|Making art, to me, is a personal way of studying the world. The act of studying moves me closer to the world so that I don’t feel left out or disconnected. I relate myself to both the conceptual and the physical world, through series of examining and researching processes and intervening acts.|
Making art, to me, is a personal way of studying the world. The act of studying moves me closer to the world so that I don’t feel left out or disconnected. I relate myself to both the conceptual and the physical world, through series of examining and researching processes and intervening acts. I respond to my doubts, confusion, and curiosity, and in turn I hope to locate where I was, where I am, and where I will be. I question the given, design analysis, employ time, stand face-to-face to my subjects, and work.
My work presents the setup, the processes, or the results of my investigation. Similar to publishing scientific research papers, my intentions are always to present them so they are open to the reader for further study, appropriation, and critique. My work can be taken as manuals, reports, and rules to be followed and bent freely.
In Between I and Wo, a decoding process—the word-by-word English-to-Chinese translation of the Oath of Allegiance for Naturalized Citizens to the United States—and a re-coding process—the Romanization system for standard Mandarin—work together to show how two languages intertwine and distance each other at the same time. It is a result of the constant switching between a mother tongue and a second language, a common practice of communication for immigrants.
For many non-Westerners, the link between fluency in English and the perceived hierarchy of the power and education structure, has played an important role in the American dream. Working toward being a naturalized citizen can be someone’s sole goal in a decade’s worth of life. Between I and Wo points out how a native language is inscribed in our memory, and it is very difficult, if not impossible, for it to be wiped out of our identity and relationship with the external world. This decoding-recoding procedure creates a new language that is a hybrid of Chinese and English. Is it possible to make it a real language for everyday use? Is it possible to make a hybrid identity into a real identity?