During the annual Jewish havdalah ceremony, performed at the end of shabbat, a "Spice Box" is passed around so that its fragrant scents may be enjoyed and recalled later during the secular work week. Commissioned by The Contemporary Jewish Museum, I have interpreted the spice box as a kite in the form of the mythical Taiwanese goddess NuWa who, according to legend, patched up the sky after GongGong, the god of water, ripped a huge hole in it during a battle with ZhuRong, the god of fire. She made this repair with a gigantic multicolored fabric she had woven from human dreams and emotions. After using up all the fabric, there remains a small hole. The only thing she could do, in order to save her human children, is to patch up this hole by throwing herself against it.
Ancient Taiwanese tradition holds that we experience life as having four flavors: suan (sour), tien (sweet), ku (bitter) and la (spicy). The real project here is not the kite itself; it would be the ritual of writing down one's associations with suan, tien, ku and la, on to the kite, then sending it aloft so NuWa can use the feelings to go on mending the sky.
Commissioned by Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco, 2005.