City Art Centre, Commissioned by Edinburgh Art Festival for Platform: 2018
Song Dynasty II expands on a previous collaboration with my immediate family to begin an ongoing series of family portraits. Drawing on the historical, ritualistic and ceremonial particularities of my two cultural identities, Song Dynasty II documents a family outing, undertaken wearing a costume informed by the figure of the lion.
The costume references both the traditional Chinese lion dance, and the Lion Rampant of Scotland – an unclassified beast which speaks of a foreign culture at once absurdly alien yet uncannily familiar. In the exhibition context, the costume became an artefact of an abstruse event, which resisted being precisely located in either time or space. Hung alongside the costume was a lenticular print depicting the family outing (which involved two further costumed family members). Doubled in perspective, the print played with slippery formulations of ‘truth’, speaking of objectivity and artifice in the historical and contemporary Western gaze, as directed towards cultures considered to be ‘other’.