Today I focused on making a linoprint to experiment with different medium. Inspired by Cildo Meireles and the Chinese artist Wang Guangyi, I made prints of the phrase 404 not found and stamped it repeatedly onto a white background. '404 not found' or ‘Part of your search results cannot be displayed' is something that constantly appears when you try to visit a banned website in China.The apparently obscure text '404 not found' becomes a symbol of restriction and censorship under the context of China. By printing it in predominant colours of black and red against a white background, the work resembles the propoganda painted or printed on wall. This is also how the name of this piece is derived from, as it also suggests China's Great Fire Wall. I made a mistake in the beginning and resulted in the text being reversed. I think the message would be more blunt if the text is presented in the correct way. In this case the viewer would not recognise the text at first glance. The reversion of the text makes the concept more complicated, as it could have allusions to mirroring Chinese society. When we look at this work we realise that we are on the opposite site of the text, thus isolating ourselves from it. Therefore the work creates an intangible barrier that isolates the viewer with China's policies, suggesting limited access to media and all other resources.
© Fei Xu, all rights reserved