I Would Like to Know You
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.