Gu Dexin brings an immense level of intuition to his work, producing results that are idiosyncratic, often disturbing and bizarre, and completely original. The majority of his works are site-specific projects relevant to the time and place of the exhibitions in which he participates.
For The Real Thing, fascinated with the idea of the flashing lights and bold red surface of the industrial structure, Gu Dexin has chosen to recreate the grand funnel of the boat that served as the last working mobile lighthouse in Liverpool. A team of factory workers from a steel plant in the northern port city of Tianjin worked from archived engineering plans to achieve an exact replication of the original. The only modification the artist has elected to make is to add the element of sound. The conjoining of humorous, childlike sounds with such a potently virile form as the boat funnel, reveals the artist’s understanding of how the juxtaposition of opposites contributes to a consummately powerful whole.