a snake in the house means the family will never want
Installation of silver tarpaulin pond, live plants, water pump system, tree made of found cut branches, real mandarins & burning agarwood incense
Costuming: cheongsam & mask made with freehand embroidery & high-visibility thread
Live sound & movement performance, 30 min
'A snake in the house means the family will never want' is an immersive performance & installation following ancient Chinese tradition where the dancer takes on masked-animal form in the role of shaman & exorcist, dispelling evil forces and protecting the community. The title references the venerated symbolism snakes hold in Asian cultures as opposed to how they’re perceived in the West. The performance is interwoven with an industrial materiality in the site-specific installation & costuming, referencing diasporic transformation of rituals & identity, where the embodiment of signs regarded as Other become an act of reclamation & resistance.
During the exhibition, audience members were invited to partake in the on-going ritual of the work by burning agarwood incense at the installation site & taking a mandarin from the tree before leaving the space.
9-18 July 2021: Have you eaten yet?, Deptford X Festival Curated Programme (London)
Image credits: Phoenix Tanner