My action explores the dynamics of fear, anxiety and otherness through abstract and reimagined narratives.
My family is from a small island called Qidu in the Zhejiang province of China. It has a very small population and lots of farm land. In Qidu, the community is being divided by faith, as the influence of Christianity grows stronger. The majority of my family are Christian, however they are embedded in a culture where Chinese traditions and spaces defy religion. On the island, we have many temples including one that represents all those with the “Zhang” surname in the area. Even though this is MY temple I have never been able to visit to not offend my Christian family members. This action is a way for me to rationalise and reason with my family’s religions and the growing cultural divide on this small island.
Working with Dr Josh Harle, Director, Tactical Space Lab, I am producing a series of gifs, videos and animations that culminate into an imagined digital world - a place not dictated by a single narrative, but of multitudes and acceptance. Within this digital world, I am creating a ‘worry-fee’ temple where anyone is welcome. The audience is invited to visit the temple where they can spill all their worries, fears, and ‘sins’ to be absorbed and regurgitated into blobby masses that are left to guard and protect the temple.
Louise Zhang (b.1991) is a Chinese-Australian multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans painting, sculpture and installation. Zhang explores the dynamics of aesthetics, contrasting the attractive and repulsive in order to navigate the senses of fear, anxiety and a sense of otherness reflecting her identity. Her work is inspired by horror cinema, Chinese mythology and botany, adopting and placing symbols and motifs in compositions of harmonic dissonance.
• 七堵 // Qidu •
My family is from a small island called Qidu located in the prefectural-level municipality of Wenzhou, in the Zhejiang province of China. It has a very small population with lots of farmland & seafood. The clean air, vegetation & island life is very attractive for city people.
Gentrification has created access to better plumbing and recycling initiatives, but it also means the building of European style mansions, resorts, pollution and government control. I am sad to see history dissolve before I get to fully understand this place.
• 庙//Temple •
In Qidu, the community is being divided by faith, as the influence of Christianity grows stronger. The majority of my family are Christian; however they are embedded in a culture where Chinese traditions and spaces defy religion. On the island, we have many small temples but I have not been allowed to visit them.
• 张//Zhang •⠀
On the island, we have many temples in the area, including one that represents those with the 张 (Zhang) surname. Even though this is my temple I have never been able to visit to not offend my Christian family members.⠀
Every couple of years, males with the 张 surname gather for a photo. The eldest and youngest wear a red ribbon.⠀
• 刘德华//Andy Lau •
In my grandfather’s study, he has many things including his set of brushes and ink. But also, this signed scroll of young actor Andy Lau. He may be 90 but fan boys don’t die.
• 罪//Sins •⠀
Do you think that “sins” themselves can take a physical form? It would make digesting them a lot easier. If we confess them where do they go?⠀
w/ Josh Harle @tacticalspacelab⠀
• 没关系// No worries, It’s Okay •
Imagine a space where there is no religious division. Come and spill all your worries, fears, & “sins”. Feed the temple with them & leave in peace.
w/ Josh Harle @tacticalspacelab
• 未来 // Future •
w/ Josh Harle @tacticalspacelab