Bonfire by MAT Office

This spatial installation is an artwork by MAT Office delivered to the 2019 UABB?Shenzhen) XICHONG SUB-VENUE; and the exhibiting topic is “post-collective era”. The artwork was conceived in 30 days, 7 days installed on-site and will lasts 90 days for the biennale. Text following description provided by MAT Office.

The work “Bonfire” is located in a vacant BBQ site in Xichong Resort, Dapeng New District, Shenzhen City. The site is surrounded by lush trees, and with the sea and a beautiful beach at the south. This BBQ site is consisted with dozens of round/square units, the characteristic of its homogenize, repetition, anonymous and integration, could perfectly represent the “collective” approach of the planned economy era in China. Nevertheless, the consumption behavior of concentrated BBQ, which is a large-scale reproduction, is also a kind of subconscious continuation of the collective behavior and an inexplicable echo of the ideal world under the cultural crisis formed by the fast and restless consumer society.

In today’s social network, the relationship between individual and collective is now reshaping people’s cognitive of public space, the anonymous “individual” is constantly facing the possibility of alienation, while the idea of “collective” has been redefined with those transitions. The idea of the work “Bonfire” is trying to break the original barracks layout of the BBQ site, and turning to a freestyle connection and reorganization, so as to create an instant “collective” space by the on-site installation.

The work “Bonfire” actually announced the birth of this new “collective” .In the woods by the seaside, we built a continuous spatial installation based on the original stove layout on the BBQ site, the image of bonfire above the stove seems as one of the earliest symbols of “collective” in human society; it can be the proof of “ presence” for the past collective, and is also able to be conceived as the spatial projection of the instant “collective” at the moment.

The work “Bonfire” creates an interesting public space with the continuous frame by yellow scaffolding and colorful spray on the ground; it converts the derelict and boring BBQ venue into a vibrant playground. The elastic material keeps vibrating under the influence of the sea breeze, as if to declare the passage of time and the presence of collective. When night fell, the cluster of yellow fires in the woods under dusk seemed to convey the story of circle of human activity.