Programme ➔ Main Programme ➔ Edge Street Programme (1997-2003)
Project ➔ New Commissions Scheme (2000-2002)
2000 May 08 (is beginning date)
2000 Jul 17 (has end date)
Pamela So's first solo show at the Chinese Arts Centre, examined how memories become idealised over time giving rise to our cultural identity. The work was commissioned as part of the organisation's New Commissions
The installation explored themes related to the artist's Chinese/Scottish cross cultural heritage including the isolation of Chinese communities in the post-war context of Scotland. So also revisited the gallery during the duration of the show to alter the piece over time, to encourage visitors to question their memories of the installation. The installation featured the following works:
- Past Perfect : a video/text installation which focused on the artist personal memories of growing up in Scotland as the descendant of a family who migrated to Scotland from China in the late 19th century. The work featured large rice paper scrolls featuring autobiographical texts which charted the artist's personal history of cultural hybridity. The video piece featured footage of the artist's extended family visiting tourist spots in Scotland during the post-war period. The work aimed to confound the viewers expectations and confronted their complacency about who we expect to encounter in specific locations in a particular historical context. The work was also accompanied by a soundtrack and other objects to reflect the political unrest in her mother country. The work highlighted the life of a Chinese family, born in the UK but with a sense of isolation from the rest of the population.
- Love is a many splendoured thing was based around relationships, emotions, and media's concept of romantic love. The work featured the artist's childhood dolls photographed in various tableaux, based upon iconic western artworks, documenting a romance which descending into an abusive relationship. The dolls, along with hollow paper casts, also featured in the show to bring to mind "feelings of loss and depletion". The work address the artist personal reservations about the portrayal of nudity in art, using a stand-in bodies to represent the 'Chinese nude' and resorting to ideas from Western art.