WO SHI YI GE ZI SUN (I AM A DESCENDANT)
Adapted from a previous piece titled “Wǒzhǐshì yīgè hòudài. (I am just a descendant),” this piece can be seen as response to the following contexts: identity, migration, multiculturalism, globalism, transformation, feminism, sustainability, nationalism, adaptation, fitness, survival and the common threads and fragmented histories that we all share, whether they be Eastern or Western.
In traditional Chinese dress, I entered the gallery and proceeded to orate the true story of the voyages of the Chinese to Jamaica that took place in the late 1800’s (the story of the Hakka voyage to the Caribbean and mainly to the Panama Canal). I then sat in front of an aquarium (that was set on a wheeled platform) with koi fish, staring quietly for a few minutes. I took three paper boats from my handbag and placed them in the aquarium. They floated for a few minutes. I leaned over and performed a series of actions while sticking my head in the water while moving with the aquarium. I then took my wet head out of the water and took off my dress. I revealed a Jamaican tank top and black leggings. I stared the audience in the face while fanning myself dry. I also gave them Chinese paper fans to help fan me dry. I went back to the tank and fed the fish. I sat there for a minute and unfolded the wet paper boats. I placed each of the paper boats on the floor in a particular order to read the translation of the titled words, “Wo shi yi ge zi sun” (also written in Chinese characters) and which was written in English to read “I am a descendant.”