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S(ilk)-E-S-T-I-N-A (Solo Exhibition)

The I-Ching noted, when knots are tied, stories are then told. 2020: this number itself represents some terrifying threads and loops. The world is torn apart due to the pandemic and the US election, immigrants especially Chinese have to live under the constantly changing and triggering policies every single day. Tied with split values and 'Truths' in mass media both in China and the US, our moral sense is constantly challenged by political lies. What we see and what we hear, are often woven narratives. In Chinese, the measuring word for “thought” is “silk”.


In the video installations, a woman was reciting and learning English words with Webster’s dictionary, but the pages in her hands were torn to pieces. A teacup found in the second-hand store is slowly pouring out red thread into a labyrinth. Clothes left by a gay friend who was forced to return to China, glitter as a lighthouse jellyfish at night... all of which represent my restless and relentless questioning of how to cope with the reality we now live in, and how we can survive in this fragile time. Will there be a rope from the future coming to save us from the well of history? An umbilical cord,  an earphone cable or a blasting fuse?


History rhymes and winds as a sestina, an Italian poetic form I was privileged to learn and to write in poetry school in the United States  This somehow ironically echoes the luxury brands labeled as Made in Italy that are often produced by Chinese immigrants smuggled into Europe... Fabrics, language, weaving threads, they are the epitome of capitalist globalization. S(ilk)-E-S-T-I-N-A is a collection of work attempting to record how we normal people, some modern Penelopes, are (un)stitching the pearls of uncertainty and using tiny needles to battle with the nothingness, hopefully, to regain our own narrative.

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