Feng shui, a geomancy practice meant to harmonize one’s life with the surrounding environment for the ideal flow of qi or life force, was banned in China in 1949 following the founding of the People’s Republic. During the Cultural Revolution, when feng shui practitioners were beaten and their works burned, many fled to Taiwan and Hong Kong—the latter sometimes is referred to as the feng shui capital of the world.
For From Its Mouth Came a River of High-End Residential Appliances, Jon Wang traveled to Hong Kong to research contemporary feng shui practices, including the city’s dragon gates: a series of rectangular holes in high-rises designed to allow dragons to travel from the mountains to the sea to drink and bathe. From Its Mouth sees Wang enact a live feng shui intervention for the Triple Canopy office, where various objects and characters negotiate their relationships with geomancy, remote-selves, and therianthropy (the mythical ability to shape-shift) as a drone’s-eye-view recording takes the audience through the city’s gates.
From Its Mouth Came a River of High-End Residential Appliances is part of Triple Canopy’s Vanitas issue, which explores contemporary meditations on mortality as well as the delights, delusions, and pressures of fleshly existence. This project was commissioned as part of Triple Canopy’s 2016 call for proposals.