CHUN HUA CATHERINE DONG
Sixteen females wear red silicon lips and white bath towels, standing in a row and facing the same direction. They repeat four gestures: standing, kneeling, sitting and lying on the floor. The performers hold each gesture for five minutes and then move to another gesture one by one.
The gestures in the performance are inspired by gargoyles. Gargoyles are often regarded as representations of evil that threaten those who observe them. However, the gargoyles’ expressions may not have been intended to frighten; they may be merely frightened by what they observe.
The mouth serves as the opening for food intake and as the articulator of sound and speech. However, when performers wear mouthpieces, or when the women’s mouths are forced to open, the mouth loses its function. In fact, it silences and disables the women, because they are unable to talk when their mouths are widely pulled open. This performance explores another side of the unseen and unspoken—the vulnerability, struggle, shame and suffering that we are uneasy to share and expose.