Around the time between 1991 and 2000, GENG Jianyi created a series of works all associated with “Book”. In The Way of Reading, the artist invited his visitors to have a scan of a blank book with their hands all covered with paint. Eventually every single book was touched by at least four persons. Book 3/8 was a book printed by mimeograph machine with eroded and scratched stencils. For Forasmuch… Being the Classical, the artist covered the edges of a pile of paper with paint and waited the colour to penetrate into the fibre before it was finally bound. Also he immersed bound book into paint so that colours permeated pages and the outcomes therefore varied from book to book due to the duration of immersion. 5 Seconds Immersion, as the title indicated, was precisely a book after such process for 5 seconds. The work Herbivory unveiled the study by GENG into the shape of pages. And in How Could a “De” Character be Enough? , he obliterated with ink all the characters in a book except for “De” (usually means “of” in Chinese) and then painted accurately the squares occupied by “De” on another blank “book” of the same size of the used one.
GENG Jianyi has exhibited his works in: Thirty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art in Minsheng Art Museum (2010), solo exhibition Excessive Transition in ShanghART Beijing (2008) and the 45th Venice Biennale (1993) and so forth.