Pillar of the Motherland

“Pillar of the Motherland” 2021, air-dry clay objects


I have been making these air-dry clay figures at home during the lockdown, they look like buildings, but they also look like spines of exhausted teenagers. They capture the teenage feeling of hollowness; feeling ashamed by the incompetence to absorb knowledge. My experience of being a teenager was like being violently injected by an incomprehensible amount of information while silencing the insatiable need to insert, to be inserted, to explode in the rawest physical way; yet being deeply frightened by the forbiddance and consequence of romance. 
I think about my teenage years in China, being young and powerless, being forced to sit and study, I felt my spine started to grow into crooked shapes, warped into the gigantic soup of repression.
Us, the not smart enough kids, we were made of caves, no one punched holes in us, we grew the forms of these reserved negative space inside of us: to be filled, to be refilled, to be sucked dry; then we no longer grow, we remain empty with many caves, stagnant, forgotten, unable to continue.