About the Photographer
Tsuyoshi Ozawa (Japanese, b. 1965 Tokyo); Chen Shaoxiong (Chinese, b. 1962 Shantou); Gimhongsok (Kor
The Xijing Men are a collaborative of three artists hailing from across Asia: Ozawa Tsuyoshi from Japan, Chen Shaoxiong from China, and Grimhongsok from the South Korea. Founded in 2006, the artists created a fictional East Asian city called Xijing, meaning “west capital” in Chinese, of which they are a cultural delegation. The name and the ideology of the city is a hybrid of Beijing (meaning “northern capital”), Nanjing (“southern capital”), and Tokyo, known in Chinese as Donjing (“eastern capital”). All of the group’s works add to the narrative of Xijing, exploring the mythology, traditions, politics, government, economics and culture of the fictional city through mock cultural events. Using various media--including photography, performance, video and installation--the Xijing Men define their city with satire, humor and general absurdity. The groups’ work is made in five distinct chapters: (1) Do You Know Xijing? (2) This Is Xijing (3) Welcome to Xijing (4) I Love Xijing (5) Goodbye Xijing. Each chapter consists of multiple pieces meant to illustrate various aspects of Xijing. As of 2014, the first four chapters have been completed.
The three works on loan to the MoCP collection are from the third and fourth chapters. As part of the third chapter of the narrative: Welcome to Xijing, the group staged a their own version of the Olympic games titled “Xijing Olympics” concurrent with the 2008 Beijing Olympics. While the Beijing Olympics were filled with pomp and spectacle, the Xijing Olympics were in contrast modest and simple. The three artists were the lone participants, at times accompanied by their family members. They competed in such events as marathon sleeping, a boxing match while the players were being massaged, and a backward cycling race. The “Xijing Olympics” were complete with an opening ceremony and metal ceremony of their own creation.
In fourth chapter, I Love Xijing, the Xijing men illustrate the history and infrastructure of Xijing. Urban planning is discussed while the three men carve up and eat a watermelon in the video “Urban Planning of Xijing” (2009). The watermelon is considered a symbol of the city of Xijing to the Xijing men. Called “xigua” in Chinese the word literally translates to “western melon,” and thus has been adopted as a native fruit of Xijing and repeatedly used in the work of the Xijing Men as a symbol of the city.
The Xijing Men were founded in 2006. Their work has been included in exhibitions at the 3rd Nanjing Triennial, Nanjing, China (2008); Art Sonje Center, Seoul, Korea (2008); Platform Seoul, Seoul, South Korea (2008); the 4th Fukuoka Asian Triennial, Fukuoka, Japan (2009); Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK (2009); First Aichi Triennial, Nagoya, Japan (2010); the 10th Lyon Biennale (2010); Media City Seoul, Seoul, South Korea (2010); Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, Venice, Italy (2011); the 9th Gwanju Biennale Roundtable, Gwangju, South Korea (2012); and the Spencer Museum of Art, Kansas City, KS, USA (2013); among others.