breathe. "The world is not just about the planet earth," Nhozagri said. These poor yet cute subjects are regarded by Nhozagri as a self-conscious group that can survive and reproduce on their own. Every subject is a key to enter Nhozagri Kingdom as well as to activate unique time. In short, they are the evidences of the material existence in a possible world. They superimpose on each other and form texts of the body like “MOUTH EYE QI FOOT MOUTH, which denotes “eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body”, namely, the five senses and four limbs. For the internal organs, Nhozagri applies the method of pictogram or homophone: to apply the sound of “肠”(cháng) and “鹅”(é)to imitate the sound of “嫦娥”(cháng-é) (the Goddess in the Moon); to apply the sound of “虫”(chóng) and “蝶”(dié)to imitate the sound of “重叠”(chóng-dié) (overlap). It is a superimposed reconstruction of object pictogram, body symbol and phonetic imitation. They are not merely an alternative way of viewing. but a diversified form of “being”, returning to a more ancient and magnificent mechanism of the machine of the universe, and finally, closely join all the things together, no matter how far they are, through the analogy manifested in the ancient method of Chinese cosmology.


The Quilt of Time

After capitalism, industrial civilization, view of science, and Evolution Theory, everyone was facing a challenge---since the ancient symbolic system of Western Catholic collapsed, as well as the Oriental Confucian ethics and daily religious system collapsed, what should we center on to reorganize our civilization?


In the Nhozagri’s kingdom of possibility, every subject and every story is trying to form a space-time system of her own, that the audience can imagine in mind a grand and differed universe through the few pictures and words in this exhibition. As Nhozagri puts, "I often feel that in some spaces, whether I have been there or not, exist some fragments of things in consciousness, and they are in a non-linear time, recombined by memory and amnesia, therefore forming some form or shape, just behind me or beside me." As if with super-feeling, she fixed the impression of time and create this impression. These accidental creations formed a chaotic multi-time relationship, expanding narratives in the splitting linear time. In "Four Dimensions", the images of various subjects gradually fixed and individualized, and also increasingly personalized. The thinking mode based on a fully developed symbolism is defined as the contemporary mythological thinking of a forked time and space.


Nhozagri tries to appease and heal the unhealed wounds of modern people. If the exhibition “Curious Cabinet” in Sanlitun presents the great trauma in the center of civilization that cannot be healed by rationalism, empiricism, Phenomenology of Spirit, protestant ethics, and s order of symbolism, then we can say that from World War I to World War II, from national wars to democratic wars, it is human themselves who is always in the pursuit of material and spiritual satisfaction that drives people crazy. The insatiable demands for materials and the desire for the ultimate pursuit of metaphysical world that have led to the development of strange monsters within human beings.


Nhozagri wants to "play secretly". "Art creation is to filter gems from the air; I look into the inside world while standing outside of time, walking and picking; looking through transparent gems, the objective world have changed its soul through the refraction of marbles. Any act of play is a topological structure.” We have to turn our attention from external oppression to inner relaxation, from hysterical alienation to crystal sedimentation and soothing. We can't imagine a world without power, without capitalism exploitation. We can't imagine a world that doesn't eat people. Facing such a terrible yet normal world, we try to stop doing counterproductive things while just lingering in the world of inhumanity, so as to alleviate this contradiction and anxiety. "Until the quilt of time is covered, they will fall asleep and gradually show clear images." To cut the connection with real life is not drift outside the reality, but return to it. It is a simul-construction with the collapsing world, an alternative way to truly intervene the reality. Therefore, against the background of the indifferent doomsday, we can have such a romantic and poetic world of healing. With a temperament of post-humanistic unknown things, Nhozagri’s subjects are full of the praise for material lives in the universe and for the ordinary daily life, giving a vivid example of “all things are equal”. It is an accidental ecstasy, as if enjoying a beautiful view, a slightly mild sweet and pleasant possession, and a lasting enjoyment from the inner mind. An accidental joy comes into being, as if enjoying a landscape, it is a slightly dull sweet and pleasant possession, a lasting enjoyment from the inner mind. Nhozagri said: “Painting is a method to know the world. Lonely but brave.”



Nhozagri was born in 1989 and graduated from Printmaking Deptment, Central Academy of Fine Arts. The sweet girl style impregnated in her works comes from the intentional rejection to college system education, and from The arbitrary power of a unique individual in the art world, which can be regarded as a voluntary, temporary and unobstructed form-giving. Vaporwave is a microgenre of retro electronic style that combines the internet meme with huge amount of cyberpunk tropes and psychedelic experience emerged in 2010.  The style is defined by its appropriations of 1980s and 1990s mood music styles; through clipping cutting, twisting, layering, and circulating, a simple, quiet, dark, low, and illusory style appears. It tends to be characterized by a nostalgic engagement mixed with a popular entertainment. The low-cost production method of Vaporwave makes it an art form that everyone has access to be involved. Also in its visual, there is the psychedelic surrealist style filled with low fidelity, rainbow gradient colors and the retro technology, consuming, exceeding and sacrificing in the production, distribution and consumption. Its perceptual liberation and intuitional respect allow the previous hermeneutics to be cracked, decisively foregrounding the perception of contemporary existence.


The cyber citizens on the Bilibili named the expressive but low-tech paintings as the works of “soul painters”. After the conceptual painting, the "bad" painting has become a painting path against the stereotyped modernist language style, as a mockery of "good" paintings, which is represented by distorted images, mixed with popular styles, and absurd content. Their challenge was so successful that it is now clearly not an “opposition”, but more likely a once legitimate taste, having been sought after by art galleries and collectors, and even becoming the mainstream. Subcultures, usually share a common goal—to attack those self-proclaimed “high-ranking”professionals, and devote to producing heterogeneity in the opposite direction. Subculture is still providing continuous supply of resources to the avant-garde, as it is undoubtedly hidden in the vast Chinese folk cultures. The works of Nhozagri, with the attributes of cyber aesthetics, point to the hybrid styles of cartoons, animations, games and vaporwave, reaching the sensual proportion balance with a new scale. The story uses the hypertext as a narrative method. When her works are taken as an infinitely open chain node, time is no longer a passive container; instead, it becomes a continuous relationship with the reality, such as her works “cutting stories” and “chess game", like a "space-time body" encompassing the moving maze and various possibilities of different narratives.


People still need to add some sweetness in their plain life. After defeating the monster of self-desire, the fantasy and madness that drift away from rationality is still the invincible difference between human beings and AI. Nhozagri’s boat of the self-speaking has drifted off into the distance with dreams, time and space and quilts, and with her people to explore other possibilities of the construction of the subject. This kind of exploration is to find the future in the rules of the game set by herself, which is a personal way out of the fantasy world of possibilities.