In 無聊, the characters go through several processes to mark my tension of being in between spaces. When trying to insert myself within Chinese culture, belonging is very much tied to the associated language. I am always negotiating between what I choose to take and what I leave behind, as I walk between the boundaries of being Asian-Canadian. The constant compromising of my cultural identity is best seen through the erosion of knowledge in Cantonese. But this loss has also allowed me to gain access to move through third spaces.
無: the lack of, to not have, and nothing
聊: to talk, chat, communicate
When these characters are placed together, 無聊 means there is nothing to talk about, leading to the definition of boredom, pointless, and redundancy. By pairing the two characters together and on separate materials, they refer to the action of moving past the character on the mylar in order to reach what is on the wall.
In my work, I question what it means to be nostalgic for something that has never been experienced. This longing informs the actions we take to make this emotion a physical space. Learning a language is confusing and difficult. There is a redundancy to repeatedly rewriting characters in order to ‘gain’ that knowledge but there is also a preciousness in the action.
Navigating towards an idea of home is delicate and personal. The characters in 無聊 reflect our own movement through transitional spaces by, displacing the 無 and 聊 on the wall or the paper.
Broken Dialogue: I Support You
“This phrase, which is a means of showing encouragement, and a way for the teller to show their belief in the receiver, so often sound empty words.
I used to be confused when people told me they supported me. Why say meaningless things if they don’t understand or care about what I’m doing?”
Part of a collaborative zine with Virakone Sonethasack and Rachel Wada. To read more about the series, please click here.
sculptural ink drawing with cutouts, 2016
tracing paper collaged on mirror
acrylic on wooden panel, 2016
sculptural drawing with interwoven text, 2015
sculptural painting made of acrylic, plexi-glass, and a wooden frame, 2015