( Photo: silversalt photography)

Beijing-based artist Yang Zhichao’s monumental performance installation “Chinese Bible,” 2009, is currently on show at the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Sydney as part of the exhibition “Go East: The Gene & Brian Sherman Contemporary Asian Art Collection.”

Curated by Chinese art expert Claire Roberts, “Chinese Bible” comprises 3,000 diaries and notebooks spanning the first five decades of Communist China (1949-1999) that were bought by the artist from second-hand markets over a three-year period.

Accompanying the installation is a video of the artist ritualistically washing the covers of the diaries, which combined with the act of recovery and staging “gives the diaries a new life, compelling us to consider their significance in the present,” according to a statement from SCAF.

ARTINFO’s Nicholas Forrest caught up with Yang Zhichao while he was in Sydney installing the piece, and asked him a few questions about the work and its significance (Claire Roberts translated the artist’s responses).

Watch the video above to hear what Yang Zhichao has to say about “Chinese Bible.”