Little An


China: The Forbidden City and the immense square in front of the imperial throne, where the weed is scratched off between the stones. The history that took place on that square was written in these stones and cannot be weeded.

I wonder if that woman, who daily removes the weeds and sees the masses of tourists pass by her, knows and realizes what has happened there?
I couldn´t ask her, so who knows?

Every stone has its own story. One of those stones knows the story of eunuch An Dehai, also known as Little An.


And gone was little An…

Little An was seduced by Cixi to climb over the wall. Cixi, the undisputed second consort of the emperor, but in love with Little An. Being outside the walls was strictly forbidden for eunuchs in those days, they were never allowed to go outside the Forbidden City. He paid with his life for it, on this square and these stones.

It is only one story that the stones can tell you and there are thousands. Stones as well as stories….

When I go back in November for my exhibition, I would like to ask this woman if she knows the stories the stones have to tell us. Probably there will be a Chinese who is willing to translate for me.
Maybe she knows many stories to tell me, which has not been written down over the centuries. After all, she is sitting and weeding between those stones every and all day.