Song Dynasty II

Mixed media costume; framed lenticular print
City Art Centre, Edinburgh Art Festival 2018
 
Song Dynasty II expands on a previous collaboration with my immediate family to begin an on-going series of family portraits. Drawing on my cultural identity, 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’.