From my past experiences living in China to my most recent experiences surviving as an artist in New York City, my artworks represent and reveal what I have been through in my life. In November 2015, “Invisible Line,” a seven minute performance for the opening night of ITINERANT Performance Art Festival in New York, illustrated the frustrations I encountered after my first four months living in New York. The performance consisted of a monologue I recited as I stood on a pile of my oil painting canvases: “I am standing on my paintings; I am standing on the effort I made in the past; I am standing on my dreams. However, I feel insecure, unstable and fragile. What will happen next? Will my dreams collapse? Will all my effort be in vain? I don’t know. But I won’t stop trying; I won’t stop pushing my boundaries; and I won’t stop challenging my limits.”
I entered the performance space with a bag of my series of 10 x 8 in “Memory Line” oil paintings. While I was piling up the canvases, I introduced myself to the audience in front of me: “Hi, my name is Huisi He… After I got my MFA, I came to New York City. I thought fame and money would hit me soon. However, instead, I got a significant amount of debt.” While standing on my pile of paintings, I tried to reach out as far as possible by drawing charcoal lines that extended outwards. I put my feet on the pedestal and my hands on the floor and used my core strength to coordinate my movement. The circles of charcoal drawing were mostly invisible, only fragments of charcoal marks, which represented the ways in which most of my artistic efforts were invisible to people. After I ran out of energy I ended the performance by putting my feet on the floor and saying thank you to the audience.