Please take away a piece of the great wall

Qianxun CHEN

Featured in Narrative Pictogram, 15-28 Aug 2014
Run Run Shaw Creative Media Center | Catelogue


Please take away a piece of the Great Wall is a narrative pictogram of an installation about the Internet censorship in China.

The Chinese government created and operates a censorship and surveillance project, which is called The Great Firewall of China. Under its “protection”, thousands of Urls are blocked and thousands of search results are filtered. The work itself is a materialization of the virtual firewall. Each brick of the “Great Wall” is made of a pile of sticky notes. On each sticky note, there is one QR Code printed on it. All the QR Codes are the Urls of keyword searches that are blocked or were blocked by the Great Firewall. (URL sources: https://zh.greatfire.org)

The QR Codes encourage the audience to interact with the installation and they also provide a metaphorical disguise for the blocked content.

The works’ title encourages the audience to take away any sticky note they want. A person can post the note at home and check later the blocked content or post the note elsewhere so that others will know about it. A consequence of the audience’s interaction with the “Great Wall” is that the installation is gradually weakened by the public’s knowledge of the blocked content.

The work itself cannot provide an access to the link if it is installed in China. Since the aim of this project is not about letting people know the blocked content in detail but about letting them become more aware of the ubiquitous censorship.