Freedom Farming

Video/ Installation

6 October, 2018


Duration: 5’02’’


Li Binyuan

Title: Freedom Farming

Medium: Video/ Installation

Duration: 5’02’’

Courtesy: The artist

Year: 2014


In Chinese peasant villages, land is a severe issue. Each piece of land has its own destiny and character, in the background of which is the life of humans. My father accidentally passed away in 1999, and as a result, the pieces of land he used to farm became my inheritance. This made me at a loss, not knowing what to do with them. I had tried to avoid it. Feeling ashamed to face the reality, I rarely went home. However, the problem is not resolved because of my alienation. My sense of belonging and identity has hence gradually disappeared.

It is not until 2014 that I decided to do a performance on one of the land properties, to use my own body to reexamine and retouch my birth place which has become strange and close to my heart at the same time. I jumped up and fell back to the ground continuously until I stopped out of exhaustion, finally coming to terms with it. The title “Freedom Farming” comes from the land ownership certificate given by the Committee of Villagers. I see this process as a measure of self-salvation.

“Freedom Farming” is a work of my dialogue between myself, my parents’ generation, and my reality, through which I attempt to find a balance between the three. Perhaps to resurrect some things, and at the same time to reconfirm my own belonging. Each jump is a departure, and falling back is a homecoming. Between departures and returns, something definitely is missing.