In 2016, for the MMCA Changdong residency in Seoul, I exhibited a body of works titled, ’Self-portrait of a circle’, including a video, a performance and an object work. I had found the mobius, which since has been a key metaphor, tool and carrier of ideas surrounding identity – especially that of the transracial adoptee, but more broadly, the poetics of embodiment. Returning to this form, I have made another mobius from Saekdong, a Korean traditional fabric often used for the sleeves of hanboks. There is a self-portrait taken in this mobius outside my bedroom window in Summer Hill and the video component of the original exhibition in Seoul, visualing what becoming this surface-in-process may look like.
“When I press my two hands together, it is not a matter of two sensations felt together as one perceives two objects placed side by side, but an ambiguous set-up in which both hands can alternate the role of ‘touching’ and being ‘touched'.”
Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception : An Introduction (London: Routledge, 2011): 93.
surface-in-process, 2022, inkjet print, framed 21cm x 29.7cm, photograph taken by Jana Ortanez
Self-portrait of a circle, 2016, single-channel HD colour video 16:9, 3mins 48secs
Mobius 2, 2022, saekdong silk fabric, timber, thread, 75cm x 195cm
Life, Love on the Line, PROP Gallery, Ashfield, Wangal Land (Sydney) w/ Natalie Quan Yau Tso, Tanaporn Norsrida and Jana Ortanez
Curated by Sineenart Meena
Photo Credit: Jana Ortanez