“Cabinet deals with the identity of the forever changing Chinese body – the very idea of Chineseness that individuals possess – in relationship to the exponentially rising Chinese art market. Hera Chan worked with these ideas in Buenos Aires. Using the voice of Google Translate to articulate quotations taken from various people, she has interviewed here about their everyday interaction with what they perceive to be Chinese, she recreates a one-sided conversation in a stop motion video that only hears the answer of the sounds of a bandoneon. The storyline follows a day in the life of whomever the viewer deems fit to fill the empty ceramic (or shall we call it China?) shoes moving across the screen. All the objects featured in the video work were found in Buenos Aires. Hera Chan chose the objects based on the potential of their connection to Chineseness she perceived.
The elevation of Chinese art in the market now is reminiscent of how previous generations placed their prized China tea sets and plates in cabinets, creating an erasure of direct contact with that which was Chinese and instead interacting purely with the financial market – the buying and selling of objects. Cabinet is her method of raising questions about how we value art in contemporary society and how the financial value of art influences our perceptions of what can be identified as the Chinese body.
Director : Hera Chan
Year : 2014
Genre : Animation
Length : Short
Runtime : 5 mins
Country : Argentina
Language : English
Production and Sales Company : Proyecto’ace
Hera is a multimodal artist looking for an adept way to represent and report her experience of the present beyond traditional journalism. In other moments, she is an undergraduate student at McGill University working towards a bachelor of arts in the departments of East Asian Studies and Art History.