Site: New Day Street Studio, Taoyuan, Taiwan.
Excessive measuring has resulted in how the body is composed and also the references used for interpreting, as each part of the body is neurotically, precisely, and meticulously measured. The measurements are read out loud and recorded, with the sound files played during the performance, including the width of the left nostril, the width of the right nipple, the depth of the navel, the thickness of the left earlobe, etc…They are played one by one, with each part corresponding to the data, and then the sound recordings for the body parts and the measurements are slowly overlapped, making it difficult for the audience to decipher which size should be linked with which body part, as a sense of disturbance is formed.
I am lying flat on a hollowed metal bed of 200X90X100 cm big. Underneath the bed are several yellow lightbulbs, and the top of the bed is a hummock made with thick ropes. The tension of the ropes is based on me being flat on the top and covered in a white cloth, while able to see some slight protrusion from the side yet keeping the fabric loosely placed on the body. When the space is dimmed to total darkness, the white cloth is placed on my body that is lying flat. The yellow light emitting from the bottom of the metal bed allows for people looking at me to see a subtle silhouette of my body and also able to see a slight protrusion of the human figure at the same time.
Prior to the performance, seven participants are selected from the audience. There are men and women in the group, and some are friends of mine and others are strangers. They are each given a white cloth in the size of 3x3 meters. When the performance starts, I am there naked on the metal bed covered by a white cloth, and my hand comes out from the white cloth with a pen to draw/trace myself. Then, the first drawing participant walks towards me and shakes out the white cloth then places it on me. S/he conducts the drawing in his or her own way on my body. The 7 drawing participants take turn to draw in their own way. I then put on a white robe while covered by the white cloth and then I step out of the cloth. The seven pieces of white cloth are then hung on a string suspended on the ceiling, leaving behind the “me” that is on the table (with drawings made by the seven participants draped over my body), and the other seven versions of me hung. Lastly, I open the mechanical metal door and leave, as street light and moonlight project on the seven hanging pieces of fabric.
With the large white cloth on my body and my body wrapped in fabric, it conveys the fact that the body that belongs to me has never emerged; it is always “inside”. Even the group of drawing participants engages in trying to depict my body, they are still unable to portray what it really looks like. However, as each participant draws me, the process becomes a ritual, including how the fabrics with their drawings of me are placed on my body prior to them leaving. I then try to use my body to feel their existence. As they draw me, they each has a way of getting a feel of what my body looks like, and covered by the white cloth, when the pen touches me, my perceptual physical body under the cloth is sensing the other multiple bodies of myself. Data of overlapping body parts continues to be played in the space, as they become useless mantras.