Preface of Xincun
Author: Lin Yu Mar,2007
Starting from their personal perspective, Birdhead took Xincun in 2006 as a reflection of the nation and the times, in a typical Birdhead way. Among them, Xueye Sancun was being demolished as a result of the World Expo Park construction, thus what they shot is indeed its existence and disappearance. We could therefore find the juxtaposition of the traces of daily lives and the destruction which is happening now.
It's quite natural for Birdhead to take Xincun as their topic as that's where they have been growing up. That's why what happened could be described as "taken for granted". But these two guys who are good at actions and kind of showing contempt for contemplation, apparently,still thought. Apart from the emotional impulse which came from their experiences, we could also see the kind of regard that aims at documenting the world, as well as a gaze of recherche and recall which could be shown only by those adults who have already entered the outside world. It broadened the world of Birdhead and added the richness of emotion. I thought they have grown up.
By photos Birdhead has not only recorded a disappearing cityscape, but also shot what's in their lives. The latter are those who came into sight suddenly, as well as what interested the two men who grew up and lived in Xincun. When these two types of photos are laid out side by side, it's as if finding a combination of the thematic photography and the shoot-when-I-see action of shutter. This means in the heart of these two men who talk and act aggressively. they hold the images in awe and expectation. Therefore, if there's a link between the attitude toward images and toward the world, what Birdhead expressed in this book is at the same time a world of self-awareness.
The world of Birdhead is "City and us". As a continuous improvement on the previous two years' practice, this world is being constructed into more layers, among which the use of model is the most important one. This is the newly developed pleasure of photography after "self-portrait" and "shoot each other". Models play as the peers of contemporary Shanghai in the control of Birdhead, which brings more surprises to the creation of them. Therefore, in spite of the grey reality of the city, the "WE" becomes stronger.
Last point: it's good for Birdhead to shoot Xincun, not the Three Gorges. In the world of Birdhead, Xincun appears far more real and important than the three gorges. Thanks Birdhead for retaining these images by their cameras, as what they photographed is what our eyes can't help being willing to see. Bulldozers are destroying the world of Xincun. The world of Xincun that belongs to us will be wiped out as history once the world Expo Park that claims "better city, better life"is set up. This photo album of Birdhead is the memory that could only be kept by those who truly experienced the world of Xincun. Hey, you two guys talking smut, are actually the most lyrical men.