“One of those precious insignificances that we collect and hoard”

2019

The idea comes from childhood memories of parents punishing us by making us stand in the corner of the room. It can be a punishment ‌,‌ but ‌ ‌ at the same time, it becomes an opportunity for me to imagine a new world and play with my thoughts. At the corner of my imagination, I create a world like a happy and busy spider. It is also related to the string games I played as a child. I was fascinated by the repeated, endless structure changes, which are simply done by fingers and strings. 


For an adult, staying in the corner, mentally or physically, is no longer a punishment from others.  In a sense, it's more like withdrawing, keeping your distance to observe, or putting yourself in a position to rearrange your memories and imaginations. I walk through different places in Shanghai as well as the Bay area; I take pictures, sketch, and collect insignificant stuff from daily life to build up this corner, full of endless repetition, and overlapping moments. I'm stuck in the midst of the past and present in a web of self-punishment and self-indulgence, where memory and imagination are all intertwined.

The installation consists of two parts: a web structure made of string in the corner of the room and a slide projector in the room. I printed the photos I took and the digital paintings I made onto fabrics and then arranged them on the corner web with other painted fabrics, recycled packing materials, etc. The film slides projected in the projector were from art school discarded archival and photographs I had taken; I overlapped, collaged, and drew on these slides, and projected the resulting images on the web structure.

*The title is a quote from the poem "Before Winter" by Kwame Dawes.

Dawes, Kwame. “‘Before Winter.’” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 13 Sept. 2019, www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/23/before-winter.