Performance: 90 minutes at Songs For Presidents, New York, 2015
“Come Home” is a participatory durational performance that investigates the concept of home through re-visiting the fragmented memory in the past. I stand in the gallery with a suitcase. I open the suitcase, take a piece of red fabric and lay it on the floor. I also take a bowl of rice from the suitcase, pour it on the fabric, and tie it to a rice ball. I press the rice ball on my forehead, calling out my name, “ ChunHua, come home! ” three times with my mother tongue, and then I replace the rice ball on the floor. The actions of making a rice ball and calling out myself to home will be repeated.
The audiences are encouraged to participate. They are invited to make their own rice balls while calling out themselves to come home with their own mother tongues or languages they prefer. They can also take the rice balls to home, but they will be suggested to put the rice balls beside their beds for three nights before cooking it.
This work seeks connections and restores to narrations of the past through visual expression of memories, striving to recast everyday existence into a symbolic structure that has potential to bring people together. The power of memory is, for me, grounded in the way in which it is shared. Thus this performance is an invitation to share experiences and to honor those who move across the globe with very little. Their memories help them place themselves in the world.
I am interested in what kind of memories it will trigger for audiences when they participate to the performance and what the links are between geographical, social, cultural displacement and identity in today’s globalized world. This performance questions how the changing transnational interconnections impact and shape the concept of home, and how the notion of home has shifted from singular to plural. Through operating in the past at different time period and in a different geographic space, I hope this performance provides an opportunity for audiences to question the notion of home, no matter home is physical, symbolic, virtual, or imaginary.
photo credit: Mark Hayes and Frances Cooper