15 min presentation for my final exam at Royal College of Art
I borrowed the gesture and name of Changing face?? which is an ancient Chinese dramatic art that is part of the Sichuan opera. Performers wear vividly coloured masks, typically depicting well known characters from the opera, which they change from one face to another almost instantaneously with the swipe of a fan, a movement of the head, or wave of the hand.
However, My changing face is a slower act, through the mediums of live spoken words, film projection and showing photographies from previous performances. I invite you to share my performative journey of last two year.
All the fragments act as a mechanical reproduction circle based on my Buddism philosophy of Samsara.
Live Performance, 4 hours @Royal College of Art 25.04.2012
Clay, body paint, Chinese tissue paper, willow sculpture, audio
In China, people give a life size Vase as a gift for the opening of a new building, a new business. 25th of April 2012, At the opening of the new Dyson building I transformed my body into a blue and white porcelain vase. My body drifted inside the fresh and empty space, I breath with this new landmark of the Royal College of Art. Story began with my father’s attempt to commit suicide. The performance revealed my uneasy childhood and difficult relationship with my father. I was still and silent whilst my voice revealed the narrative using a pre-recorded audiotape.
It matters not the height; if an immortal resides in a mountain it becomes famous.
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It matters not the depth; if a dragon lives in a body of water it becomes magical.
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This is a crude house; only I appreciate its fragrance.
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Moss ascends the steps, turning them green,
grass’ color enters the blinds, turning them blue.
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In talk and laughter there are scholars with profound knowledge,
and among those coming andgoing there are no illiterate men.
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One can play the lute and read the golden scriptures.
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There is no string or wind instruments to confuse the ear,
and no desk paper work to strain the body.
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It’s Zhu Ge’s thatched house in Nanyang; it’s Zi Yun’s gazebo in West Shu.
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Confucius says, “What crudeness is there?”
As Minister of Rites at the imperial court, Liu Yu Xi (772 – 842 C.E.) took part in the Yong Zhen Reform, which attempted to limit the power of the palace eunuchs and the provincial governors. When the Reform failed he was demoted to be a mere county administrative officer out in one of the provinces.Upon seeing that he continued to openly espouse the Reform Movement, the county head placed Liu’s living quarters in the crudest little house with only one room, contrary to existing remuneration regulations for his rank, which called for three chambers and three living rooms. Unbowed, Liu wrote this piece and had it inscribed in stone and erected outside the little house.
Performance by Echo Morgan
Photography by Jamie Baker
The performance ‘Be the Inside of the Vase’ was divided into two parts.
The first story began with my father’s attempt to commit suicide. The performance revealed my uneasy childhood and difficult relationship with my father. I was still and silent whilst my voice revealed the narrative using a pre-recorded audiotape. In the second performance the story moved towards my relationship with my mother. Through my rather brutal personal history I addressed sexually political statements such as: from my father: “Women should be like vase, smooth, decorative and empty inside! ” From my mother: “ Don’t be a vase, pretty but empty inside, be the inside, be the quality!” From myself: “This is my voice, my story, my childhood, I am not a vase! .”