Chunxin Yu

Unseen Body, Unheard Voice

If there is only one place that I know well of, it would be my own body. A living site that has endured all the changing inhabiting environment and all the unwanted judgment, manipulation, even violence - my identity will collapse without its physical entity.  

The conscious and unconscious focus on the body makes me highly alert and responsive to the immediate surroundings, from the bathroom at home to an open street in the public. My knowledge of spaces and their relationships is formed by the repetitive experience of them in everyday life.

Personal trauma that entrenches and is entrenched by established social conventions dehumanizes and objectifies the body. Subjects become objects. Spaces are not categorized or prescribed by whoever designed them anymore. Whether it is the intimate private or the vast public, the body surrenders its initiative and is subordinate to the instantly felt or the remembered emotions embedded in it. The complicated nature of private and public space and their intertwined existence in the everyday constantly appeals to me and discourages me as a woman who struggles to be seen and heard despite the vulnerability of exposure.

For this thesis, the final outcome is equivalent to the accumulation of processes. It consists of a series of time-based practices - writings that depict the past and the present, makings that demand lengthy duration. These practices use my own body as the medium and method addressing the site, spatially and vocally. Overall, I consider my thesis as in-situ performance - a reclaim of the everyday. Its boldness or subtlety that seemingly deviates from the ordinary defines and reflects what is the ordinary for the performer and the audience.  

Through a series of in-situ performances, I seek to acknowledge a space that is normally taken granted by myself and the cohort. Through using a real site annotated with metaphorical languages, I seek to manifest the ineffable and thus yet-to-be-legitimized sensations in everyday spaces. Through telling a deeply personal and sensitive story in public, I seek to reveal how architecture reinforces barriers spatially, socially and psychologically.