Hourglass: a public performance by Chun Hua Catherine Dong
October 22, 2012
10 – 5 pm, Helen Christou Gallery
Hourglass is a rice‐based performance that explores “deterritorialization” and “disessentialization” in the Taken‐for‐Granted world.
The action of constantly painting white rice to black is a metaphor of the hourglass. Sand in an hourglass cannot flow without rotation, just as power cannot shift without struggle. Too much power concentrated on one side is a main factor causing disharmony, confusion and dislocation, embodied on the social turbulence that we see and feel in our daily lives. In fact, power doesn’t bring growth unless we understand the essence of sharing power. The process of social transformation does not have to involve violence, and the political gesture doesn’t have to be radical. In fact, it can be done through a more peaceful way, a meditative way or meditation.
The gesture of painting white rice to black is a political gesture. This performance provides an opportunity for participants to meditate on our situation while working together on a mutual goal: reconfigure the established centralized power in order to create an equal, fair and balanced world.
Chun Hua Catherine Dong is a performance artist, born in China, living in Canada. She graduated from Emily Carr University Arts & Design and is currently pursuing her MFA at Concordia University with support of SSHRC, Concordia Faculty of Fine Arts Fellowship and BC Arts Council Scholarship. Dong is interested in blurring boundaries between personal and political, between private and public, between art and life, between performance and everyday practice. Her current research interests focus on how a practice of contemporary performance art addresses the everyday performance of identity, and how strategic, essentialized performance of identity redefines the interconnected concepts of public and private self, gender, and power.