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{ Automaton Alive }

A Returning of A One that Must be Loved III    2019

Last child " CC ", the character inside

{ A Returning of A One That Must Be Loved I }

singing and performing live

Story of CC

CC, an orphan, who is the last child on earth, first appeared in painting No.6 of my {A Returning Of A One That Must Be Loved} painting series. She/he/they/it (in this case will be using “da” as the pronounce) never had once enjoy the a touch of a motherhood, however survived the 4 years of life and live in a cave, believed that the dripping sound of the crystal is the feeling of being cradled. On an ordinary day, CC was traveling far to collect bamboo for making buckets to put the dripping crystal, the world started to crumble. Da was running in attempt to escape the falling of ruins when the earth is collapsing, however a concrete block fell down on da head, caused its death and closed the chapter of human/creature history on earth form the post dinosaur distinction till year 2211. In the last second of da life, CC cried out “mama!”, the sound echoed the whole valley, and da fell down, slowly closing the eyes. A string of tears flowed down da left cheek, it continued flowing past the ash-coded cities, hills of dead bodies, hundred miles of the burning lands, the shred of tear finally landed in the cave, the home once CC had dreamed in wonders. Suddenly, the lands all disappeared, the new world emerged with colors, the year zero had just begun.

Character “CC” is a dedication and elegy to those children passed away in the 2008 Wenchuan, Sichuan earthquake. In the incident, over 70,000 people died (official statistic, speculation is needed), many of them were children. Globally, the incident was not taken big attention because the biased reference on China. This project touched the subject of abundance of the anonymous defunct in a social currency where lived the chaos of civil conflicts and global prejudice.

{ Automaton Alive }

"Tear is the missing ingredient to cook the soup of reincarnation"

I want to propose the metaphysical meaning behind our automatic mechanical world. It is a fiction-reality work that explores transgressive idiosyncrasy. The quote contains two parts: "soup of reincarnation" originates from a 5000+ year old Chinese saga about a bowl of soup cooked by lady Meng to forget about the past life upon the gateway of reincarnation; "tear is the missing ingredient" is my addition to the saga as a metaphysical construct of the recipe within that bowl of soup. What else would be needed to cook this soup in order to forget about the past?  The answer is a life-time contemplation and pursuit. This installation performance will be a part of later project {Mengpo Soup Trilogy}.

It took me almost 2 years to build the physical model of CC with working partner Justin Kirk and 3D printing factory instinct pump, now finally finished. Materials includes aluminum, motors, servos, led light, epoxy and silicone are used, and ran by a series of coding and midi signals. In the performance, CC would be singing and doing various movements according to the story. The whole performance has 3 epilogues: crumbling, a returning of, the day of. Choreographed dancing and animated projection mapping would applied to further the visual elements of the story.


It would be unjustified to not mention that Automaton Alive is the third epilogue of the 8 year project {A Returning of a One That Must be Loved}(2015-2022), in which 8 paintings, in details decipher the story of the last day of the world, would be "hidden" in selected 8 countries. The meaning of tears in homes symbolized emotions in honesty from the character “CC”, and the tears in the saga is the last ingredient for the world to return after the end. During the traveling, samples and sounds would be field recorded and collected to produce the music piece that would be the  theme song of these 8 paintings.  At the end of 2022, clues of destinations would announce those who are going to find the paintings, and the meeting would be held with all the travelers who bring back the painting, rewarded with a copy of the finished production of the theme song which won’t be released anywhere else.

Performance at 325 Canal street, NY, Pop-up by Chameleon Gallery

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Making Automaton Alive: a documentary

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