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Archive for October, 2014



Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at M:ST Festival: she pinched her forehead with water until there was a dark red dot appearsChun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at M:ST Festival: while bending her body with tension, she continued pinching her forehead with water until there was a dark red dot appearsChun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at M:ST Festival: she carefully put a teapot on her head
Lost-Twelve-Years-Chun-Hua-Catherine-Dong-07Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at M:ST Festival: she poured ink from the teapot to her arched back to create lines, and then she straightened her back and stood stillChun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at M:ST Festival: she shot her head and heart with ink repetitively until she ink ran outChun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at M:ST Festival: she shot her head and heart with ink repetitively until she ink ran out

20 minutes at M:ST Performative Art Festival, Oct 9, 2014, at Tuck Contemporary Art in Calgary, Canada

Setting: there is a Chinese traditional painting on floor in an empty space, a tea pot on the right, a water gun on the left. i stand on the Painting, facing audiences and holding a bowl of water.

1. i slowly turn my head to right, slightly bend,  pinching my forehead between my eyebrows with water untill there is a dark red dot appears.

2. i continue pinching my forehead while bending my body with tension.

3. i pick a porcelain spoon in the bowl and scratch my neck firmly with rhythms until a dark red line appears from my lower chin to upper chest.

4. i replace the teapot with the bowl, i carefully lift the teapot and posit it on my head. i turn my back, slowing fixing my hair while lowing the teapot to my neck, and then i start to pour ink from the teapot to my arched back to create a line. After the ink was gone, i straighten my back and stand still,  I suddenly shake my head; the teapot smashes to pieces.

5. I turn my body back to face audiences again, knee on the painting, lift the water gun. i  point to my head and shoot, and then i point to my heart and shoot. at the beginning, the shooting is gentle and slow, and then it become faster and faster. the action of shooting my head and heart are repeated until the ink in the water gun runs out.

photo credit: Tanya Doody

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My First Teddy (I)


My-First-Teddy-Chun-Hua-Catherine-Dong-02My-First-Teddy-Chun-Hua-Catherine-Dong-01Chun Hua Catherine Dong collected stuffed animals, cut their mouths one by one and take portraits of themChun Hua Catherine Dong collected stuffed animals, cut their mouths one by one and take portraits of themMy-First-Teddy-Chun-Hua-Catherine-Dong-07My-First-Teddy-Chun-Hua-Catherine-Dong-03Chun Hua Catherine Dong collected stuffed animals, cut their mouths one by one and take portraits of themChun Hua Catherine Dong collected stuffed animals, cut their mouths one by one and take portraits of them

I collected stuffed animals, cut their mouths one by one and took portraits of them

 

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Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance work, Husbands and I, exhibits at Art Museum at University of Toronto, as part of Contact Photography Festival in 2014Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance work, Husbands and I, exhibits at Art Museum at University of Toronto, as part of Contact Photography Festival in 2014Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance work, Husbands and I, exhibits at Art Museum at University of Toronto, as part of Contact Photography Festival in 2014Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance work, Husbands and I, exhibits at Art Museum at University of Toronto, as part of Contact Photography Festival in 2014

installation: video, digital prints, bed, side tables, and lamps

performance: 12 hours, May 15-17, 2014, at Art Museum at University of Toronto, Toronto as part of exhibition Through the Body, CONTACT Festival, Art Museum at University of Toronto, Toronto, curated by Matthew Brower, Fu Xiaodong & Yan Zhou

I started the Husbands and I performance in 2009; I wore my Chinese traditional dress, walking on streets in Vancouver and asking white males to have photo taken with me by suggesting them to be my husband for a minute. I have had photo with 325 men. In September 2010, I advertised myself in various media as “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.” I lived with men who responded my advertise a day. This performance ended in June 2011.

I emigrated from China to Canada several years ago. I regard the whole process of immigration as a marriage, and myself is like a mail order bride. I married Canada that I had never seen before, suddenly transforming myself from a Chinese to a Chinese Canadian or Canadian. My identity is not constructed by Canadian history, its culture or its beautiful landscapes, but the white males who are beside 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 live in but don’t belong to. The process looking for a white man is a process of looking for home. However, unfortunately, the home is temporary and the relationship is ephemeral. Nevertheless, by exploring intimacy with them, I try to not only reconfigure the established centred 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, most importantly, question whether the concept of the borders still exists although physical borderline is crossed.

In an era of globalization and transnational migration, contact between cultures has given rise to pluralized and hybrid cultures. While celebrating and embracing this cultural hybridity, as an Asian Canadian, I have turned my attention to racialized individuals and minority groups, especially Asian women living in North America. Even though the world is constantly changing, the representation of Asian women doesn’t seem to change much in context of Western culture. In fact, the experience of the Asian women as enmeshed, to different degrees, with pre-existing visual representations of Orientalism and stereotyping is still normalized in modern Western culture. This situation results in a state of doubled oppression for Asian women—there is oppression both from within their own cultural communities, and oppression from external expectations relating to women of colour. This double oppression demands a performative cultural expression of racialized people according to both external and internal pressures, often resulting in a metaphorical silencing of the unique individual.

Wearing a Chinese traditional dress and acting as stereotype of an Asian woman in Western fascination might be regarded as self-essentialization, which conveys negative implication. However, this self-essentialization is not a self-generalization or self- generalizing my own Chinese essential attributes, but a self-consciousness of collectivity which is thinking the essence of my groups with awareness of the social relations and my own situation. As a result, it is a strategy. As a strategy, this self-essentialization is a political choice, a choice of deliberately acting out on culture. It is a social performance, a performance that creates a culture of resistance because in doing so the resistances can be recognized.

During the exhibition, I stayed on a bed 12 hours in the gallery, inviting audience to come to my bed to chat and sleep with me.

This work is part of  Through the Body, CONTACT Photography Festival, and exhibited at Art Museum at University of Toronto, Toronto, as part of exhibition Through the Body, CONTACT Festival, curated by Matthew Brower, Fu Xiaodong & Yan Zhou, April 29-June 28, 2014.

photo credit: Toni Hafkenscheid

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Chun Hua Catherine Dong is at Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland 2014, she held an picture of a woman in a dog cage, and matched with many women to support Abortion Right.Chun Hua Catherine Dong is at Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland 2014, she held an picture of a woman in a dog cage,  and matched with many women to support Abortion Right.Chun Hua Catherine Dong is at Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland 2014, she held an picture of a woman in a dog cage,  and matched with many women to support Abortion Right.Chun Hua Catherine Dong is at Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland 2014, she held an picture of a woman in a dog cage,  handed it to pedestrians, and matched with many women to support Abortion Right.Chun Hua Catherine Dong is at Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland 2014,  she held an picture of a woman in a dog cage, and matched with many women to support Abortion Right.Chun Hua Catherine Dong is at Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland 2014,  she held an picture of a woman in a dog cage, and matched with many women to support Abortion Right.

4 hours at Abortion Campaign Ireland on September 27, 2014, photo credit: Róisín Murphy

Pregnancy is a 10 day durational performance. i was invited to attend Dublin Live Art Festival in September 2014. Since the day I landed to Dublin, I transformed myself to a pregnant woman.  I was like that wherever I went and whatever I did in public.  Later, I locked myself in a dog cage in a public space for six hours as part of Dublin Live Art Festival. I also attended Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland on September 27,2014, and marched with 5000 people to support Irish women. This performance ended at Dublin airport where I left Dublin.

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Pregnancy at Dublin Art Festival

Pregnancy-Chun-Hua-Catherine-Dong-03Chun Hua Catherine Dong was pregnant and she stayed in a dog cage for six hours in a public space in the city of Dublin in 2014Chun Hua Catherine Dong was pregnant and she locked herself in a dog cage for six hours in a public space in the city of Dublin in 2014Chun Hua Catherine Dong was pregnant and she locked herself in a dog cage for six hours in a public space in the city of Dublin in 2014Chun Hua Catherine Dong was pregnant and she locked herself in a dog cage for six hours in a public space in the city of Dublin in 2014Pregnancy-Chun-Hua-Catherine-Dong-05

6 hours at Dublin Live Art Festival, 2014, photo credit: Róisín Murphy and Fi Killeen

Pregnancy is a 10 day durational performance. i was invited to attend Dublin Live Art Festival in September 2014. Since the day I landed to Dublin, I transformed myself to a pregnant woman.  I was like that wherever I went and whatever I did in public.  Later, I locked myself in a dog cage in a public space for six hours. I also attended Abortion Rights Campaign Ireland on September 27,2014, and marched with 5000 people. This performance ended at Dublin airport where I left Dublin.

After coming back to Montreal, i felt tremendous sense of lose, 10 day experience of being a pregnant woman really made me believe that “baby” was part of me, it felt so beautiful to be a pregnant woman, and i appreciate that i have had a chance lived like that for 10 days. 

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Is it a Boy or a Girl?

Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at Qouleur Festival in Montreal: she and her performance partner were walking around two buckets while looking at each otherChun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at Qouleur Festival in Montreal: she and her performance partner looked at their own buckets and disagreed with each ohterChun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at Qouleur Festival in Montreal: she was dumbing her saliva from her bucket to her performance partner's bucket, they mixed their saliva togetherChun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at Qouleur Festival in Montreal: she and her performance partner looked at their reflections of themselves in buckets while dripping salivaIs-it-a-Boy-or-a-Girl-Chun-Hua-Catherine-Dong-02Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance at Qouleur Festival in Montreal: she and her performance partner carried their own buckets and left

performed at Legacy, Qouleur Festival, Montreal, 2014. 25 minutes, performed by Viku Chan

“It’s a Boy or Girl” is a 25 minute performance that deconstructs sex/ gender binary through creating a scene about gender debates between two research colleagues.

Two researchers, a female and a male, carry two buckets on the stage, they meet at the centre of the stage and put their buckets on the floor; they face each other, look at each other for a while, shake their hands, slightly low their heads, and look at their buckets that have a little bit water in. The buckets symbolize their research. They open their mouths and let their saliva dripping, which is a metaphor of speech/ discussion. The audience can hear the sound of saliva dripping.

“ It’s boy.”  The female researcher looks at her bucket, and says with a firm tone.
“ No, it’s a girl.” The male researcher looks at his bucket, disagrees.
“ No, it is a boy!” The female researcher raises her voice.
“ No, it is a girl!”  The male researcher raises his voice.

They raise their heads, looked at each other, and then they exchange their standing location, they shake hands, slightly low their heads, and look at their new buckets.

“ Yes, It’s boy.”  The female researcher says with a firm tone.
“ No, it’s a girl.” The male researcher disagrees.
“ Yes, it is a boy!” The female researcher raises her voice.
“ No, it is a girl!”  The male researcher raises his voice.

They raise their heads, looked at each other, lift their own buckets and walk away with anger. They walk to in front corner of the stage: the female occupies on the left corner while the male researcher is standing on the right corner. They low their heads, look at their own buckets, and drip their saliva.

“ Yes, It’s a boy.”  The female researcher points to her own reflection in her bucket with her finger, and says with a firm tone.
“ No, It’s a girl.”  The male researcher points his own reflection in his bucket with his figure, and says with a frightened voice.

They look at each again through distance, and then they walk toward each other while they are repeating themselves with “ yes, it’s a boy” and “ no, it’s a girl.” They walk to the centre of the stage; they put their buckets on the floor, pour water from one bucket to another, mix it, and then pour it back again.

They stand facing each other, look at each other, shake hands, slightly low their heads, look at their buckets, and drop their saliva again.

“Is it a boy?”  The female researcher says with uncertain tone while looking at the inside bucket.
“Maybe it’s a girl.” The male researcher says with uncertain tone whiling looking at the inside bucket.
“Maybe it’s both.” The female researcher says.
“Maybe it’s just a human being.” The male researcher says with calm tone.
“ Human being.” The female researcher repeats.
“ Human being.” The female researcher confirms.

They raise their heads, looked at each other, shake their hands, lift their buckets and leave the stage.

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