The Yale Undergraduate Research Journal


Lu Xun preserves a certain complexity and reflectivity in his writings that avoid overly simplistic interpretations. But what happens when a text is taken out of its literary context and exhibited as visual art? By examining the two cases of the Beijing Lu Xun Museum and the Former Residence of Lu Xun, we observe different inversion of meanings that allow for new forms of heterogeneity to be played out in a spatial realm. The text-focused curative style of the Beijing Lu Xun Museum decontextualizes Lu Xun’s quotes to create more generalizable meanings for viewers. The Former Residence of Lu Xun relies on the immersive quality of space – and lack of text – to allow visitors to re-imagine Lu Xun’s daily life, and see him not as a grandiose literary figure, but as a regular person in material reality. What results from the combined comparison of these two exhibits is a new physical portrayal of Lu Xun that integrates its heterogenous components into a unified exhibition.