March to August 2014
Location: 4141 Living Arts Drive
Mississauga ON L5B 4B8 905-306-6161
Project Title: A String of Pearls
This project will investigate memory, personal stories of identity and belonging.
“I am told I look Chinese and it has become my duty to remember China “
I was born in Hong Kong, a sister of China. When I was young, my family and I lived under the cloud of her Cultural Revolution. She was our neighbor, but the door was shut and I heard little of her, except the occasional gossips of suffering and strife from relatives. In my work, I use my paint brush as a drawing dowser, reaching into my subconscious… I remember scents, images, real and mythical touches of familiar objects and other creations. My residency at LAC will create an opportunity for me to discuss my work within a new environment and to create a community to explore the memory of China in my work. These stories will provide me guidance.
It is important to note that when China opened its door, my parents took my sister and I there for a day tour. I was terrified by a body search under a machine gun, dirty food and the sight of many overly thin people. This experience still resonates with me today. Since then, I immigrated to Canada as a teenager, and have lived freely in a democratic society. Now, China is a global power house, in economics and population, and of course politics. How does this affect my identity in Canada? Am I Chinese or am I Canadian? And does it matter? China as a cultural destination shows us fireworks celebrating the Lunar New Year with dragon dances, but we also have heard of “Tiananmen Square massacre”, “female Infanticide”, “Projects resulting in huge environmental disasters” and the generally dangerous “Potential of war”.
In my work, I seem to be attracted to dualities, and the politics of China seem to convey this. These retrievals bring me both joy and sorrow. Torn between these polarities, my paintbrush stretches out to seek breathing room and then retreats back into the intricacy of its work. “Having difficulties in equating a balance in my racial identity and belonging and perhaps my political stand, I search deep into my memory for direction” On a quest to find balance and harmony, I create lyrical strokes, comforting colors, new shapes and forms that blurs the mediums of painting, installation and other inventions. All of these elements cross over time and space. I hope you will join me in this harmony, to relax, ponder and perhaps reconstruct a new path to your memory, one that we could call “Our China”.