Filial Piety

Filial Piety


11 May 2003 – 28 May 2003


Live performance of Yingmei Duan and Weidong Feng

“Filial Piety”, relates to the Chinese notion of Xiao Sun, which translates to the love and respect for one’s parents and ancestors. This is considered one of the first and most important virtues in China. Duan and Feng have used ‘Filial Piety’ as a common starting point in their performances even though their subsequent representations of this virtue are diverse. As society is changing, people’s moral consciousness and attitude towards “Filial Piety” are in a constant state of change. The performance attempts to capture and mirror the clashing and distance that often characterises different generations in China. Duan and Feng have been researching the relationships between different generations within the Chinese family structure, allowing an audience to question, explore and understand the current problems in China. 

—Yingmei Duan’s performance: 

Name of performance: The Circle Dream 

Date: 20th March 2008 – Ongoing 

In cooperation with: Yingmei’s father, mother, brother, two sisters, two brothers-in-law, her husband, nephew and niece. 

Yingmei Duan is a Chinese artist who has been living in Germany for the last 10 years. In her daily life and in her work, she is influenced by the two different cultures and the interaction between them. 

“Since I moved to Germany, I’ve been missing my family quite a lot. We call each other very often. They are always worried about my health and my living here. When we discuss art and money, we always disagree. There seem to be an insurmountable divide between us when it comes to this particular issue. They have always wished that I would be able to make a living from my art and become wealthy. Whenever we talk about this there is an element of reverse psychology and we often end up fighting. From their point of view I’m not practicing Filial Piety to the same extent as my brothers and sisters. I’ve been very upset about this for quite some time. But I never looked at the real reason for our conflicts (problems). It continued to be a cause of distress in my life and last year when I went to visit my family during Chinese New Year, we had a big argument. I left my parents very upset and that’s when I really started to look for the cause of our arguments…”

In Yingmei Duan’s performance “The Circle Dream”, the artist and her family communicate with each other through letters and paintings developed by skype and meeting in person. Art influences everything around us in life. So she decided to collaborate with her family in the hope that common experience of life and artistic creation would enhance their mutual understanding and communication. 

The performance was initially conceived to last for one year but was continued as an ongoing project. She also wanted to make it possible for anybody to feel like an artist. Art is not a mysterious thing every person has her/his own artistic potential and creativity.

—Wiedong Feng’s performance

Name of performance: 360°

Date of performance:20th March 2008 – 20th March 2009 

Preparation: Feng Weidong 

In cooperation with: Feng Peimei, Hu Yufeng 

Weidong Feng, one the other hand is a chinese artist who is living in China. He understands the filial piety in another way: If you spend more time with your parents, brothers and friends, you will obtain more harmony. 


一者 孝养父母 奉事师长 慈心不杀修十善业

二者 受持三归具足众戒不犯威仪

三者 发菩提心深信因果 读诵大乘劝进行者

如此三事名为 三世诸佛净业正因

As the Buddha’s words: “Communicate with your parents for one year and record the dialogue to get to know their life.” 

Solar term: As a result of the Earth regarding the solar revolution, the people watch the sun, in its circuit each tropical year, move from west to east in the starry sky. The sun- route is named ecliptic which moves in the starry sky. Expresses with solar longitude on ecliptic’s position, stipulates solar longitude each change 15° named a term. There are 12 middle terms and 12 terms, altogether are generally called 24 solar terms, each terms has the proper noun respectively. For example: Vernal equinox (Solar longitude 0°), Tomb-sweeping Day (Solar longitude 15°) and so on. 

2008 – 2009 Lunar calendar Wuzi year 24 solar terms:Vernal equinox March 20, 0°, Pure Brightness April 4, 15°, Grain Rain on April 20, 30°, Beginning of Summer May 5, 45°, Grain Full on May 21, 60°, Grain In Ear on June 5, 75°, Summer Solstice on June 21, 90°, Slight Heat on July 7, 105°, Great Heat on July 22, 120°, Beginning of Autumn on August 7, 135°, Heat’s End on August 23, 150°, White Dew on September 7, 165°, Autumnal Equinox on September 23, 180°, Cold Dew on October 8, 195°, Hoar Frost Descending on October 23, 210°, Beginning of Winter on November 7, 225°, Flurry on November 22, 240°, Heavy Snow on December 7, 255°, Winter Solstice on December 21, 270°, Slight Cold on January 5, 285°, Great Cold on January 20, 300°, Spring Beginning on February 4, 315°, Rain Water on February 19, 330°, Insects Awaken on March 5, 345°, Vernal Equinox on March 20, 0°.

We will record the dialogue of the video frequency chats over internet between 12:00 – 17:00, on the 25 days listed above. Welcome your visiting, QQ: 965256771 

Study out date: March 15, 2008. Mask-nuo Studio, Xiao Shahe, Beijing 

发布时间:2008年3月20日— 2009年3月30日(每两个月发布一次、共计六次)