Huang Yong Ping «Roulette Series» 1993-2000.
Big Roulette Wheel.
Portable Roulette Wheel.
«The roulette wheel is not a simple gambling device, however; it is first and foremost a machine that allows for a philosophical approach to the unapproachable universe.» ~ Hou Hanru
Sixty-Year Cycle Chariot, 1999-2000.
Roulette Wheel for the Semicircular Hall, 1993
Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, Ghent, Belgium.
«Huang Yong Ping's art is an entire ontology in itself. It's a universe unto itself, and like the universe itself, it's a complex system generated out of paradox and perplexity, which endow it with ultimate dynamism and vitality. His art is powerful but intelligent, revealing the essence of existence: that the truth of the world is that there is no unique ontological truth. The world is an eternal dilemma and paradox. And it makes sense only when this paradox exposes itself. Art is a way to reveal this and proves that such an understanding and its revelation are the means of achieving ultimate freedom, beyond the obsession with pursuing the truth. Huang Yong Ping's art incarnates this perfectly because his acts are always betraying his concepts, and this is the very center of his conceptual universe. His works always involve a deferring process.
Chance and Change: The Roulette Wheel.
The roulette wheel is not a simple gambling device, however; it is first and foremost a machine that allows for a philosophical approach to the unapproachable universe. The content of the instructions is deliberately determined upon more reflective consideration of the limits of the artist’s relationship with his products; it involves a mediation between the possibility of making sense and the impossibility of grasping the truth. As Huang Yong Ping has explained, to introduce all the tricks of the game of chance is to «allow the action to be free from the intervention of judgment made by the eyes and the brain. I believe in the limitation of the brain, however, and hence I reflect on the question of losing oneself.» He continues: «In approaching a question, entries [on the roulette wheel] can serve as titles, memoranda, concepts, or inspiration; they can be read straightforwardly or backward or be simply incomprehensible. This big roulette wheel provides many possibilities, and the possibilities I have will be greatly different from those others have. However, they still cannot go beyond the world I live in—this is where the limits are.» He accordingly designed a series of rules for using the roulette wheels, reminiscent of spiritual rites. Echoing Wittgenstein’s understanding of the limitation of language vis-à-vis the world, Huang Yong Ping, through such a device of chance and change, pushes us to confront the fundamental paradox of our own existence.»
Hou Hanru, Change is the rule
Walker Arts Center 2005.