A Dishonest Preamble
I will never forget the look on the faces of visitors as they made their way through “I erase your trace.”
Their initial reaction was one of pretty straightforward amusement, owing to the playful situation in which they found themselves—being trailed by a group of Du Zhenjun, all of whom were laboriously working to erase the visitors’ traces. It quickly turned into an awkward smile though, when they realized that these Du had had to make themselves slaves in order to follow them around. Finally, visitors became visibly uncomfortable once they realized just how amusing they had found it all, only seconds before.
Most of the works by Du Zhenjun oscillate between the playfulness of their presentation and the tragedy of their content (or, sometimes, the reverse is the case). All of them call for multi-layered interpretations.
Seductive enough in terms of his humor as well as in terms of his denunciation of the foibles of our world; proper enough to have gained the trust of right-thinking people; cynical enough (in both senses of the word) to have earned the right to the smallest marginal subversion, one likely necessary for any on-going recognition from the West’s inner-circle, Du Zhenjun has thought of everything.
Du Zhenjun is a dishonest artist or rather he has to be, for the real cheats are not being exposed. Like Roland Topor, who was asked by a journalist to lend precision to his religious ideas, Du Zhenjun could also say, “I’m just acting the devil.”