Hard-seat Compartment

Hard-seat Compartment, 160x210cm x 3 pieces, 2008

Hard-seat Compartment” (2008) a photo triptych comprised of the three images: the first portrays a completely empty train carriage; the second is a train carriage with luggage and a man, myself, sitting in front of a bowl of instant noodles, the third is the same train carriage crowded and filled up with passengers, luggage and bags. This mood is imbued with all the gloomy feelings one feels in a busy and messy place. I hope the viewers feel the same frustrating and claustrophobic impressions. A cheap “Hard-seat compartment” ticket is a very common choice of train passengers in China. These hard-seat unreserved carriage are often crowded with passengers and luggage piled up in the most messy and unsafe ways. Many people travel long distances in hard-seat, and when they stop somewhere and finally disembark their unsettled and depressing feelings from the hard ride stay in their hearts. The artist experienced many times these crazy trips when people were sprawled everywhere and the chaos and annoyances of hard-seat travel left him with bad feelings and breathlessness. This work reflects those journeys and movements from city to city and what people are willing to do and to tolerate in order to move and to improve their lives. (Edited from short text by Eleonora Patterson.)

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