The Lost Twelve Years (I)

Performance : 20 minutes at St Mark’s Basilica, Venice,  Infr’ Action Venezia Performance Festival, 2013

 

Chun Hua Catherine Dong shot herself with ink at St Mark's Basilica in Venice Biennale 2013

Chun Hua Catherine Dong shot herself with ink at St Mark's Basilica in Venice Biennale 2013

Chun Hua Catherine Dong shot herself with ink at St Mark's Basilica in Venice Biennale 2013

Chun Hua Catherine Dong shot herself with ink at St Mark's Basilica in Venice Biennale 2013

Chun Hua Catherine Dong shot herself with ink at St Mark's Basilica in Venice Biennale 2013

Chun Hua Catherine Dong shot herself with ink at St Mark's Basilica in Venice Biennale 2013

I kneel on a piece of traditional Chinese Ink Wash Painting, holding a  gun in my  hand. The gun is filled with black ink. I lift the gun, point to my head and shoot. And then I lift the gun again, this time, I point to my heart and shoot. The actions of shooting at my head and heart are repeated until the ink on the water gun runs out.

“The Lost Twelve Years” examines the relationships between where I live, what I have lost, and what  I have gained as a racial minority. The piece is a ritual meditation, as the ink traditionally used as an artistic tool is used as a weapon upon myself. The gestures I perform are political gestures, an apology for my twelve-year absence and shows a desire for me to renew my lost tradition and culture. Through the piece, I attempt to preserve my identity from self-transformation and self-assimilation.

photo courtesy of the artist