Title: Water Prison - Interpretive Meditation
(play video with sound)
A site-specific performance and mixed media installation, Shanghai China
Materials: Chinese ink stone, ink stick, water, rope, plastic basins of various sizes
"At any rate, you have one (or several). It's not so much that it preexists or comes ready made, although in certain respects it is preexistent. At any rate, you make one, you can't desire without making one. And it awaits you; it is an inevitable exercise or experimentation, already accomplished the moment you undertake it, unaccomplished as long as you don't. This is not reassuring because you can botch it. Or it can be terrifying, and lead you to your death. It is nondesire as well as desire. It is not at all a notion or a concept but a practice, a set of practices. You never reach the Body without organs, you can't reach it, you are forever attaining it, it is a limit. People ask, So what is this BwO?- but you're already on it, scurrying like a vermin, groping like a blind person, or running like a lunatic; desert traveler and nomad of the steppes. On it we sleep, live our waking lives, fight- fight and are fought- seek our place, experience untold happiness and fabulous defeats; on it we penetrate and are penetrated; on it we love." Deleuze and Guattari - Body Without Organs,1987
Filmed and edited by: Eddie Li, Shanghai
When I decided to use the Chinese ink stick for this performance, I knew I wanted to use it directly on the wall which meant excluding the use of the brush to apply the ink. This immediately broke the ancient tradition involved in Chinese painting. It was at this point that I became interested in the ink stick, an ink that I grew up with having my first painting lessons in Chinese calligraphy and painting, as a means to question and convey matters in my art practice. I began to educate myself on how ink sticks were originally made and I started to use those techniques to make my own ink; ink sticks and other ink forms. In this process, I discovered a new material - a living, breathing and personal ink.
NEW WORK IN INK - Studio made ink applying traditional Chinese methods is made into "Ink Balls." Custom made ink cannons are used to shoot the ink balls at targets to continue building/marking the work. The targets are photographs of the artist; body parts, abstractions and landscapes. Mixed media and performance art.
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