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Archive for March, 2010

Chun Hua Catherine Dong wears military suit and salutes with her left hand, a wrong hand, to RCMP during Vancouver 2010 Winter OlympicsChun Hua Catherine Dong wears military suit and salutes with her left hand, a wrong hand, to Olympic symbols during Vancouver 2010 Winter OlympicsChun Hua Catherine Dong wears military suit and salutes with her left hand, a wrong hand, to Olympic symbols. she invites people to salute with herChun Hua Catherine Dong wears military suit and salutes with her left hand, a wrong hand, to Olympic advertisement during Vancouver 2010 Winter OlympicsChun Hua Catherine Dong wears military suit and salutes with her left hand, a wrong hand, to money and CapitalismChun Hua Catherine Dong wears military suit and salutes with her left hand, a wrong hand, to public art during Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics

two days on streets in Vancouver

Salute to the Game is a series of photographs that documents my public performance in Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. During Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, I dressed in a military suit, walking through the Olympics’ red zones for two days, and saluting to the Olympics with my left hand, which is the “wrong” hand. My salute targets were Olympic symbols, the massive advertisements, tourists, propagandistic public arts and so on. Each time I encountered with my target object, I stood still and saluted silently for five minutes. This work was listed to “ 9 Amazing Political Art Project of 2010” by Art & Threat Magizine.

The Olympic Game is a multibillion-dollar industry that uses sports as a commodity and a platform for corporate advertising. The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics has displaced over three million people and contributed to massive increases in homelessness. Due to massive construction projects associated with the Olympics, from venues to infrastructure, there is both widespread environmental destruction, as well as huge public debts.

The left hand salute is a political gesture. It functions as an attack, disapproval, and resistance. It is also a protest. However, different from other activists’ radical actions, my protest is subtle. This subtlety of the performative gesture helped me carry my mission without much trouble under surveillance. For me, political gesture doesn’t have to be radical, and process of social transformation does not have to involve violence. Of course, security at some point became concerned. There was couple of times that police came to me to ask questions, I told them a prepared story. That is, I had always wanted to be a solider but was too small and too short. Ironically, a police officer and I ended up having a photo together. He had a big smile on his face.

photo credit: Hua Jin

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Chun Hua Catherine Dong is destroying a gallery wall as performance in VancovuerDestruction-Chun-Hua-Catherine-Dong-04Chun Hua Catherine Dong is destroying a gallery wall in Vancouver during Winter Olympics 2010a gallery is destroyed by Chun Hua Catherine Dong during Winter Olympic 2010 in VancouverPerformance Art: 2 hours at Granville Island, Vancouver, 2010

During the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, I started to push a 12′x 8′x 42″gallery wall along streets of Granville Island for days. On the wall, printed so as to be unremarkable except by flash photography, is the text: “I feel homeless in your presence/I will be at home in your absence.” After the performance, I restored this wall with an axe.

This performance is a response to the BC government’s funding cuts to the arts. As a result of massive funding cuts, many galleries have been forced to close, and art is losing its home in B.C. The gallery wall, once a space of opportunity for artists, has had to be moved outside. This performance represents this sense of loss.

This hardship not only results in a tremendous loss to the arts in BC arts, but also raises more questions for artists. Can art survive without walls? Do we artists really need a gallery? The wall sometimes does not facilitate art but acts as an obstacle to divide art and artists. What if we artists try to push the gallery wall to the outside voluntarily, rather than being forced to move out because of politics? What if we artists try to move this obstacle in order to create more space for ourselves, rather than restricting ourselves within its boundaries? No matter whether the wall is forced outside or whether it needs to be pushed by artists ourselves, the performance presents this opposition, confrontation and struggle.

(photo credit: Phoebe Jin)

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I Want You to Want Me

I Want You to Want Me-Chun Hua Catherine Dong

I Want You to Want Me-Chun Hua Catherine Dong-Performance ArtI Want You to Want Me-Chun Hua Catherine Dong-Performance ArtI Want You to Want Me-Chun Hua Catherine Dong-Performance Art-CrossI Want You to Want Me-Chun Hua Catherine Dong-Performance Art-Ritual Performance

Performance Art, 20 minutes at Emily Carr University, 2010

I built a portable cross and I wore it as part of my dress to walk in a gallery, bowed every seven steps. Finally I kissed the gallery wall.

 Photo credit: Phoebe Jin
Chun Hua Catherine Dong©2010

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In this video, this woman starts by saying “I have a confession, I was born in January 2nd, 1975 in a small village in china in a cold winter.I have a big brother and seven sisters and I am the youngest one. When I was born, my father looked at me and said I was just another mouth to feed. ” She repeats ” When I was born, my father said I was just another mouth to feed” for many times with different tones and emotions.

Chun Hua Catherine Dong©2009

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I stood on a plinth, holding two magnifiers. When the viewers came, I offer the magnifiers to them to closely examine my body. On the right side, there is my digital body on a monitor. This digital body was closely examined through the “eyes” of a camera.

I took the stereotype of regarding woman’s body as Mother Nature to name my body as land. The action of offering the magnifiers to the viewers to closely exam my body is a metaphor of study and investigation, the information I try to transmit is that the more you investigate the foreign, the less you feel threaten, and thus the myth of the others is unveiled

There are two types of body in front of the viewers. But which body the viewers choose depend on which body they feel comfortable with. However, it seems the audiences are more comfortable with the digital body. The body on the video is the same body they encounter, but when they lift magnifier to exam through monitor, what they will see is magnified pixels rather than real skin of my body.

photo credit: Denise Gaudreault
Chun Hua Catherine Dong©2010

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The red ring is a suicide device that I designed to examine human being’s vulnerability. The performance is a ritual, a ritual of worshiping death. The beauty of suicide is not sorrowful and depressing, but a way of rebellion, liberation, and transcendence. Life itself is a circle; I walk through on the path of this life circle at the beginning and come back to the beginning, but with new awareness and wisdom.

Chun Hua Catherine Dong©2009

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