Would you stretch thin and become the sky?

[THIS WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN APRIL 2015]

On Monday Gallery 5 hosted “Fluency.Flow”, an art show presented by IAMAPART, a group of VCU art students.
The first exhibit was a performance art/poetry reading called “The Sea Is A Surface” by Kotone Deguchi. They were seated at a red table on which there was a silver piece of cloth, a bowl of water surrounded by pebbles and clementines.

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They invited me to sit down and said “You can touch anything you want and are free to leave at anytime.” They then pulled out a stack of little blue cards, each with a a few words of their poem on it, and read it aloud, bit by bit. It didn’t feel like they were just reading something to me, it felt like they were really talking to me. At one point in their poem they ask, “will you split a clementine with me?” and so I reached out and started to peel one of the clementines on the table, and we split it.

When other people sat down, they collected all the blue cards they had set down on the table and stacked them in random order. They started to recite the poem again, this time the parts all mixed up, but it oddly seemed to make sense because of the inflection in their voice when they read it.

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The next piece I looked at was “Flow” by Lucia Liu. It was a poem posted on the wall on pieces of paper. There was a light projection of water on the paper. Each page would have some words in Chinese, while the rest were in English. Being red from left to right, the amount of Chinese in the poem gets fewer and fewer and the poem goes on.

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Lucia said that it had to do with the fact that her family is Chinese and there are only a certain amount of Chinese words she knows. It expresses a certain separation from her culture.

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Next there was Zhuxin Wang’s “Journal of Independence/Consistently Responsive”, which was graphite on paper. They were all sketches involving driving in a car, going on a journey.

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Then I walked into the main room and displayed were these plaster fruits. One shelf held plaster fruits that were painted, and the other shelf held fruits that were all white.

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It was called “Pun” by Ling-lin Ku. What is the pun? I’m not entirely sure…but it was pretty cool! The white fruits actually had stickers on them, which was a fun touch.

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In the same room videos were being projected on both walls and the ceiling with music being played over it. The videos were from the perspective of someone driving a car.

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The music felt kind of melancholy, and it seemed to invoke the sad feeling of moving, or leaving a place behind. The feeling of letting go of the past.

It was a fascinating show, I really enjoyed it! I’m going to be talking with Kotone and Lucia later this week to find out more about IAMAPART :3

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