Not Vital’s title for his largescale installation in Beijing »Let One Hundred Flowers Bloom«, consisting of a hundred steel lotus flowers, refers to a propaganda slogan by Mao Zedong. The latter used the slogan in 1956 to call for more freedom of thought and discussion within the Party. He countered the criticism he himself had evoked with a brutal suppression campaign, costing the lives of 520,000 people. Not Vital offers strong and conclusive metaphors for this historical event in his installation, on display in europe for the first time at Kunstraum dornbirn. The open lotus is an eastern symbol of freedom of thought and unfolding, its closed form a symbol of the opposite.
The artist, born in 1948 in Sent, Engadin (Switzerland), lives and works in New York, Sent, Patagonia (Chile), Agadez (Niger) and China.