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{ Nipple Eye 刑天之眼}


Performance Device
wearable testament with sonic-transformation


In Chinese mythology, there is a figure named Xíng Tiān (刑天) who fought on behalf of Emperor Yan (炎帝) against Emperor Huang (黄帝). Xíng Tiān was beheaded in the battle, but instead of dying, his head transformed into a new form with his nipples becoming his eyes and his belly button serving as his mouth.


However the eyes failed to function, Xíng Tiān spared his life as he had became the tease of his enemies. And his nipple eyes, became the testament as both the shield and the sword, that served him a life time of self contradiction and confusion.

This transformation is an inspiration to me, for it showed the character's determination to survive and adapt to his new form. I have incorporated this inspiration into a performance piece, featuring a spiky "eye" device on the nipple that underlies the complexity of this faiture of transformation, and the complexity of shield and sword. When the spiky nipple is "triggered," it changes the sound into a new atmospheric reality, allowing trauma to de-couple from past memories that were solidified, and opening up space and energy ready for the transformation again. It allows trauma, an abstract and difficult subject to embody in sonic expression, and expand the capacity of the memory container rather than the substance in it.



The word “trauma” sounds so beautiful and it is indeed engraved in my body. I have been living in the US for over thirteen years, it seems like a triumph to tell people I have a green card now, however even saying it sparked more bitterness than happiness in my brain pocket, due to the previous twice of failure coming from a lawyer extremely irresponsible and over charged me putting me in debit of over $10,000 for the last 2 years, even though my application got denied. (if you need advice dealing a similar situation, feel free to contact me for tips). During the process it was even hard to get any response from her regarding to my immigration status. During the Covid pandemic, I had encountered hostility on the streets, due to the numerous report of finger pointing to China or Chinese nationals being the cause of the virus. Racism upraised, and it continued. In the meanwhile, as a solo musician as well as a front singer in a punk band, I had not only once sensed the professional racial injustice even in this self proclaimed “underground “ and “progressive” community or better yet, industry. It seems that no matter how much I worked, how hard I worked, I would never achieve the same payment or artist benefit as the others.

And the list could go on, but I chose not to because I want to leave out the extremely uncomfortable ones for I am still coping it and digesting it with huge effort. All experiences led me to think for my Chinese and Asian community that had faced the same kind of conditions, and the tolerance I saw in them to bear a living, however not to the fullest potential. Therefore, I would like to do a project where in a space I could talk about trauma, and the reflection of it (which now formed a habit), and the artistic approach in wishing to breakthrough and transform.

Although I might have spoken only my own experiences thus far, but I know I am not alone.

I wish this research and project caters purpose not only for the performance work I intended to participate, what’s more, I would like through performance embolden group of people again facing similar challenges in the past, present and hopefully not in the future. And it is indeed a research about a very particular, populated yet still marginalized and isolated group of people for which the research intends to also offer an honest perspective of reality to those who would never have the conditions to experience to see it.


Progress for making the Device

Making the spike.jpg


Making spiky eyes --

I have chosen spike for the eye simulation, not only because it is my view for how vision works for  pivoting an object, but also it underlines the depth and nature of the subject "trauma"- signs of it on your brain and body, for most people found it to be acute, obscure and obtrusive.

2.Set up logic (Part I)

I have used arduino for some coding and linked it to my ableton mapping for the sonic exploration.

3.Set up (Part II)

Wireless enhancement.


4. Wearable

put chip to clothes.


1.Premiere performance took place in March 18th at South by South West (SXSW) in Austin Texas, US.

2.Performance in Brooklyn, NY, US

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