Conceptual Art : Finding a Form

My pictures of Birthday dinner

Evidence I : Association

When I first started to find evidence of my art work, my birthday was coming…..So I use my birthday to be my theme. I actually used my passport and pictures of my birthday cake to make my art work. I want to make an art work which can show some thinking of “self evidence”, “I’m existing in this world” and can have some ridiculous effect. I decided to use my passport—— official document to add ridiculous feeling.(It shows my birth date.)Because nothing can be more ridiculous than try very hard to prove a self-evidence fact: my existing. I gathered pictures together, make a power point and put many picture together in one slide. Then my action made these picture an art work, not just pictures. Because behind the form of the art work there is my idea…

Evidence II: Syntax

I faced unexpected difficulty for this progress. Since I have no idea how to discover the idea of syntax….. On Kawara’s work of date inspired me so how… He used a common fact :date to show his self existing. Through using his art skill to express the date, the common fact become one of the evidences of self existing proof. The human’s work add idea to the pure meaningless fact. To ideologically link to my first work, I made a birthday song. This birthday song played by myself. And I did some sound mixing myself. This is first time I play music for art work. And the fist time I made sound mixing. The music was played by my toy piano. I bought it 10 years ago and I’m always proud that I bought this well-made toy piano from a high school student…. The unusual instrument itself add some memory to the artwork.  

I feel that, to prove self existing I should add more evidence of nature of my life to the art work. The occasionality is one of nature of my life. And it mixed in this music art work. I did not do any musical playing or mixing sound before, and I accept what I got through the progresses. So, not all three product I got sound favorable. The second music actually sound shrill. When this art work was showing to the class part of the voice disappeared… That, actually, was an accident. I didn’t subjectively make the music this way… But I believe that this accident actually shows the occasionality. The accident became part of this artwork.

Evidence III : Form

My art work’s theme is self existing. I believe my art work should including evidence that reveal two nature of my life. One of them is visible or feelable, the other part is ideas and it will be invisible. I used pictures for the first time and used music for the second time,so the third time why not make a video includes both? I made a video and used the music I made in progress two a background music. The video is similar to the pictures through showing documents. One of the documents I showed is my Medical Certificate of Birth. Like my passport, it is an official document and can be used for legal affairs. The second one I showed a baby’s Growth Manual which has a commemorative coin attach with it. This one also shows my birthday. And it was widely distributed by the government in 1999 when I was born. The color and design of this Growth Manual has sense of the age of the time period. At the end of the video I add a part of birthday cake and candles. They are symbol of birthday. The cake, the candle,the picture, and the documents are visible physical proof of my self existing. They reveal the starting time of my life. Just like On Kawara’s work, he used different colors to mark the date of his life on the calendar. The Growth Manual add the invisible nature of my self existing. It shows what kind of location, culture, and atmosphere I belong to when my existing in this world began.


The Conceptual Art is not easy for me since it needs us to add a system of idea to the art work. It is not only aesthetic business but also ideological business. My pictures and video seems match very well… They naturally came together. My progresses did continuous flow.  

Author: Shuozhi Yin