PUBLIC OF THE OTHERS
THE PUBLIC OF THE OTHERS aims to discuss and explore the social relationship between individuals and different ethnicities in the city of New York, where is the “melting pot” of cultural and political differences. However, with the rising tension after 9/11, and Trump stepped in as the president of United States, the American society was deeply affected by the fear, danger and distrust from THE OTHERS which was rooted on people’s minds.
The First Part of the project, I intend to bring the attention to existing restriction or the “essential” orientation for public opinions and social norms in New York City or even the fear of THE OTHERS created by the State power, where alienation becomes the antagonism of hegemony. The MTA slogan - “IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING” has been a solid example of forming the sense of being in danger and surveillance in public spaces, and of generating tension of distrust and barrier between each individuals and each ethnicity in a larger scope.
I used gunpowder and charcoal powder to replicate the slogan on ground both within the white cube and public spaces, then swept to a plie with a broom so as to generate the alert in public sphere and constantly create the growing mountain of dangerous explosives. The gesture itself is not only considered provocative and vicious, but also points out the paradox and inhumanity of the “propaganda” of the State, which draws boundaries between individuals as well as diverse ethnicities
IF YOU SEE SOMETHING SAY SOMETHING, 2016
The Second Part of my project STAND BEHIND THE YELLOW LINE was established to respond the restriction and fear guided by State power at public spectrum and make the invisible visible. While the performers wear the T-shirt with the slogan of “stand behind the yellow line” in front and a yellow line in the back, they become the symbol of power, and function as the physical and active boundary of THE OTHERS.
The video installation is a documentation of the performance, in which as a Chinese immigrant living under Trump presidency, I empowered and emphasized the visibility of the "Yellowness" and drawing the metaphorical the division of diversity and difference as the yellow line. The symbolic action of blocking traffic on the historic locations, such as the Brooklyn Bridge and the Union Square subway station is to use the human bodies to recreate the situation of Trump's "Wall" in the society we live in, as if the "lines" are blocking off the connections between the communities.