Monument 08’
Medium: Digital Video, Online Virtual Environment, Soundtrack, Cut Paper Images,
Video running time (original): 5 minutes,
Completion Year: 2009, Size: Varied.

Artist Statement
Monument 08’ is an installation constructed in our multi-user-virtual-environment Land of Illusion. Using the online 3D world platform, we invited online community members to experience the interactive artifacts on the Lunar New Year Eve in January 2009. The Cloud Ladder is located in a giant Confucius’ Chariot landed on Great Firewall surrounding our virtual garden. In the video, a few people almost successfully reach the top of the ladder. Flipping skillfully, a male character is ascending along the Ladder. Dropping halfway down to the sea in a sudden, he reached an unknown place in where images of crushed bodies, crowd gathering on square, and petitioners are haunting around in the form of blood red cut-paper.

Both Cloud Ladder and Confucius Chariot symbolize Chinese intellectual’s political ambitions embodied by ‘knowing the impracticable nature of the time, and yet will be doing them.’ This installation particularly refers to the political scene in China around the end of 2008, including the launch of Chapter 08 calling for democracy, while the underwater scene is filled with imagery of Tiananmen Incident in 1989. The interactivity and immersive quality of virtual reality integrated with cut-paper, the popular folk art, make these heavy topics aesthetically accessible. The soundtrack adapts Chinese singer and songwriter Cui Jian’s The Last Shot composed and performed in 1990. It is said that the song is in memory of Student Protest at Tiananmen in 1989.