one hour at TŪĀHU PERFORMANCE, MAI (Montreal arts interculturels), Montreal, November 23, 2013. photo by Dayna Danger and Parham Yazdy
photo by Qu Chang, July 20-23, 2013, China
“ Visual Poetics of Embodied Shame ” explores shame associated with vulnerability in childhood memory. during the summer of 2013, I walked three days in a village where i was born to seek shadows to hide myself.
The origin of the word shame is derived from an older word means “to hide” or “ to cover”. In this series of work, I literally take the meaning of the word “ shame” and position my body in shadows, letting the body become the background of environment. By reversing the figure-ground relationship in traditional portraiture, I bring the present to the past, trying to not only embrace the shadow of shame, but also reconcile with the painful past and heal childhood trauma.
The dynamics of shame revolve around the world of sight and of being seen. The subject imagines herself as seen by the gaze of the other; no matter the other is an actual observer or imagined one. This aspect of shame as located at the interface between a vulnerable self/ body and an outsider makes it significant in this work.
The shame was an invisible wound that had never been touched till the day I encountered with the site where the childhood trauma resides. And now the wounds turn to scares alive at the site of the subject, knitting difference into identity and identity into difference, becoming signs of courage and evidences of ability to mend.
Posted in performance art |
Infr’ Action Venezia Performance Festival, Venice, May 28- June 1, 2013
i wear military suit with red underwear, kneeling on a washboard
2o minutes at Basilica Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco, May31, 2013, Infr’ Action Venezia Performance Festival
watergun, ink-wash painting, ink
I kneel on a piece of traditional Chinese Ink Wash Painting without clothing, holding a water gun in my right hand. The gun is filled with black ink. I lift the gun, point to my head and shoot. And then I lift the gun again, this time, I point to my heart and shoot. The action of shooting at my head and heart will be repeated until the ink on the water gun runs out.
After living aboard as a Chinese for 12 years, I noticed there is a tremendous change inside me: something that has nurtured and cultivated me has gradually faded and forgotten. The gesture of shooting myself with ink is a political gesture. It is not only an apology for my twelve-year absence but also a manifestation that reveals my urgent needs to renew my lost tradition and culture. The ink is an essential material for Chinese traditional painting and calligraphy. In my performance, the ink is not to be used as an artistic tool to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to be used as a weapon against myself. this performance examines relationships between me and the place I live, between what I have lost and what I have gained. This performance is also a ritual meditation. In this suicidal ritual, I baptize myself with Chinese ink in order to be saved from fear of loss, preserve my identity from the process of self-transformation, and to capture my stray soul in a foreign land.