Ni Haifeng

Installation, photographic and video works since 1988

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HS Code 640399

The piece consists of a pair of aluminum shoes and a small LCD screen that shows video images of a burning leather shoe. The title ‘Category 640399’ refers to the Abbreviation of Commodities, which codifies and categorizes all commercial trade objects. 640399 is described as Other Leather Shoes-footwear, outer sole rubber etc./ leather upper Nesoi. Chinese exports of Category 640399 to the EU market increased 681% in 2005, which provoked an outcry by Western shoe manufacturers who urged the EU government to curb imports of this item. Italian shoe manufacturers issued a declaration on their refusal to outsource their products, which are generally regarded to be part of the ultra-luxury brands culture. In their declaration they reinstated Made in Italy and Made in France as signifying unsurpassed Unique Quality. In 2005 a large quantity of imported Chinese shoes was set on fire in Spain by outraged shoe retailers and manufacturers. (Ni Haifeng)

HS Code 640399, 2007, nickel coated bronze, LLD screen, video, 50 sec. loop
click here for video stills