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Inspired by the theme of ‘identity’, I have decided on the theme of my exhibition by combining the visual works I have learned about with my own experience of shifting identities and places of living over the past few years: ‘Dual Identity’.

However, when I was collecting information on works or exhibitions related to ‘identity’, I found a very interesting phenomenon. Most artists choose to use artworks to express one of their identities in a certain way. Take Kyle Meyer’s assemblage of materials for example. He wants to express his struggles as a gay man living in Swaziland (a region where homosexuality is illegal) and his state as a ‘deviant’ living in a larger context, but does not want to or try to express his self-positioning and self-identity within the LGBTQ community. While the artist himself may be struggling, it cannot be denied that being an LGBTQ person means that he is in two contexts: Swaziland and the LGBTQ community. He holds at least two identities, a citizen and a gay man. I saw in his artwork what most LGBTQ artists want to represent as their own struggle and search for themselves within the larger context, but I could not find their self-identification within the LGBTQ community. So unfortunately, as someone outside this ‘door’, I could only see a part of their soul through the artworks. But as a curator, I was inspired by this ‘incomplete’ situation. Curatorial themes can focus not only on one social identity, but also on finding ways to express one’s multiple identities in order to interpret oneself from all views  to recognise oneself and to form a complete self. This is also a way to expand curatorial activity in the field of ‘identity’.

Through the theme of ‘dual identity’ I hope to make people aware of the fact that it is not uncommon for people to change who they speak to because they are dealing with different people and different situations in a complex society. We need to be confident to face the change of identity and choose our own identity. Secondly, “dual identity” also raises the question of whether it is the person who actively chooses his or her identity or the environment that forces him or her to choose an identity and change it. Both of these are questions that I hope to explore through this curatorial exhibition.

My curatorial theme is ‘dual identity’ and at first I chose to focus on differing identities, but after sharing and exchanging ideas with my classmates in class, I thought I should open my mind and look for examples from around me as exhibits.

Take for example this Chinese film Spring Tide (  ). The main character of the film is both a daughter and later a mother, and this change in family identity also drives her to change her attitude and approach to the minutiae of life. This shift in family identity, the difference between her gentleness with the staff and her impatience with her family, shows the heroine’s struggle with different circumstances. That is why I chose this film. In the later stages of the exhibition, I will excerpt clips of the heroine dealing with things in different capacities to show her own struggles and contradictions.

In addition to this, I have obtained permission for the copyright of three artists’ animations (  ,  ,  ), which contrast the male protagonist,Wang Ye, both as a Taoist priest and as a businessman, in The contrast between these three videos shows the hero’s ambivalence and submission to human interaction, both as a Taoist priest and as a businessman. However, there are no official English subtitles for these works, and one of my current tasks is to subtitle them.



The book Collective Memory of Communism in Croatia since 1994: Comparative Analysis of Contemporary Arts and National Narratives was also on my mind. This book documents Eastern European artists and artworks that lived through the Soviet period, who wanted to preserve the ‘Soviet memory’ through art, to leave some traces of the ‘Soviet’ for the world, and to identify themselves spiritually with both a Soviet and an Eastern European identity. I hope I can draw some inspiration from this book so that I can learn how to narrate the change of identity and the changes before and after.

Jake’s advice to me was not to put up a direct taiqi diagram but to incorporate the idea of the interplay of yin and yang into the placement of the exhibits or other details such as the presentation letter. I am still looking for relevant works that can provide ideas.

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