What does the Grand Palais mean to you?
It’s a place where I can work with history, politics and the social context. This project is called Empires, for Monumenta and for the Grand Palais. Because there’s the same idea of monumentality in these three words, the idea of industrial empire at its height and chaos.
What does your work consist of?
It’s quite a simple work. The first important thing is the large portico made from containers. The second thing is the contrast between the moving snake and the stable and geometric containers. It’s like ying and yang. It’s the universal breath, the qi, which is constantly transforming itself and gives the universe and beings their shapes in Chan Buddhism. The third thing is Napoleon’s black hat, the epicenter around which everything turns. The Grand Palais is just a kilometer from the Invalides. History is entering the work. It’s this hat that symbolizes the Napoleonic wars, but also, of course, all the present economic, political and social wars, which I want to condemn. Greatness too and decadence, hegemony and decline.
What place does man hold in your work?
Man is always present. It’s man who makes the work and it’s man who visits and looks at the work.
Until June 18. “Huang Yong Ping. Empires”.
Closed Tuesday. €10.