TRAVERSING RECLAIMED GROUND
figures; began as a pipe dream brought to life, a fantasy of epic proportions, a utopian illusion in technicolor - but just the last part, when all the could-have-beens are stripped away, and you are confronted with the inevitable. It is disillusionment in free fall, plummeting down to earth with no parachute. It was created by a retired competitive figure skater embittered by competition, who represented not a country but a nation with an expiration date.
Simultaneously confronting the facts that I would never skate on Olympic ice and that the nation I represented would cease to exist in thirty years, I found myself at odds with logic and reason. I was drawn to staircases and hallways as metaphorical and physical spaces of melancholic liminality, fixated on performances of identity that challenged hegemonic discourses, and curious about Hong Kong’s history of colonialism.
figures; lives in the gutter from which we view the stars. It draws life from the emotional abyss that I and many of my collaborators are much too familiar with, turning the emptiness into moments and experiences that replenish the holes in our lives. Using mourning the loss of identity as a framework and process, I explore what comes after loss - how mourning can heal.
figures; is a process and an experience before it is a performance. It is an invitation to wrestle – physically and mentally – with questions of identity and loss in a space that aims to provoke feeling. It is an encouragement to connect with and find comfort in the other people who share this space. Where the written component of this thesis emphasizes logic, evidence, and argument, the performance of figures; embraces emotion, instinct, and reflex.