Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Culture’

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.

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photo by Dayna Danger, performed by Wing Sze Tsang-Hy, Peter Meritzis
i painted myself red and engaged with hired parents a day as their Child.

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34_ The Husbands and I-installation

performance: 50 hours, May 17-June 2, 2012, in The  Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery

installation: video, digital prints, curtains, photo albums, bed, side tables, lamps and body

video: Sarah Hudson, Maksim Bentsianov, Karlo Meglarejo, Jerry Tai

photo: Ruth Skinner, Chad Durnford, Denise Gaudreault, Bernie Lee

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Pacific National Exhibition, Vancovuer, 2010

“Everywhere and All at Once” is a loop video projected on a 3’ x 4’ table. This video reveals four people, two males and two females, all wearing red nail polish and playing mahjong. The viewers are encouraged to sit on the chairs to experience the installation.

In this video installation, I am trying to blur gender boundaries through providing a communicating environment for viewers to experience new roles both in virtual and reality in a playful way. Because the viewers are encouraged to engage this piece by sitting on the chairs, they become extensions of this installation and the game players as well. However, the viewers might pause for a moment to think about which chairs they supposed to sit, which chairs they belong to, or which players they want to be. Nevertheless, no matter the viewers are males or females, (or perhaps we all have a little male or female inside), they all ultimately unite into the players in the video and become one.

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photo by Bitshere, at Nomad Art Gallery

i carry a bag with rice, walking in a gallery and approaching an audience to have a conversation. when the conversation starts, the rice leaks from my bag. when the conversation is over, the rice stops leaking. And then i move to another audience, the action repeats.

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performed at SPREAD openning at Chapel Arts, June 3, 2011

duration: one and half an hour

photo by Chad Durnford

I stand against a white wall in a gallery space. There are two bags of rice with a description on the floor right in front of me. Audiences are encouraged to shoot my naked body with rice outside of yellow tape. This action will be repeated until the rice is gone.

After living inCanada for eight year, I realized that there is urgency for me to renew my lost tradition and culture. In the early 2010, I started to use rice to create a series of performances to explore oppositions as manifestations of fundamental existential concern in Chinese philosophy. “The Invalid Testimony” is the fifth one in the rice performance series. This series is not only a ritual meditation, but also an opening conversation, examining relationships between me and the place I live, between what I have lost and what I have gained as a racial minority. However, in “The Invalid Testimony,” I turn the ritual to a battle. The rice that has nurtured me in my whole life becomes a weapon to against myself.  It seems that the only way I regain what I have lost is through surrender.

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I am an exotic, compliant and artistic

Asian girl, looking for A WHITE HUSBAND

who would like to take me to his home

and live with him for a day as his mail order bride.

if you think it would be an interesting experience,

please contact me at


photo by Bernie Lee

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Sanford (Biff) Bartlett,    December 19, 2010

Jeff Ferguson, March 11, 2011

Michael Barry Anderson,  January 13, 2011

Toni Latour,   November 7, 2010   

Ruben Castelanco,    October 10, 2010  

Stephen DesRoches,   October 23, 2010   Gordon Scott,    November 20, 2010

 Brendan,  Feburary 27, 2011

 Charles K., March 6, 2011

Gary .D,   December 5, 2010

video is available upon request

 video by Sarah Hudson, Maksim Bentsianov, Karlo Melgarejo, Jerry Tai

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photo by Ruth Skinner

from a 352 husband collection

I wear my Chinese traditional dress, walking on streets and asking white males to have photo taken with me by suggesting them to act as my husband– to explore intimacy between two strangers in public space. immigrated to Canada couple of  years ago, and i  regard the whole process of immigration as a marriage, and myself like a mail order bride. I married Canada, suddenly transforming myself from a Chinese to a Canadian or a Chinese Canada. My identity is not constructed by Canadian  history, culture or its landscape, but the white males who are around me.

The physical encounter between me and the white males actually is an ideological confrontation between me and the Western social and political landscape that I feel I don’t belong to. By exploring intimacy with them, I try to not only reconfigure the established centered power that the privileged white males embody, but also question whether the culturally interpreted Chinese female body, both as a foreign subject and object, can be invested and exploited.

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photo by James Zhang

four hours at Western Front Gallery

I set a desk and two chairs in a gallery space. I sit on a chair, and a male mannequin in front of me. There is a big bowl of cooked rice on the desk, I use a spoon to scoop rice, put it into my month, and slowly chew it until it becomes soft and warm. And then I carefully transfer the rice from my month to the spoon, and feed it to mannequin. This process is repeated until the rice on the plate is thoroughly transferred.

This performance refers that the sense of authenticity, integrity and beauty of resource language get lost in translation. The rice in this performance is a metaphor of text. I am sitting on a desk, translating a big plate of text to my reader who is devouring this plate in its translated form. My reader may understand the subject, but the quality of what he has consumed is definitely not the same as the original once. In fact, translating a text is like chewing up rice and then feeding it to somebody else. In performance, what I feed to the mannequin is still rice. However, this transformed rice has already lost its flavor and nutrition. It is the same in translation, clarity and fluency of source text might still be kept in a target text. However, the source text and the target text can never be the same because fidelity in translation is the root that translators strive to approach but it can never truly be reached.

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