Anatomy of Posidonia Live Performance, Ibiza Video by Philemon Mukarno
Action painting Spirulina chlorophyll powder and Sea water on paper 2.75×11 Meter
Hair, the wild and abstract body movement seems always connected with the subject of femininity and freedom. A source of power that also signifies vulnerability and subservience.
This hair painting illustrates a microscopic images of fertilised Posidonia seed with eggs. At 100,000 years old, Posidonia is the oldest and largest living organism in the world; It’s one of the greatest sources of oxygen in the Mediterranean, with each square metre of plant generating between 4 and 20 litres of oxygen per day. These meadows serve as a home to more than 400 plant species and 1,000 animal species. Much loved and protected by local community but ignored by commercial developers and tourists, I wish to highlight the beauty, power and endangerment of this precious and magic plant!
Performed in front of the monument: Vara Del Rey ( A Spanish war hero was born in Ibiza in 1841 and died in Cuba 1898, during the Spanish-American War). I was provoking the concept of his heroic status. Is he also a hero in the eye’s Cubans? The Chinese political criminal, Noble Peace prize winner and democracy activist Liu Xiao Bo wrote: “Scepter’s Terracotta Army. Amazed entire world. A tombs that are more majestic than the palace. Our long history. Relying on the emperor’s grave to show off glory. “
Perhaps it’s time to focus and celebrate all other species than glorifying colonialism rulers! This performance was also inspired by a local Catalan feminist funk band: Pussydonia.
It was my first time in Ibiza and I was completely amazed by it’s landscape, culture, energy and history! It was emotional to see my performance been reviewed in Spanish and published on magazines, newspapers and radios! Thanks you Territory Team!
This is the first official performance by me with my boys: Tao and Zen.
权Rights, Power and Authority. During 20mins live performance I build a 木Wood shape character by using local died plants: Giant reed and my sons carried another half of the character 又 means again and repetition. Embodies with this word: 权power, authority and rights we are running. Audio tells the history of this word and mixed with protest news recorded from around the world calling for: human rights, woman’s rights, queer’s rights and animal rights … gives the social and emotional context to our action of running.
Yesterday, China puts ChengDu, my hometown: A city of 21millions into Covid lockdown. Tonight, many are queuing in the rain for Covid testing due to China’s strict zero case policy. This huge sudden entries has crashed the city’s digital contact and trace system also many people’s hope for more realistic and humanity approach from the authority.
Sensational title on the society page, photos with mosaic cover our eyes …
In the past 6 months, a mother of eight children locked up in an iron chain has captivated the attention of many people in and outside of China. It is beyond a tragic human trafficking case.
There are many twists and turns in the narrative. After huge public outrage authorities in China’s Xuzhou city issued 5 statements and named Chained Mother as “Xiaohuamei: “ Little Plum Blossom – a woman was sold three times from south-western Yunnan province to Feng county. But is she truly her?
Can DNA being fake? Can identify be swap?Can 1.4 billion people save one woman?Can the internet hottest topic break the censorship wall? When is the systematic structure of rape fall? Is this horrific tragedy only happens in China? Are we truly protected in so-call more civilized city? Religion, morality, tradition, custom, politics and law, why everything over powering a woman’s choice roar!
Silenced, Jailed, Disappeared…
Delete, Remove, Forget …
Opening act at The Non-fungible Body performance Festival, Linz, Austria
I arrived in Zurich on the 7th of April in a storm. There were Ukraine flags flying in the old town. I checked with my Israeli friends safety as the shooting in the downtown Tel Aviv that night killed 3 and injured few … ShangHai has entered full scale lockdown, 25 million people are experiencing the world toughest restrictions … I watched the clouds rushing cross River Limmat, I thought, how would people react to the Cut Piece in the time of the pandemic and a war in Europe?
Here are some my experience of the Cut Piece 2022:
The performance last 2 and half hours finished by museum turned down the lights as the security guards need to go home. You could say it was an open ending, waves of actions, strong opposite responding.
Dust of fabric, I don’t remember seeing such poignant fragment in the last Cut Piece.
Whisper, 5 Chinese speaking audiences said: “Thank you”, “ Sister”, “I am sorry” … to me in soft and gentle tone, It made my eyes moist almost instantly.
A little girl came at lest 3 times, she collected different pieces from every parts of my outfit, to me she was making a map, she seemed happy and enjoying the participation. Took my instruction as an offer, a gift. Her movement around my body created poetic dance like the passing cloud.
A little boy came with his mother, dressed in yellow jacket and blue hat, it reminded me Yoko Ono’s The Blue Room Event which is where the exhibition title from: This room moves at the same speed as the clouds. This room slowly evaporates every day. Stay until the room is blue…
Some audiences were challenging the concept of “Taking” Someone didn’t cut but simply changed the direction of the scissors; Two people cut their own shirt and placed the small fabric in my hand; Someone kneeled down and stared into my eyes; Someone hugged me; Someone wiped my tears away; Someone sang, Someone cried … Two young women took their own clothes off to cover me while someone strip everything off … Someone walked away with the scissors, someone brought it back … the performance continues very slowly and silently. The
stage became an opening book … echoes Yoko’s words: “Many rooms, many dreams, many countries in the same space. — The Blue Room Event ”
One point, I had two jackets and three coats on, five people sat around me, I thought if all audience came up to the stage what a grand statement that is! “world will live as one.”
Historically Yoko amended the instructions a couple of times: indicating that “members of the audience may cut each other’s clothing. The audience may cut as long as they wish.” All the gestures happened during this Cut Piece naturally. Also it seems at times people were also recreating “Touching Piece” and “ Half A Wind” to my outfit.
Four people wrote to me after the performance, asking my thoughts also sharing their experience, what a generous concept of live art, taking and adding, sharing and exchanging! The relationship between performer and participants. It rises questions about power and control.
I went back to the hotel with three piece of fabrics and a feather in my hair, a small bleeding cut and one shoe. Like my audiences, I also had souvenirs from this Cut Piece 2022.
Finally, I like to quote Kevin Concannon conclusion from his essay: Yoko Ono’s CUT PIECE: From Text to Performance and Back: Readings of Cut Piece as feminist, pacifist, anti – authoritarian, Buddhist, Christian – and even as a striptease – are all valid. The many and varied interpretations of Cut Piece by artist, performers, audiences, and critics testify to the work’s great power – a power embedded in its score. But most importantly, Cut Piece is an incredibly rich and poetic work that poses seldom – asked questions about the nature of art itself and in the process opens itself up to a multitude of readings. To assert that any of its performances or interpretations are definitive denies the work the very multivalence at its core and minimizes the qualities that make it forever vital and alive.
Xie Rong, a Chinese-born contemporary artist, specializes in performance and video art. Her work, born from a hybrid complex self-awareness, balances between tradition and modernity. The artist tells about the personal, translating her stories into the language of performance, recites texts in English, and sings traditional Chinese songs. Xie Rong uses the technique of homage and silence, indicating his presence, powerful and fragile at the same time. The artist uses her influence on the public, involving the audience in her own performance.
Xie Rong’s narrative is based on her family history. In her works, she shares memories of her childhood in the city of Chengdu in the Sichuan region, talks about her relatives and the ancestors of her family. The personal memories that the artist explores are based on the deep traditions of a complex Chinese society undergoing ideological, political, economic and social changes.
Xie Rong analyzes the stereotypes associated with China, fights against them and opposes them. He paints his body with classical Chinese cultural symbols, mimicking either blue-and-white porcelain or classical Chinese landscapes and calligraphy, giving new meaning to traditional Chinese painting. With her art, she “translates” traditional classical Chinese art into modern language, adapting it to modern Western perception.
Xie Rong’s work is influenced by Western performance artists of the 1960s and 70s. In those years, performance included an exploration of the capabilities of the human body, a test of physical and mental endurance and stamina. Shi Rong, using voice, body, symbolic images and personal texts, examines the relationship between such human manifestations as cruelty, beauty, vulnerability, trying to understand how all this together affects the formation of self-awareness and the feeling of one’s own body. Shows traditional Chinese art through a modern view from the side – from Europe, using both sound and traditional Chinese symbols – for example, a goldfish, concepts from Chinese philosophy.
Often, Xie Rong invites the audience to take an active part in her performances, drawing strength from the vulnerable position in which the audience finds themselves and the discomfort experienced by the participants in the show. The emotions of the audience are intertwined with the feelings of the artist, which allows her to build a certain model of relationships, which is a holistic performance.
The creative cycle of actions of the artist and the audience, the inextricable link between the past and the future, between traditional cultural baggage and contemporary art echoes the principle of Buddhist samsara: the cycle of birth and death, growth and decay, death and rebirth.
Xie Rong (1983) was born in Chengdu, China. She attended art school in Sichuan, where she studied classical drawing and calligraphy, at the age of 19 she left to continue her studies in London, where she received her first academic degree in graphic design from the Central Saint Martins College of Art (CSM) and the second academic degree in art from the Royal College of Art. Lives and works in London and Surrey. Participated in solo and group exhibitions in Hong Kong, Australia, China, Sweden, Germany and England. Her husband, photographer Jamie Baker, helps her in her work.
Xie Rong. “The place where I yearn is day and night.” Ramat Gan Museum of Russian and Far Eastern Art. From November 11, 2021 – May 2022 Exhibition curated by Adiya Porat
Harbinger – create a physical and digital exhibition about marginalised communities dealing with the climate crisis in line with COP26 which is on the 1st -12th November 2021.
The exhibition also showcases the stories of artists and how they and their art have been affected, as a result. These stories are married with recorded interviews with a leading dermatologist consultant explaining the effects of chemical treatments on the hair and skin, and parallel recorded interviews with soil scientists from renowned international universities showing the effects of chemical treatments on the soil, wildlife, plants, and the effect as these chemicals make their way down through the earth to the water table. This is an integral part of the exhibition and a curatorial decision to marry the emotional and scientific elements to powerfully show the impact on marginalised women’s skin and hair and the impact on the earth’s skin.
There will be photographic examples of biodiversity due to hair chemical treatments being invested within the soil. Finally, archival materials showcasing historical evidence of the creation of mass chemical treatments because of profit from white cis man-made industries.
Conversation with Duan Ying Mei about my performance art as part of her exhibition in Garage Museum of Contemporary Art
The performative Body
Photos by Jamie Baker
1.Little Red Flower
‘My earliest performative act was put my hand at 90 degree angle whenever I need to speak.’ In this performance, I reflected on my childhood communist education by covering my body with branded red lipsticks.
2.Be the Inside of the Vase
Through brutal personal history I addressed sexually political statements from my mother: ‘Don’t be a vase, pretty but empty inside, be the inside of the vase!’
3.Balls of steel
Come to tingle my rusty bell, I will sing for you, I will tell you a story… 5hours spontaneous storytelling performance.
4.Three Cannon Balls
A head, two fists covered by sticky rich balls. Three sauce labeled aside: brown sugar/communist education, soya powder/culture heritage, sesame seeds/western education. Audiences were invited to dress me with a chose of sauce.
5.Mountain and Water
Faced with the failure of the human order, learned men sought permanence within … the mountains to find a sanctuary from the chaos of dynastic collapse.
家 (Jia) means Home, also my mother’s middle name. She was born 1957, her life story meets every changing political event in modern Chinese history.
From age 4-7, I lived in a boarding communist nursery. June 1989, I was not able to go home for one month . Teacher gave all the students one little red flower a day as an emotional comfort. During this performance, I slapped myself… until the Chinese characters fell into powder.
8.Painting until it becomes marble 10days after my mother in law’s death, I painted a picture with my hair. Sorrow and grief transformed into lines and splashes, recorded my profound feeling of loss.
9.Part of a Lighthouse
Faced painted Chinese character “光” : Light. 12 words were should out.12 ropes threw from 12 spaces, dragged between audiences, I built a light house inside the museum.
10.Story of the Stone
For all the people that suffered in domestic violence, for all the women that were forced into a mad house, for all the children that were victims of elder abuse … I was buried inside 3tones of stones up to my rib cage, audience are invited to remove them.
Human 人 -Little white flower
Live performance @ilminmuseumofart? @jamiebakerphotography
1997, I was 14years old. I had my first article published on national newspaper. I passionately wrote my grief for the death of DengXiaoPing. Sorrow is a strange thing when you see everyone around you was crying, tv channel was playing funeral songs, over over again, all newspapers were filed with condolences … people were in black and wore white paper flowers, it affect you, It makes you sad, our school decided to stop classes for three days instead we were setting in the classroom watching documentaries about Deng’s achievement and folding hundreds of thousands white paper flowers. We then decorated them around the classrooms, hallway, and every trees around the school.
Yesterday was PR China’s 70 years birthday. The entire nation was celebrating its victory and power. My cousin woke up 6am in the morning to watch the rising flag ceremony at the city square in my hometown ChengDu. All her classmates were in uniforms, standing in the rain, national flag painted on their little face, shined with bright smiles. On TV, I watched the replay of the whole parade. The familiar pride, smiles, absolute perfection, millions of people in one voice, millions of steps in uniformed movement. The patriotism was in the air and deep in people’s blood. .
Five demands, no one less. The message from Hongkong is loud and serious, one 18years old protester was shot on the chest right next his heart … watching them online, they have nothing but a brave heart. 269 people were arrested on the national day, 178 male, 91 female. age from 12-71. Aiweiwei posted the number this morning.
My heart and thoughts goes to Hongkong. It’s not about Hongkong independence! They have shown the real hope for democracy and real strength of dignity! Once were so precious to the true Chinese identity and still so important to our world peace and humanity.
Human 人- Prisoners 囚
When I was 3years old, a disable old man bought me a rocking horse. He told me the first English word I knew: “ White “. He was my grandfather. One of the most intelligent man I have never get to know. Grandpa Yong, speaks five languages. That made him one the main target in the culture revolution. A Slave to Western Culture. The red guards broken his legs and he died of depression in early 90s.
I whitened my face, while telling the story, I applied two brush strokes with finger: two line joined at the top splits down the bottom, like a standing man, read: 人 Ren, : Human. Black ink covered my mouth, silenced me.
Live performance at Ilmin Museum of Art
Part of PAN Asia performance festival
Photo by Jamie Baker
Waves of arrests in Hongkong. “Police have rounded up children as young as 12 years old on suspicion of unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons or rioting, often based solely on the color of their clothing and objects in their bags. Of the 1,596 people arrested since protests began in June, 464 were students, including 207 this month. “ – Los Angeles Times.
Families began to warn me, what to say and what not to post ; Friends are divided over opinions…
The laughter reminds me of those flowers,
Quietly open for me in every corner of my life,
I thought I would always be by her side,
Today we have left, searching in different parts of the world.
How are they?
Are they still there?
They have been blown away by the wind and scattered around the horizon.
Yoko Ono “Peace is Power” exhibition @yokoonoofficial
Heavy heart following the live-stream of Hongkong Protest. Don’t know where the passion will leads the land … reading brutal comments from opposite viewers. Only finding peace in Patti Smith’s words :
a mourning wreath
nothing but grief
nothing but blooms
cascading as dust
nothing but hatred
and the terrible cost
At the other side of the water
Chinese song from 1975
Verdant green grass, Misty white fog
There is someone at the other side of the water, I wish to drift down steam, to meet up with my closed one. However, there is dangerous swamp awaits and the journey far and long. I wish to force the wave and push up searching for her direction. far away vaguely I see her standing right there: in the center of the water.
An old man was interviewed to tell his story about the Great Escape. Vast numbers of mainlanders fled to #Hongkong illegally by swam cross the “XiangJiang” river which divided the broader from mainland and Hongkong. During the 1950-1970 it also define the opposition between capitalism and socialism. He was 14years old, swam, ran and hide for months, together with his mother they swam crossed the XiangJiang river. The rain was heavy… a big flood is on its way, the mother and son grabbed hold of a tree, mother pushed him to climbed up, suddenly many voices shouted from the tree. “push him down, it’s full here!” In the dark light they realized there were hundreds of people also in the water, many try to grab his legs and pull him down. The mother begged:”please let him stay, I lost my husband and other son in the water already! He is only 14! He needs to stay alive, pull him up please!” People did, helped her to hold him up, she used her body to support him … for hours, she stood in the water… the rain gets heavier, waves crashed in, dragged her into the dark. After that storm, many baby floated up but he never found hers.
The Chinese word “Sea” constructed in three parts: water, human and mother.
It’s a word about bodies. body of human, body of water. body of individual and collective history.
We all remember little #AlanKurdi that three-year-old Syrian boy drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. We all saw photo of two bodies in one red t-shirt. Face down, died but together. The Salvadoran migrant #OscarMartinezRamirez and his 23months old daughter, who #drownedwhile trying to cross the Rio Grande in Matamoros.
Human history is a record of #migration; migration is search for #home.
Photo by @annakucera.au Curated by @alexieglass
家- HongKong on my mind
家 (Jia) means Home, Family and Country. But most dearly It’s my mother’s middle name. My mother’s early life meets every changing political event in modern China.
My mother was born in 1957, two years after the birth of her brother, my mum is the seventh daughter in the family. Her arrival had broken my great-granny’s dream for more grandsons so my mum was the “bad luck”. Her childhood was during The Three Years of Natural Disasters. She remembered she was always starving.
During those year 1957, 1962, 1972 and 1979 marked the four major booms in illegal emigration to Hong Kong, as mainlanders had suffered greatly from the Cultural Revolution, which included vast famine. According to research and my investigations, about two million people flooded into Hong Kong as illegal immigrants, often with great personal loss, and more people died on their way or were caught and repatriated.
There are many touching footages shown when some of the mainland Chinese illegal immigrants hide in the mountains, the local Hongkong citizen brought food and clothes to help, they even surrounded the deportation vans and threw food into the vans… eventually that group of illegal immigrants stayed in HongKong! The wave of illegal emigration also prompted the mainland authorities to rethink their economic policy, scholars said. Late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, who was said to blame extreme leftist policies for the mass escape, launched the “reform and opening up” policy and endorsed the development of Shenzhen – a key hub for illegal migration – into a special economic zone in the late 1970s … .
2017, together with my mother and my boys I had my first Solo exhibition in HongKong, the local Art Hongkong Magazine kindly made this cover of me. Same year HongKong Perspective awarded me the “40 under 40 Art price .” .
My heart is with all the Hongkonger on the street protest today! For your strength and bravery! Please stay safe.The world is watching and celebrating the solidarity with you! ❤️ .
Photo by Photo by Jamie Baker
Pearl of the Orient ?? By Luo Da You
Little river convolutedly flows to the south
Drifting to Hong Kong to take a look
Pearl of the Orient, my love
Your elegant demeanor and romanticism are still the same?
The harbor of curve moon
The color of night is deep, and the light and the fire are sparkling and bright
Pearl of Orient doesn’t sleep all night
Keep the promise of vicissitudes of life
Have let the sea wind blow for five thousand years
As if each tear speaks about your dignity… ?
1997, I heard this song for the first time and sang it passionately in the People’s square with millions of ChengDu citizens to celebrate the return of Hongkong to our motherland. I was 14, like the rest of the mainland China girls I thought I was free and Hongkong is coming home!
It has been hard few days following up the news and watching the story turned darker… reading the papers in both Chinese and English with completely different narratives that painted opposite sense of realities … ( most of mainland Chinese won’t even know what happened in Hongkong because all the news are consorted and removed, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are blocked ). The more I look into the situation the more I questioning my life grew up in 80’s China and recall my recent memories when I visited my Chinese artist friends who are live in fears and under oppressions. All the unfair legal cases that happened to the people I knew and cared … It is easy for one to conclude that China has no #humanrights but it is heartbreaking to gradually realized that yourself! Because it is still where all my family are live and where my roots are deeply buried and a home where I wish my children will keep loving! ?