“Everywhere and All at Once” is a participatory multi-channel video installation that focuses on how to bring people together to create new space of possibilities through Mahjong. Mahjong, played by four people, is a domino like tile-based Chinese traditional game. It was brought into North American by Chinese immigrants around 1920s and has played very important role in Chinese immigration history, giving Chinese who live aboard a cultural bond while others might still see it as foreign and exotic.
This work takes audiences to a playful journey to experience new roles both in virtual and reality. The videos are projected on six to eight pieces of square tables (1m x 1m) with four chairs on each table. Audiences are encouraged to sit on chairs and watch video on their own tables. As the video doesn’t reveal the players’ identity but just their arms and gestures of playing mahjong, when the audiences sit on chairs, they become the mahjong players and extensions of this installation.
This work demonstrates how pastimes and traditions can cross-influence, and how mahjong, both as a culture symbol and communication tool, crosses time and space, creates a new social environment in which people come together to engage with the shared culture heritage, opening new interpretations and new possibilities that enable to across ethnic, gender and generational boundaries.
photo courtesy of the artist