“Celebration” Multi-Video Installation, 2021

Under the traditional family values of Confucianism which less supports non-heterosexuality, it is hard for the Chinese queer community to be proud of themselves in public. Underground clubs provide transformative power to Chinese queer identity through non-judgmental and inclusive experiences. Celebration is a multi-video installation that simulates a dance club atmosphere.

Two pieces of long colorful banners with Chinese characters are hung from the ceiling at the entrance, and another one is hung at the exit, which says “Celebration,” “Welcome In,” and “Come to Dance.” My queer dancing body is projected onto three monitors along the black hall. On the opposite wall, a mural-sized projection of self-composed music and visuals. They confront each other and simulate a dance floor building an interactive and celebratory connection between the audio-visual experience and the audience to project a state of queerness. Multiple psychedelic CGI animations present an alternative and utopian habitat where numerous chrome-plated Bodhisattvas dance, where queer thrives and lives free. By duplicating the Bodhisattvas, the religious figures become neutral, and the traditional spiritual form is manipulated, communicating messages of universal queer acceptance, celebrated with dancing. The three monitors present three queer dancing figures with unapologetic attitudes, which simulate the clubbers who embrace their identities and revel in themselves.

This work explores how Chinese queer community can be visible in the club scenes. The audience moves through the space, observing queer bodies in the clubs, and also, they move through queer celebration.

The videos below are projected on the white wall

Installation: Apr.24 – May.16, 2021. MCAD MFA Gallery in Minneapolis
Photographers: Trina Fernandez, MCAD Design Work
Music: Junyao Zhang
Light: Junyao Zhang
Projection: Junyao Zhang
Curation: Junyao Zhang
Equipment: Media Center of MCAD