UNTITLED (MESSY YELLOWISH)
“Untitled (Messy Yellowish)” is the third iteration of my practice using clay and human hair to probe the relationship between Asian identity, hair fetish, and masculinity.
The contextual structure of this piece was inspired by Louis Marin’s essay “Notes on a Semiotic Approach to Parade, Cortege, and Procession.” In this essay, the writer introduces three different modes of trips: one-way, round trip, and closed circuit. The first and second iterations of my serial practice (“Fake Muscles” in 2017 and “Yellow Hairy Balls” in 2018) functioned as the starting and endpoint of a linear or one-directional trip. For “Untitled (Messy Yellowish),” I wondered what kind of meaning could be produced by a round trip: when the endpoint becomes another starting point and the starting point becomes another endpoint. What does it mean for me to deconstruct my own representation of Asian queerness and reform it as a white cube, which is racially and artistically opposed to my pursuit? How should my body and mind react to this whitewashing transformation? Where will I be located at the end of the transformation?
I borrowed the visual structure of the durational performance piece “Untitled (Slick Glittery)” by British performance artist Kira O’Reilly. As an Asian queer, I substituted her raw eggs with my yellow hairy balls (the remnant of my previous performances), smashed them one by one, and made a white cube. I also appropriated her slow movement to see how my body would endure over a long duration.