Mutation


Mutation


2006

Medium: fabric and fabric hardener
Dimension: dimensions variable

I continued my exploration with my face in this work to speak about how I define my identity. I took a mold of my face, and cast my face onto fabric. On first seeing the fabric, the viewer may assume that it is just Chinese fabric. Indeed, this fabric has the confluence of Chinese, Western and other cultures. This fabric was made by machines; but, Chinese traditional fabrics are usually made on a loom. This kind of fabric was once popular in the provinces of China. It was unpopular for a long time, and it became popular again because there was a desire to adopt this fabric as a way of celebrating Chinese identity. I like the fact that, on the one hand, it represent China, but actually the fabric, in a way, is an expression of multicultural confluence.
The way the patterns interact with the symmetry of the face, flowing, accentuating, smothering, or obliterating the features, urges the viewer to interpret the mood of the model, since we all have a tendency to read and deduce information about a person from the face. A sense of calm, inward reflection, but also imprisonment and asphyxiation, are just some of the terms that can be used to describe the sensation the viewer is confronted with.
From a distance, the viewer only can see the patterns. But as one gets closer, the viewer can see the faces. This visual change alludes to a dual reality engendered by living in two worlds.
When I am with this work, I can feel the absence of myself; also I am formed by the fabric or I’m behind the fabric and try to press through. The fabric symbolizes Chinese traditional culture. On the one hand, I am formed by Chinese culture; on the other hand, I’m struggling to break the bondage.