an ongoing world-wide art project: united nations, (1993-)
united nations is an ongoing world-wide art project initiated in the beginning of 1992. from that point until late 1993, I developed the original concept and its executive plan involving a complex strategy and methodology. during this long meditative period, i had immense doubts concerning my personal abilities to successfully develop and execute this conceptually, physically, timely, politically, racially difficult art project. however i firmly held onto my vision as i clearly foresaw the profound nature and challenge of this project for me and for related races and their civilizations. i also felt that as a result of the inordinate risks that i would be taking that united nations project could provide an extraordinary opportunity for me as an individual artist.
during its more than ten year length, united nations art project will travel throughout five continents, in approximately twenty different countries which I have selected due to their historical, civilization and political importance. by utilizing the real hair of the local living population, i’m strongly relating to their historical and cultural contexts, to create monumental installations and land arts to capture each country’s identity, building on profound events in each country’s history. these individual installations are national monuments to the whole art project of united nations. the notions such as transculturalism, transnationalism, hybridization are goals of the final ceremony of the project.
in a few years into twenty-first century, a giant wall will be composed solely from the pure human hair from the integration of the national monument events. the human hair woven world pseudo-languages co-existing on the wall .
a great “utopia” of the unification of mankind probably can never exist in our reality but it is going to be fully realized in the art world. paradoxically, the human wall will not only maintain their own ethnical identities, but also a co-existence of cultures(pseudo world languages). from china’s great wall to the berlin wall, the wall itself is a metaphor of separation. but the implications of united nations art project final ceremony will be truly mankind unification.
at the final realization of united nations project there will be thousands and thousands of different living races’ presence on the hair wall, supported by so many cultural institutions, local barbershops and most of all are living population around the world.
“this new issue leads to new artistic issues, provoked by the expansion of a transcultural reality in our world. once again, mankind is entering a new age, a new historical time, which now can be actually defined as ‘planetary’. and wenda gu’s project united nations is clearly symptomatic, maybe in a temporary anticipation, of the entering of this new conception and elaboration of culture and cultural differences, that he punctually defines as ‘transculturalism’.” 1
“is this another dawning of the age of acquarius? a multicultural update on the altruistic impulse that over decades has spawned such artistic events as ‘the family of the man’ and ‘we are the world’? or is it a reexamination of the late twentieth century’s intensified and rapidly mutating concept of ethnicity and nationalism?”2