Silent Participant is not Silent
Performance: 60 minutes at Concourse Gallery, Vancouver, 2010
I stand still on a plinth, holding a fan. There are three distance sensors are carefully embedded on my dress. when audiences use a boom microphone to point my body, sharp sounds occur. When audiences point to me, I sometimes engage with them with direct eye contact, sometimes I don’t look at them at all. Silence is a sound that needs to be heard. Silence is meditation that needs to be read, Silence is also the intervention of crowd that needs to be seen. Silent doesn’t mean voiceless; if we don’t speak out, it doesn’t mean we don’t care. Silent Participant is a term that I have used to describe Chinese living in the West who are often accused of having no opinions, of being indifferent to any politics, and of often sticking in their own ethnic groups. The silent participants are groups of visible minorities, often invisible but needing to be understood.
photo courtesy of the artist