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Archive for May, 2010

Chun Hua Catherine Dong paints rice with black ink one after one and invites audiences to sit in front of her and paint the rice with herChun Hua Catherine Dong paints rice with black ink on after one, she paints days and days until amount of rice in two bowls are equalChun Hua Catherine Dong paints rice with black ink on after one, she is inspired by zen philosophyChun Hua Catherine Dong paints rice with black ink on after one, she paints days and days until amount of rice in two bowls are equalChun Hua Catherine Dong paints rice with black ink and invites audiences to paint the rice with her and chatChun Hua Catherine Dong paints rice with black ink in her performance in Vancouver, she wants amount of rice in two bowls are equal

photo courtesy of artist

perform at Visualieyez 2010 Performance Festival at Latitude 53  and 221 A Artist Run Centre

I set two 14 inch bowls, two pairs of small brushes, and tweezers on a table. I begin painting white rice with black ink one by one until the amount of black rice equals the amount of white rice. The audiences are invited to sit down in front of me, and we work together.

“Hourglass” is a rice-based performance that examines “deterritorialization” and “disessentialization” in the Taken-for-Granted world through exploring oppositions as manifestations of fundamental existential concern in Chinese philosophy. The action of constantly painting white rice to black is a metaphor of hourglass. Sand in hourglass cannot flow without rotation as if power cannot shift without struggle. Too much power is concentrated on one side seems to be a main factor causing disharmony, confusion and dislocation, which embody on the social turbulence that we see and feel in our daily lives. In fact, power doesn’t bring growth unless we understand the essence of sharing the power.

The gesture of painting white rice to black is a political gesture, a democratic process of negotiations between citizens and established power. It reveals my desire not only to negotiate and transform everyday political life to art, but also to install a model for social transformation that possibly could create a new way to look at utopia and future. For me, political gesture doesn’t have to be radical, and process of social transformation does not have to involve violence.  In fact, it could be done through meditative way or even meditation because meditation itself is intervention: a method of protest, a strategy of negotiation and a way of speak-out. This performance is more relevant to open conversation about how to transform social and political landscapes, examining relationships between the citizens and the place they live, between what they have lost and what they have gained in the rapid changing city. This rice performance provides an opportunity for participants/ citizens to meditate their situations while working together on a mutual goal: reconfigure the established centralized power system in order to create an equal, fair and balanced world.

A scientist did a math, there are about 333,000ps grains in the bowl, it takes 20 seconds to paint a grain. As a result, if two people together paint 24 hours/ day, it needs 500 hours to paint half amount of white rice to black.

Hourglass Firgure

http://www.visualeyez.org/2010/09/18/hourglass-figure/

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Chun Hua Catherine Dong sits on a mat, her sieve is filled with black and white rice like a Yin and Yang symbol, she throws rice to audiencesChun Hua Catherine Dong grabs a handful black rice, she is ready to throw them to audiences in Vancouver Chun Hua Catherine Dong closes her eyes and gently touches  the black and white rice in front of her, she is ready to perform her rice performanceChun Hua Catherine Dong grabs a handful rice and throws it to audiences, the audiences can feel the gentle touch of the riceChun Hua Catherine Dong sits in front of a sieve that is filled with black and white rice, she grabs the rice and starts to meditate her situation

it was performed at Chapel Arts and Emily Carr University in 2010

I fill a bamboo basket with white and black rice, so there is white rice on the left, black rice on the right. I sit on a bamboo mat,  grapping rice and tossing it to audiences.

photo credit: Alina Ilyasova

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Chun Hua Catherine Dong selects black rice from white rice for hours in a galleryChun Hua Catherine Dong sits on a bamboo mat and picks rice one after one as a meditation, it is infinite taskChun Hua Catherine Dong meditates her rice for hours, reflecting her own ideology about raceChun Hua Catherine Dong screens out small rice and picks up rice that doesn't fit our political systemChun Hua Catherine Dong repeats selecting rice over and over again in her performance

 

performed at PAct 4: Trade opening at  Vancouver International Centre for contemporary Asian Art and Pacific Cinematheque, 2010

I sit on a bamboo matt and demonstrate a process of selecting rice: I lift a sieve and gently shake it to screen out the smaller rice, and then I put the sieve on the matt and pick out the imperfections. the gestures of shaking the sieve and picking the rice are repeated hours.

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