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Archive for May, 2011

Chun Hua Catherine Dong shouted at audiences at Concourse Gallery in Vancouver for some money to buy a bed. She is looking for a bed for her husbands.Chun Hua Catherine Dong shouted at audiences at Concourse Gallery in Vancouver for some money to buy a bed. She is looking for a bed for her husbands.Chun Hua Catherine Dong shouted at audiences at Concourse Gallery in Vancouver for some money to buy a bed. She is looking for a bed for her husbands.Chun Hua Catherine Dong shouted at audiences at Concourse Gallery in Vancouver for some money to buy a bed. She is looking for a bed for her husbands.

 56 hours at  Concourse Gallery from May 6-20, 2011

I filled a wall space with printed text: MY HUSBANDS AND I NEED A SPACE TO LIE. I stood still in front of this wall everyday for 14 days, each day for 4 hours, holding a paper with written words: LOOKING FOR A BED. When audience walked into gallery, I shout at them as loud as  I could with very firm and angry tone: HEY! CAN I HAVE SOME CHANGE? Audiences were welcome to drop some money to a hat in front me. There about 42 people gave me some changes, total income is $122.65.

It is a protest performance addressing the fact that Emily Carr University of Art & Design rejected to exhibit my work, “Husbands and I,” at my Graduate Show in 2011. I approached the Graduate Committee couple of time to discuss it, the answer was there was no space to show such a work.  Finally,  the committee assigned me a place where it was impossible to install the work. As a result, I decided not show ” Husbands and I” Installation,  but this protest performance.

photo credit: Chad Darnford

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Chun Hua Catherine Dong eats lots of candies in her performance, she consumes her candies like a doctor consumes surgical bodies.Chun Hua Catherine Dong eats lots of candies in her performance, she consumes her candies like a doctor consumes surgical bodies.

The-Body-is-Candy-Chun-Hua-Catherine-Dong-05

Chun Hua Catherine Dong eats lots of candies in her performance, she consumes her candies like a doctor consumes surgical bodies.Chun Hua Catherine Dong eats lots of candies in her performance, she consumes her candies like a doctor consumes surgical bodies.

three hours at Artbank Vancouver

I set a medical bed in a gallery space and pour a pile of brightly colored candies on the bed. I wear a doctor outfit, standing in front of the bed with a nurse. I take a candy, peeling its wrap and transmitting it into my month. After having a brief taste, I spit the candy to a plate. The nurse holds the plate and places the candy on the floor, chairs, tables, walls and so on. Sometimes the candy is dropped right in front of an audience’s feet, or deposited a coffee table where an audience is enjoying his/her wine. The nurse often cut audiences conversations in order to place the candy in a certain place.

This performance implies how contemporary medical discourse and biological research continue to objectify the body by treating the patient as a compilation of symptoms and statistics. Diseased body is a docile body, an object, a ready-made shaped by discourse and abstracted through science. It is also an entity continually controlled, denied and manipulated by a biomedical authority. Under this authority, the sick body remains permeable, vulnerable, and mutable. In my performance, I embrace Feliix Gonzalez-Torres’s concept of candy with a Duchampian sensibility to create “portraiture” referring the physicality of the subject’s body. However, different from Feliix Gonzalez-Torres’s, my sweets cannot be consumed by audiences but its authority only. These disfranchised candies themselves are testimony demonstrating a process how its authority studies it, dissects it, sexually harasses it, abuses it, and finally abandons it. However, the testimony is an invalid testimony because we seem to have accepted the fact that we are an object in terms of medical treatments; and this acceptance inevitably maintains us being the most compliant creature under a scalpel.

performed with Ashlea Conway, photo credit: Henry Sun

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