Stamping the Water (Performance in the Lhasa River, Tibet, 1996)
Song Dong Chinese
Not on view
Song began his career as an oil painter, but in the years after 1989 he increasingly shifted his focus to installation and performance art.
These iconic photographs capture Song’s most famous performance, in which he sat in the Lhasa River in Tibet for an hour repeatedly stamping the water with a large wood seal carved with the Chinese character for water (shui 水). The piece is, among other things, a meditation on the evanescence of inscribed language. As Song has said, “I exerted great force [in stamping the seal on the water], but in the end left no trace.”
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.