I wrote three sets of text tags for this project, each for a different purpose (online exhibition, social media, publication catalogue), each new one written when I had gotten bored of looking at the previous. Here all three are presented.
Participatory Installation. Embroidered Text, Paper, Second-Hand Ikea Desks.Photos (images of participants interaction) Credits : Jiuming DuanPage on RCA 2021:LINK
1. Elsewhere 异乡 is an installation exploring the tug-and-pull relationship diasporic individuals have with their homeland (a "there") and place of residence (a "here") through a study of embroidered languages and the desk as a liminal space existing in between the two places. The English title of the project comes from my answer to the 2021 UK census question "What is your country of birth?" Yet depending on how you look at it, the word elsewhere can be used to refer to either "here" or "there", something that the Chinese title of the project (Other's Land) alludes to.
2. “But the feel of a place takes longer to acquire. It is made of experiences, fleeting and undramatic, repeated day after day and over the span of years.” — Space and Place by Yi-Fu Tuan
Elsewhere is a series of “fleeting and undramatic” fragments about living in Beijing and London, as told by two different novelists from the Chinese diaspora (Shū Qìngchūn + Guō Xiǎolǔ) writing almost a century apart, and as felt by me in present day. It is a project about language, identity, cities and memory, and it is also an invitation to sew, to talk, to read and to find comfort.
If you take a photo with a translation app, you’ll get a pretty confusing sense of what I’m saying.