This work explores the concept of pain and beauty. The mattress is a typical object found in every modern house. It conveys our experience of longing and sleeping in a place. The mattress also relates to the Freudian concept of the unconscious, where most of our dreams happen. It is the home of the night, where our mind wanders and traces of love, fantasy, pain and imagination take place. That is where my artistic mind reaches the climax of its creativity, free from constraints of social, cultural, political boundaries. No one can censor our dreams.
Growing up in Vietnam, I used to sleep on straw mat. When first sleeping on a mattress, the universal symbol of comfort, I felt pain in my body for months. Sleeping on a new mattress is like wearing someone else’s clothes, where the trace of our bodies and the feeling of home are missed. The pain I have is similar to the placement of this up-side-down mattress, which provokes a sensation of displacement and confusion that is Kafkaesque. In this piece, I violate the protective nature of the mattress by covered it up with a layer of tear-drop shape pins and hang it from the ceiling.
A video is projected on top of the mattress, displaying repetitive action performed by a Caucasian in a formal suit, meticulously pinning the mattress. The video represents the moment of suspension that is vulnerable, performative and cinematic. Listening to the sound of pinning the mattress, my mind is stimulated by its repetitiveness. Similar to the sound of a clock at night, however, the sound of the mattress being pinned is fragile and irregular, its beat is probably is closer to heartbeats, something we can hear and feel but cannot control.
A twin mattress is an isolated island, a single person’s world. In this place, its surface becomes a projection screen, a canvas for our body, the object of longing and endless journey of sleep, an action that we will continue to the rest of our life.
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