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[ Grumble ]

10. Installation

Installation view of Yun-Ling Chen, Not Really Really (17-SS-4)
on the white wall, in Art Dusseldorf, Germany, 2017

A fragile egg yolk that needs to be changed regularly

A blocked, unfunctional monocle that cannot magnify the egg yolk

A work placed at a height of 120 cm  

All these elements entail that the viewers need to bow down to engage with the artwork

This installation concept came from my experience visiting museums that display historical objects. Museums often exhibit artefacts in a vitrine or transparent cabinet and when visitors want to look at an object more closely, to see the artefact in more detail, their bodies cannot avoid bowing down before the object. The performance of bowing in Asia is symbolic and deeply rooted, in order to show respect and love. For example, when meeting a person that you admire and respect your body automatically reacts with emotion through a bow that has been habituated into your bodily reflexes. My installation intends to encourage the viewer into a bowing motion and through this I aim to raise up the human’s perspective in relation to a thing. Their body bows to the artwork in a signal of respect.

I am fascinated by the relationship between the visitor and the object, even though this might not be directly read into the work. For example, I am intrigued by how the viewer's body will react when they see objects that they are curious about. Some may start to crane their neck, or frown, or their body may invade the space of the object.

The visitors to the Laure Genillard Gallery are very polite, and this surprises me. I didn't put any sign on the wall because I refuse to announce that this work is untouchable. I welcome all visitors to do anything to this piece, from being intimately curious (touching) to missing/ignoring the work altogether (walking away). 

I am the medium that cleans up the result of public engagement. I tidied up quite a few broken egg yolks when showing Not Really Really (17-SS-4) at an art fair, Art Dusseldorf in Germany (2017), but I never needed to clear it up during the exhibition at Laure Genillard Gallery. In the fair, visitors touched and even blew on the egg yolk. I guess that this was to double-check if it is real. I was mesmerized by this behaviour. It is very interesting, as I have ‘egg yolk’ listed as my work’s material on the label but to test is to believe. Viewers can also observe me frequently changing the egg yolk during the show. However, many audience members still refuse to believe the information I provide for them. This notion can bring us back to the Post-trust society that I mentioned in Naming.
[1] In this section of writing, I declare that we are currently inhabiting a contemporary Post-truth society in which the objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotional and personal belief. Due to this Post-truth frame, humans take more concern over trusting the thing in front of them, for example, a yellow stone or egg yolk. 


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