飞檐 “Fei Yan” 2017, wooden performative object.
During my past five years of studying in the U.S., I often felt displaced and disconnected from my home and culture. The longer has I lived far from home, the more I have felt nostalgic about my childhood and teenage years in China. I was born and raised in Shenyang, a northeastern city of China. I grew up seeing traditional Qing architectures, such as the Mukden Palace and Zhao Mausoleum. I remember standing beneath the roof of Zhao Mausoleum when I was little, looking up to the complex structured cornice. The cornice was sharp and upturned like a sword cutting up the sky. While I was standing under the roof, I felt safe and protected. Now I’m far from home, by building my traditional Chinese cornice, I created a safe space for my nostalgia and memories. By holding up the cornice on my shoulders, I’m also carrying the weight of my culture and longing for home. By standing at a corner of contemporary American architecture with the traditional Chinese cornice on my shoulders, I try to create a safe space for myself in the chaos of time and space.