LED display, paper collage, stainless steel structure
Unique, made in island6, Shanghai 2009
57×21×21 cm | 62×8×8 inches
Li Lingxi 李翎溪 (performance) • Wang Dongma 王东马 (video animation) • Thomas Charvériat (technical direction) • Zane Mellupe (art direction)
For more information: island6.org/InsideMe.html
"Inside Me" presents a visually divisive experience. Two distinct choreographic movements are held on display, the sole consistency being the school girl uniform worn by the performer, Li Lingxi 李翎溪 To the left, the LED cycle repeats an unusual cycle of movements, playful, free and uninhibited, to the right, we see a disciplined, quasi- militaristic presentation of a body and uniform. The young woman is displayed in two alternate universes, yet is identifiably the same person. The artist interprets the character of the persona as being both exuberant and passionate, and expressively mute and rigid. The two distinct sequences are familiar forms of behavior in modern China, the social dichotomies of appropriate dress, codes of behavior and simultaneous liberation of the younger generations’ comportment, whether stimulated by Western influences or popular international youth culture. The schoolgirl uniform has become an icon in the popular visual culture of Asia, a stereotypical image which directly alludes to sexual deviance in the mainstream. The uniform worn in the work acts, in this context, as an item which not only obscures individual identity but equally acts to stimulate physical attraction between the sexes. Ironic and deliberate, Inside Me does ask a poignant question: what is within is not necessarily what meets the eye. The adoration of the properly behaved, modest young woman is juxtaposed with the natural affection felt towards the uninhibited joyful expression of youth. The longstanding Chinese love of uniform and uniformity is conformed to in a visual context, only yet to challenge this absurd status quo which no longer survives intact in the mainland. Inside Me perfectly illustrates not only the social paradox of the new and the old, national and international, but moreover, the chameleon behavior of a youth whom is as equally perplexed in a climate of cultural erosion and change.