Feast and Metamorphosis
1080p Video, 2012
The Insatiable, installation shot and excerpts, 1080p video, stereo sound, 2010
Myth, Food, Fantacy
Feast and Metamorphosis is a series of three video installations created during an artistic residency in my home country Taiwan. It is my first body of work produced there after 16 years of living abroad. It echoes the theme of my video series, Things that are edible, in 2002. While the Edible addresses food related issues of migration, nostalgia, and cultural stereotype, The Feast focuses on the fascination about the authentic food experiences in Taiwan.
The Insatiable is composited from a dozen footages filmed at an open night market. The visual strategy adopts a fusion of microscopic and macroscopic perspectives. The streetlights and mingling walkers are transformed into bodies of massive creatures, bearing resemblance to snakes, dragons, or even huge intestines. Round is based on an actual wedding banquet. As one of the most common dining spectacles in Taiwan, such ritual is filled with actions and colors. The significance of the round table in Chinese culture is expressed here both metaphorically and literally. From the River is constructed based on my mother’s rice dish. Usually served in small quantity, she cooked 80 pounds for the project. The rice pile is then multiplied in post-production over 300 times to compose a moving scroll that is analogous to traditional Chinese paintings.
Feast and metamorphosis provided a timely change of subject from my preoccupation with family tragedy and spiritual recovery. Although one can still sense a touch melancholy in the festive compositions, playfulness prevails as it reflects the project’s creative process. In these intense and yet free-spirited experiments, I was given a space to imagine without a pre-conceived directive. It was a rejuvenating experience. The over-spilled energy fueled the preparation for my Tibet project.