Cang Xin is a bona fide shaman; he holds the profound belief that all things have spirit â€“ both animate and inanimate objects â€“ and is a member of an order of enlightened holy men who have the ability to enter various forms at will. As one of Chinaâ€™s most celebrated performance artists, Cang approaches his work as a means to promote harmonious communication with nature. His works have included bathing with lizards, adorning the clothing of strangers, and prostrating himself on icy glaciers: each act representing a ritual of becoming the other.
Cangâ€™s Communication is an ongoing piece, begun in 1996. Engaging with the world at large with his tongue â€“ one of the most intimate and sensitive parts of the body â€“ Cangâ€™s performance represents an internalising of knowledge and a religious communion with place/person/thing. Sites for this performance have included Tiananmen Square and The Coliseum. In the work presented here, Cang recreates this performance in the gallery with a realer-than-real sculpture of himself. Cang minimises the concept of representation, creating an engaging â€˜environmentâ€™ in life scale.