WEB POSTER EXHIBITION - Festival d'Affiches de Chaumont 1999

Fang Chen's personal exhibition

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Fourty year old Fang Chen is professor at Shantou University in Guang Dong Province, China, and won last years competition with his poster Victory!

At the symposium, he told us somthing about the background of this design, which - in typical chinese fashion - is loaded with symbolic meaning. According to chinese folklore, the lines in your hand will not only foretell your future life but also record the events in your past. To test the theory, Fang Chen made a photocopy of his hand and plans to make another one in ten years for comparison. He then subtracted some fingers to express various family and professional constellations and that is how the poster was born.

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We are one
Some of a series of 11 posters made especially for the Chaumont exhibition. The posters can be arranged at random. Fang Chen hides somewhere in the crowd, but his spectacles give him away.

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Anyone fluent in chinese will instantly recognize the Parable of the sower in this poster. For those less conversant with the scriptures than Fang Chen, I will translate:

A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away. Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.

Or look it up yourself in Matthew 13, 1-9. The fertile soil referred to is Shantou University, and this is a student recruitement poster, one of Fang Chen's most popular works. As Mrs. Sarfis, the translator at the symposium, remarked dryly after Fang Chen's talk, "People in China know much more about the West than vice versa".

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page last revised on June 6, 1999 /