In America, You Are Asked Why Are Leaves Green?” is a multi-media work made by artist Jinjin Xu and Jiaoyang... Read More
In America, You Are Asked Why Are Leaves Green?” is a multi-media work made by artist Jinjin Xu and Jiaoyang Li, comprised of a split-screen video and a live performance, embodying the paradoxical tensions central to our work as immigrant artists: With tongues silenced by our homeland, what can we say in America? What are we expected to say? How are we listened to yet misheard? How can we authentically tell our stories to an inherently foreign audience, and must we be consumed by the American gaze?
The split-screen video parallels the labor of Chinese factory workers and silkworms through a satiric reimagining of the Chinese mythology of The Silk-Worm Horse, in which a horse betrayed by its owner leads to the creation of the Silk Goddess. The horse—killed and stripped into horse skin by its owner—transforms into a mulberry leaf and wraps the owner’s daughter into a silkworm pupa. Amidst stuttering loops of laboring/insect bodies, our voices weave together and apart, self-consciously reflecting on our roles as artists whose work inevitably mythologizes our homeland. Modern myths are interrogated: the source of globalization is traced to the repetitious movements of female workers whose corporeal labor is likened to the physicality of silkworms.
Immigrant artists constantly betray their sources. “Only in the mother tongue one can express his own truth,” writes Paul Celan, “In foreign languages the poet lies.” ; Every word we utter in America, then, is betrayal. Yet, like silkworms consuming their leafy homes, we eat off American palms to gain a platform for our work.
In the live performance, we mirror each other uncannily as our bodies gradually merge as one. The slowness of our movement is entrenched in disgust, the unconscious, and moves from censorship to self-censorship, orientalization to self-orientalization. This precise, meditative, yet agitated performance traverses individual concern and awareness into a shared experience.
Functional cookies help to perform certain functionalities like sharing the content of the website on social media platforms, collect feedbacks, and other third-party features.
1 year 1 month
This cookie is associated with the AddThis social sharing widget which is commonly embedded in websites to enable visitors to share content with a range of networking and sharing platforms. It stores an updated page share count.
This cookie is associated with the AddThis social sharing widget which is commonly embedded in websites to enable visitors to share content with a range of networking and sharing platforms. This is believed to be a new cookie from AddThis which is not yet documented, but has been categorised on the assumption it serves a similar purpose to other cookies set by the service.
Performance cookies are used to understand and analyze the key performance indexes of the website which helps in delivering a better user experience for the visitors.
This cookie is used by Google Analytics to persist session state.
This is a pattern type cookie set by Google Analytics, where the pattern element on the name contains the unique identity number of the account or website it relates to. It is a variation of the _gat cookie which is used to limit the amount of data recorded by Google on high traffic volume websites.
This cookie is set by Google Analytics. It stores and update a unique value for each page visited and is used to count and track pageviews.
Are small, encrypted files that track users’ actions and are used to identify users between different websites. Targeting cookies collect user information and use it to build a profile of users’ interests and then show personalized ads for that specific user. Targeting cookies help to attract customers with targeted ads.
Used by Meta to deliver a series of advertisement products such as real time bidding from third party advertisers.
Used by Google AdSense for experimenting with advertisement efficiency across websites using their services.
1 year 1 month
Stores the visitors geolocation to record location of sharer.
1 year 1 month
Tracks how often a user interacts with AddThis.
This cookie is set by Youtube to keep track of user preferences for Youtube videos embedded in sites;it can also determine whether the website visitor is using the new or old version of the Youtube interface.
This cookie is set by YouTube to track views of embedded videos.