Sea 海 ~ Xie Rong
Performance by Xie Rong
Photo by Jamie Baker
I like to say, I am the daughter of the ocean, I like to say that I grew up in the sea … but that’s a lie, I can’t swim and I am terrified of water. I first saw the sea when I was 11 years old, my dad took me to Hainan, it was the only time I traveled with him, growing up with my single mum, she described him as: “The Sailor! He is drifting in the yellow river.” For many years this metaphor painted a vibrant and romantic image of my never-homed father. He used to say he won’t become my burden and he will die young, at 60 years old he will jump off a cliff and hug the ocean. My father did die at 60 years old, not by the cliff, not in the sea but in an empty flat, alone, starving, and frozen to death.
The Chinese word “Sea” constructed in three parts: water, human, and mother. It’s a word about bodies. bodies of humans, bodies of nature. Bodies of individuals and social emotions.
2019, I traveled to Sydney and South Korea, and Finland to perform about the Sea. I collected personal stories and collaborate with local musicians, Subjects spread crossed: family, loss, grief, migration, border and climate crisis.
Just like the sea itself, so close to everyone’s life, deep in everyone’s memory. Even for someone like me who doesn’t even swim.
Xie Rong appropriates contemporary of Chineseness, and tropes of Chinoiserie and femininity in order to subvert them. Utilising her own body as material, she often works with text written on her skin using red lipstick, black Chinese ink, white ‘ink’ made from jasmine tea, or her own breast milk after giving birth to her second child. She mines her own experiences of childhood, family, marriage and motherhood – and those of her female ancestors – juxtaposing English narration with Chinese traditional folk song to play with her complex hybrid identity. Her work explores the territory of translation: between two languages, between gesture and stillness, between her Chinese past and English present, between performance and image. Xie Rong studied at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute High School before moving to London, where she gained a BA in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins and an MA in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art. Her work has been seen in the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Sweden, Egypt, Germany, Australia and Korea, Finland, Mexico and Iran . She won 40 under 40 perspective art award in 2017 and the China Arts Now Award 2019. Since 2011, She has been collaborating with photographer Jamie Baker on photographic interventions within her performance work.
謝蓉创造出當代的 “中國”的印象，通过对傳統 “中國風”和“女性形象”的塑造來顛覆它們。她利用自己的身體作為材料，曾使用口红，母乳，泥土等材料在皮膚上繪畫和書寫。她挖掘自己的童年回憶，家庭和婚姻。以及她的女性祖先的經歷。將英語敘事與中國80年代的流行歌曲並列，以發揮其複雜的混合身份。她的作品探索翻譯的領域：兩種語言之間，暗示和靜止之間，她在中國的過去和英語環境的現在，在表演和圖像之間。謝蓉移居倫敦之前，曾在四川美術學院附中學習，在倫敦她獲得了中央聖馬丁學院平面設計學士學位和皇家藝術學院美術碩士學位。她的作品曾在美國，英國，法國，中國，瑞典，埃及，德國，澳大利亞和韓國，芬蘭，墨西哥和伊朗展出。她在2017年獲得了40歲以下40歲以下人士的透視藝術獎，並在2019年獲得了中國當代藝術獎。自2011年以來，她一直與攝影師Jamie Baker合作, 紀錄行為作品。