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Fuck Off Exhibition 不合做方式展览

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Fuck Off” (Chinese: 不合作的方式) was a controversial art exhibition which ran alongside the Third Shanghai Biennale (2000), which itself was the city’s first attempt at a truly international survey of contemporary art. The exhibition’s title translates as “Uncooperative Approach” in Chinese, but the blunter English language sentiment was deemed preferable.

The exhibition was held in an Eastlink Gallery warehouse by Feng Boyi and the 43-year-old Ai Weiwei, and is revered by many young Chinese artists.[1] Ai encapsulated Fuck Off’s artistic-curatorial attitude with one set of photos in which he gives the fingerForbidden City and the viewer, and another in which he releases an ancient Han Dynasty Chinese vase which smashes by his feet.[1] in turn to the White House, the

The exhibition included 46 avant-garde artists’ works: Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, Chen Lingyang, Chen Shaoxiong, Chen Yunquan, Ding Yi, Feng Weidong, Gu Dexin, He An, He Yunchang (posing in a color photograph while bare-chested and suspended from a crane by his ankles over a rushing river into which he holds a blade, the same knife he later used to cut his own arm),[1] Huang Lei, Huang Yan, Jin Lei, Li Wen, Li Zhiwang, Liang Yue, Liang Yue, Lin Yilin, Lu Chunsheng, Lu Qing, Meng Huang, Peng Yu, Peng Donghui, Qin Ga, Rong Rong, Song Dong, Sun Yuan (creator of Solitary Animal, a glass case containing an animal skeleton and–purportedly–enough poison gas to wipe out the show’s entire audience),[1] Wang Bing, Wang Yin, Wang Chuyu (whose performance consisted of a four-day fast),[1] Wang Xingwei, Wu Ershan, Xiao Yu, Xu Tan, Xu Zhen, Yang Yong, Yang Fudong, Yang Maoyuan, Zhang Zhenzhong, Yang Zhichao, Zhang Dali, Zhang Shengquan, Zheng Guogu, Zhu Ming (who floated down the Huangpu River in a plastic bubble wearing a diaper)[1] and Zhu Yu.Chen Hao, Zheng Jishun and Song Tao, exhibited a video documenting their walk through the city while blood leaked from plastic tubes inserted into their veins.[1]

A catalog of this exhibition has been published, a black book with the simple title “FUCK OFF” on the cover.

One of the most famous examples from this exhibition was the performance of “Eating People” by Zhu Yu. It consisted of a series of photographs of him cooking and eating what is alleged to be a human fetus. One picture, circulated on the internet via e-mail in 2001, provoked investigations by both the FBI and Scotland Yard. The piece’s cannibalistic theme was controversial in Britain when Yu’s work was featured on a Channel 4 documentary exploring Chinese modern art in 2003. In response to the public reaction, Mr. Yu stated, “No religion forbids cannibalism. Nor can I find any law which prevents us from eating people. I took advantage of the space between morality and the law and based my work on it”. Yu has claimed that he used an actual fetus which was stolen from a medical school.

From ArtSpeak China (ASC) Wiki

Fuck Off was a notorious art exhibition, curated by Ai Weiwei and Feng Boyi, which ran alongside the Third Shanghai Biennale[1] in the fall of 2000. The exhibition’s title is an interpretation of its Chinese name–不合作方式–more strictly translated as “Uncooperative Approach.”  But the blunter English language sentiment was deemed preferable by its participants. Fuck Off was held in an Eastlink Gallery warehouse in Shanghai.

Ai Weiwei, Study in Perspective (Tiananmen), 1995. The Perspective series was conducted over nearly a decade includes the White House, the "Mona Lisa," the Reichstag, etc.

Ai Weiwei, Study in Perspective (Tiananmen), 1995. The Perspective series was conducted over nearly a decade includes the White House, the “Mona Lisa,” the Reichstag, etc.

Fuck Off was, in large part, a reaction against the allegedly over-complaisant Shanghai Biennale, which itself was the city’s first attempt at a truly international survey of contemporary art. Ai encapsulated the show’s artistic-curatorial attitude with one set of photos in which he gives the finger to the White House, the Forbidden City and the viewer, and another in which he releases an ancient Han Dynasty Chinese vase that smashes to at his feet.[1]

Yang Zhichao, Planting Grass, color photograph of the performance, 130 x 88 cm in an edition of 8, 2000.

Yang Zhichao, Planting Grass, color photograph of the performance, 130 x 88 cm in an edition of 8, 2000.

The exhibition included works from 46 avant-garde artists: Ai Weiwei, Cao Fei, Chen Lingyang, Chen Shaoxiong, Chen Yunquan, Ding Yi, Feng Weidong, Gu Dexin, He An, He Yunchang (in a color photograph as a bare-torsoed figure suspended from a crane by his ankles over a rushing river which he “cut” with the same knife he later used to knick himself in the arm), Huang Lei, Huang Yan, Jin Lei, Li Wen, Li Zhiwang, Liang Yue, Liang Yue, Lin Yilin, Lu Chunsheng, Lu Qing, Meng Huang, Peng Yu, Peng Donghui, Qin Ga, RongRong, Song Dong,

He Yunchang, Dialogue with Water, color photograph of a February 1999 performance, 2000.

He Yunchang, Dialogue with Water, color photograph of a February 1999 performance, 2000.

Sun Yuan (creator of Solitary Animal, a glass case containing an animal skeleton and–purportedly–enough poison gas to wipe out the show’s entire audience), Wang Bing, Wang Yin, Wang Chuyu (whose performance consisted of a four-day fast), Wang Xingwei, Wu Ershan, Xiao Yu, Xu Tan, Xu Zhen, Yang Yong, Yang Fudong, Yang Maoyuan, Zhang Zhenzhong, Yang Zhichao, Zhang Dali, Zhang Shengquan, Zheng Guogu, Zhu Ming (who floated down the Huangpu River in a plastic bubble wearing a diaper) and Zhu Yu, Chen Hao, Zheng Jishun and Song Tao exhibited a video documenting their stroll through the city with blood leaking from plastic tubes that had been surgically inserted in the veins of their arms.[1]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1248/is_7_89/ai_76332991/?tag=content;col1

Many influential artists of the current Chinese art scene took part, many of whom have since been included in international exhibitions, catalogues and television documentaries.

The exhibition was closed by the Shanghai police before its closing date.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Richard Vine, Art in America, July 2001.
  2. ^ http://www.aapmag.com/53features1.html ArtAsiaPacific accessed May 23, 2007.