Just Another Mouth to Feed

Performance: 90 minutes at Grace Exhibition Space, New York,  2014

 

Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance in New York: she was half naked, wore a diaper, stood in a crib, lift a red cover, and sang a sad song

Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance in New York: she was half naked, wore a diaper, she used a butcher knife to cut stuff animals' mouths

Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance in New York: she was half naked, wore a diaper, sat on a round table and drew circles on her diaper with a red sharpie marker

Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance in New York: she was half naked, wore a diaper, dancing on a red carpet

Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance in New York: she was half naked, wore a diaper, she wore a big shoe that she took from an audience, she stepped on peanut seeds with that big shoe.

Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance in New York: she was half naked, wore a diaper, she used medicine stethoscope to examine her whole body like a doctor

Chun Hua Catherine Dong's performance in New York: she was half naked, wore a diaper, kneeing in a white crib and shooting herself with black ink

“Just Another Mouth to Feed” is a performance that explores visual culture of shame associated with vulnerability in its personal and socio-political dimensions, deconstructing the experience of shame through gestures, moments and audience participation. Shame is a painful feeling about oneself as a person. It is an innate human reaction rooted in childhood experience, and it is linked to sexuality and the cultural norms that regulate the body. In this performance, I create a fictional figure: a girl who wears a mouthpiece and diaper. The reason she is like that is because when she was born, she was told that she was just another mouth to feed. At her time and the place she was born, being a girl is a mistake. For her, shame is like a birthmark that she has to carry from her birth to death. In this performance, I divide her life to seven stages: Newborn, Childhood, Youth, Adult, Mid Age, Elder, and Death. She encounters and expresses different type of shame in each stage of her life. The performance enacts these affective states through gesture, humor and exaggeration.

photo courtesy of the artist