Peng Yu and Sun Yuan «Farmer Du Wenda's Flying Saucer» 2005.
armer Du Wenda's Flying Saucer, 2005
China Pavillion, Venice Biannual
steel, aluminum, cardboard, V8 engine,
tires, plexiglass, wire, tubing and workshop.
Du Wenda, a farmer from Anhui Province of China, spent several years in earnest building a flying saucer with local farmers that made national news. The artists invited the creator of the primitive flying object, which has never flown, to assemble and test fly his work in Venice. The differing motives behind the artists' and the farmer's desire for the test to succeed made their collaboration complex, codependent and contentious, and this dynamic became integral to the artwork. Farmer Du Wenda's Flying Saucer is a dramatic experiment that parallels the unknowns in China's open future.
A Chinese farmer built a flying machine out of scrap metal and aluminium foil. He insisted it could fly to the moon. Whenever an engineer or some other nay-sayer explained that it could not work, he simply replied: «This is not my understanding,» and continued to test his machine for the fateful hour of take-off.
This would-be UFO, farmer included, is one of the art installations in China's first pavilion at the Venice Biennale, presented by Peng Yu and Sun Yuan, two conceptual artists who had read about him in a newspaper and asked him to build his machine in Venice. Now named Farmer Du Wenda's Flying Saucer, the farmer's stubborn attempt to jump from feudal culture to outer space is seen by the artists as a symbol of China's leap into modernity.
Farmer Du Wenda's Flying Saucer 2005
steel, aluminum, cardboard, V8 engine, tires,
plexiglass, wire, tubing and workshop
China Pavillion, Venice Biannual.