Tang Nannan's Art
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VIDEO




ODYSSEY SMOKING

VIDEO|4 minute 50 seconds black and white single frequen

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What does homesickness mean to our the homeless modern people? Odyssey Smoking is a clear set of images gradually revealed: a train is removing in the undulating sea with hesitation, shoring the wave. After a long clinging struggle, the train resolutely bears up for the vast ocean.

The name Odyssey Smoking came from the story of Bo Ya Learning to Play the Guqin : Bo Ya wanted to learn the Guqin from tutor Cheng Lian for three years, but he didn’t make it. Cheng Lian said: "My teacher Fang Zi chun is in the East Sea, whose music could move human beings." But once on board, Cheng left the ship with no excuse, and never came back. Bo Ya waited, but there was no one back, only the tempest-tossed sea, blew trees by wind and chirping birds. Bo Ya felt quiet sad, then he created a beautiful song which was known by everyone.

Through his video, TangNannan told us about the traditional Chinese culture: about waiting,close friends, ocean, boat trip… He built a train, which can move on water-a machine akin to a sea serpent. The main idea of this project transcends a single dimension: it shows how traditions rooted in the past are sometimes unpredictable and mysterious, like fate or destiny. TangNannan firmly holds to the virtue of Asian  people, to the feeling of sympathy and to love; fantastical space of this work is the artist’s boundless spirituality. The line between the sky and the sea is also an object of his harmonious narrative. Virtuous spirit and machine age merge together, becoming the main theme of this project. Black and white, light and shadow are indistinguishable ,it is impossible to understand in which year and age the action is taking place.


LiZhenhua


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FLYING

VIDEO|5 minute black and white single frequency video 20

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It was Dec.31st, 2012, my birthday. The temperature of the water was 7 degree, accompanied with high wind, huge waves, and a vague bird in distance. The breath became deeper and deeper, gradually fading into the water sound.

Finally the bird was close, with her wings flapping. A huge wave drowned us.

She floated on the water like a fish, even dipped her head into the water, cleaning her feathers, and thought. She made a great effort to get rid of the water, ahead of the next wave overwhelming her.

All of a sudden, a heavy object tied on her feet showed up, which dragged her down to the water. I turned back and swam to check, only to find a white bone. The feathers of her wings appeared indistinctly in waves. Inevitably, the huge wave came along, sweeping the white bone, me and the gasp together into the sea…


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PHOENIXALIS

VIDEO|PHOENIXALIS 5

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West of Northern Sea/Land of Poet Qu

It is home to the Bird of Wonder/Her name, Phoenixalis

Her shape, mimicking a kingfisher. With tiger-marked feathers

She blows like a bubbling spring/Feeds on wind/Sips from dew

Dances when the sun rises/Weeps in sight of knowledge

Oh… her destiny/Once stumbling upon humanity

Is to drown in the sea/Leaving the earth

Chaotic/As/Was

Phonixalis bird of wonder is the bird in Legends of Mountains and Seas. It’s my long-cherished dream to understand and elaborate the mystery and chaos in the book: the dissolving text, the falling airplane, and the giant hand that suddenly showed up, all of them were resonating the fate and the unyieldingness of the bird. Everyone’s is a carefree person inside their own lives……


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A FAREWELL TO THE CLOUDS

VIDEO|4 minutes 42 seconds color single frequency video

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When I was wandering at the West Lake (in Hangzhou) at dusk, I saw a wine bottle drifting upright towards me, which reminded me of my late friend Fang Nan, as if he had toasted me, greeting me smilingly.

“About old home to old friends you just nothing say,

To start a new fire and make new tea will be fine

It is to youth that verse and wine incline.”

Su Dongpo’s poem visualized a picture of wine and sunset. It seemed everyone who loved life was greeting us, giving Li Bai, Fang Nan, and every free man a wave.


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Billennium Waves

VIDEO|4 minutes 03 seconds color single frequency video

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When I saw the waves while sailing in the Pacific ocean.

it came to my mind that it took only 2 seconds for wave to rise and vanish. However it would take 3 billion years for Himalaya mountain to form and collapse.——Transcending the time, the mountain would be wave of the earth and wave would be the water mountain of the sea.

The primitive lives left ocean for land, and the primitive people who were from the land set off for the ocean; a blot of lightning flashed at the horizon, and the earth quaked heavily, when the first time that the eyes saw the sea, that the mind thought about the waves.


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SOARING

VIDEO|4’26'', Color video, 2013

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The video originated in the “Thus do things flow away!”quoted from the Analects of Confucius. 

When arriving on set and taking out the prepared props: an ice-cold skeleton, an imposing snake, a cunning turtle which had escaped, a butterfly vanishing in an instant, and petals of peach blossom flying up and down.

we were in shock, for all stuff ought to had flowed away were now going against the current. Facing the huge waves, they struggled and soared.

With great astonishment, I changed its name into Soaring.


TangNannan

2015.08


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ICARUS

VIDEO|4’06'', white&black video, 2016

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Icarus flied through the cloud and mist, watching all the rising things flowing away. Though struggling to survive, the turtles, long pavilions and helicopters vanished eventually. 

All things disappear. There is a long way to chase the sun, while sunlight always before our eyes. With more vanished things coming to us, we feel the light in front of our eyes.

TangNannan

2016.03


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Legend of Tao Teh King

5'17'' / Color Video / 2019|

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Over the past few years, I have been interested in people and things moving in turbulence, specifically the state of turbulence. However, all chickens can keep their head in balance in any movement, which is very similar to a challenge. Zha Xi said that the sheep can also achieve this kind of state, no matter what happens, it is a indifferent expression. Naturally, I invited the brave Zha Xi and the numb sheep to gallop and jump on the grassland.


As we can see, no matter what happens to the motorcycle, the sheep always maintain the posture and expression that a sheep should have, and its vitality also remains in any state. In the same way, in his life, no matter how volatile, he also said to keep moving forward.


The reason why it's named "pass" is that no matter what pass, I think people's expression state should be the same. No matter what happens, what they can express can only be so limited, but life's great grandma is infinite.


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Less than Human

3'06'' / Color Video / 2019|

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In November 2017, I took a taxi to Xiamen island for business, passing through Jimei bridge, and a 10 second electric car in parallel made me feel different. So I said to the driver: Master, I'll add 50 yuan to the fare. Please try to keep parallel with them. The driver was very cooperative. After I took out my cell phone and took a picture for about two minutes, we had to speed up to leave because the car in the back kept whistling to protest.

Since then, I often think of the two people on the electric car, maybe they are China in my eyes now.

A year later, I came to Xiamen again, hired two actors, tried to repeat the scene, and even added a huge piece of pork to the electric car. I took six shots, but I still didn't have the feeling of the scene captured by my mobile phone, so I kept the original shooting effect and edited it into “ZhiTu". 

"ZhiTu" is a Taiwanese language, which means play. It means to play aimlessly day and night.

But it's only a shaped work, so it hasn't been on display for three years. Until August 19, when I was in Zha Xi's summer ranch, I ran into another old woman walking alone after the heavy rain. The dash cam took a picture of the lonely woman on the horse and her accompanying horse. One is on the sea, one is on the plateau. It is only when "ZhiTu" and "Wuthering road" set off each other ,naturally complete.


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Seated Fish

7'21'' / Color Video / 2019|

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After filming “Almost waking” I feel that turbulence needs more sensitive and intuitive presentation. In the impression, the beautiful sleeping posture should be "Shi Xiangyun's drunken Begonia". When the body relaxed to a certain state, any intense turbulence can be as comfortable as boating on the water, and then I thought of a very fat Shi Xiangyun.


Similarly, inspired by "Watery moon", I also thought about taking pictures of the feeling of drunken lying on the moon night in the midday sun, so at the jungle scene, the shade of trees is like a piece of nettles in the water, passing through the drunken body, just like a fish swimming in the moonlight. Sometimes, branches and weeds come into the camera, as if reaching out to wake up the drunk's family.


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Grass Labyrinth

5'37'' / Color Video / 2019|

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On the mountain road of Jiuhou mountain, I saw a pool of water hidden in the grass. The sound of the water was very clear. It turned out to be a water channel in the 1950s. Because no one managed it for many years, the grass submerged in the deep forest has become a snake and ant paradise. Through the weeds that block out the sun, I seem to see a small animal in a trance . or a floating baby, a baby floating along the water in the legends of all ages and all over the world.


No one could risk lending me their baby to float in the water. I think of the first Rooster I met at the entrance of the village at the foot of the mountain, and treat the rooster as a baby.


The cockerel, famous for its arrogance, is nothing like the ignorant baby. But when it stands calmly in the camouflaged nest and floats away hesitantly, I feel that it is the memory of childhood that floats away, and I see my careless era.


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Wuthering Roads

7'12'' / Color Video / 2019|

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In July 2019, because of the need to rush to Zha Xi's summer ranch for the shooting of "Legend of Tao Teh King", there was a sudden rainstorm on the way, and the heavy rain all over the sky confused the grassland, and the car jumped on the ancient road. Through the heavy rain and fog, there are tall horses fluttering, flocks wriggling in the water and grass, camels, as well as the hidden cows, walking in the wilderness......


The big water flooded the road, connected with grassland and puddles into a boundless wilderness. Lightning burst in front of us. Thunder blew on the roof of the car. Tibetan mastiff roared from far to near. Several herdsmen, on crutches, wrapped in Yak felt, stood in knee deep mud and stared at us. I don't know what they saw, but I saw the primitive life of nomadic tribes on the plateau for thousands of years To live, to see the great desolation and vagrancy of the flood era.


Finally, we drove out of the swamp and saw a figure on horseback from afar. We followed the horse slowly and watched the back of the horse. What a young man who was so lonely and eager to go. Because of her faint red hat, I smiled and said to Wei Shan: Zhaojun's going out of the fortress is probably like this,..... When the car overtakes her and her horse, I look back and see a resolute old face full of wind and frost. I suddenly realize that this should be Wang Zhaojun who has spent 50 years hard outside the great wall and is now like an arrow returning home.....


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A Boat Almost Waking

7’00'' / Color Video / 2019|

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The way back to Zha Xi pasture in summer is extremely bumpy. I feel everything in my stomach turning out. The brain seems to leave the body in the fierce shaking, just like the waves in the sea. It is not able to think. Wei Shan of the same car grinned bitterly in the car a few days ago because he had worn his buttocks on a saddle free horse.


An hour later, I slowly remembered the experience of taking a boat on the sea, and began to relax myself slowly, swinging with the rhythm of the car bumping. This kind of thorough relaxation with the current makes me have a new experience of wandering around after drinking. It's not uncomfortable, but I can't help singing something along with the car's jump.


Suddenly I feel that the unbearable turbulence and the floating feeling after drinking are really a wonderful critical point that is difficult to balance.


Can't you make a work? What kind of animals can bear the bumps like me, and enjoy themselves without alcohol. I took it for granted that I thought of a calf, and then the composition of an ancient Chinese painting "banana leaves the guest" was formed.


With Zha Xi's help, a wobbly, floating tree and a 36 day old cow appear in this scene. Then, I slowed down to let the fierce turbulence on the grassland dissolve into the sea voyage.


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Traveling Sutra

5'28'' / Color Video / 2019|

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On the plateau, almost all people read scriptures from primary school, when they have time for adulthood, and when they are older, they read Scriptures every day and night, and they can't walk all the way. This is not enough, but also by wind, fire, soil, water, mountains, stones, trees, wood to help them chant scriptures. So there are Paper wind horse, Wind Horse flag, Mani Dui, there are feeding mulberry and watermark Buddhist scriptures, and everything on the grassland will chant scriptures.


Every time I see the paper Wind Horse flying with the wind, I always sigh its wonderful and elegant, and I always feel that I should do something.


In my paintings from 2013 to 2014 years, it's easy to see many books floating from the sea to the air. I'm not a man of Scripture, but I like reading. At that time, I might hope to help me with my study with the help of the wind. One foggy morning, I came out of my tent and saw Wei Shan reading in the morning fog on the grassland. She read like a paper wind horse. The yellow leaves flew into the air. When I thought of Wei shan's graduation, I asked him where his work was going and told me that I just wanted to study and spend as much time as I could. In the 996 era, it's really a strange thing to only think about reading. However, it seems that Wei Shan is not difficult at all. Moreover, she always smiles and reads a lot of books lightly.


The paper in this work is the book, the wind is still the wind, but the horse, should be the horse in the sky, is Zhaxi and his carefree motorcycle.


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Watery Moon

7'50'' / Color Video / 2019|

Click:364

On the plateau, almost all people read scriptures from primary school, when they have time for adulthood, and when they are older, they read Scriptures every day and night, and they can't walk all the way. This is not enough, but also by wind, fire, soil, water, mountains, stones, trees, wood to help them chant scriptures. So there are Paper wind horse, Wind Horse flag, Mani Dui, there are feeding mulberry and watermark Buddhist scriptures, and everything on the grassland will chant scriptures.

Every time I see the paper Wind Horse flying with the wind, I always sigh its wonderful and elegant, and I always feel that I should do something.

In my paintings of 13 to 14 years, I can often see many books floating from the sea to the air. I'm not a man of Scripture, but I like reading. At that time, I might hope to help me with my study with the help of the wind. One foggy morning, I came out of my tent and saw Wei Shan reading in the morning fog on the grassland. She read like a paper wind horse. The yellow leaves flew into the air. When I thought of Wei shan's graduation, I asked him where his work was going and told me that I just wanted to study and spend as much time as I could. In the 996 era, it's really a strange thing to only think about reading. However, it seems that Wei Shan is not difficult at all. Moreover, she always smiles and reads a lot of books lightly.

The paper in this work is the book, the wind is still the wind, but the horse, should be the horse in the sky, is Zhaxi and his carefree motorcycle.


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