Keep them till you die
mix media installation
This work is an installation of mixed media, specially made for ‘Crypt Gallery’ in London, the space for the ‘ IMMUREMENT’ exhibition (2019.11). ’Crypt Gallery’ was originally a bomb shelter during World War II, which was later used as a tomb and eventually transformed into a contemporary gallery. So this exhibition space carries many years of history and war scars. ‘Keep them till you die’ communicates with this special space in the sense. This installation looks like a family scene that has just experienced violence. A fallen chair, a table with one leg missing, a desk lamp scattered on the ground, etc., all hint to the misfortune of the owner. The ultraviolet light bulbs hanging from the ceiling illuminate the text messages written on the chairs and tables. I wrote some secrets on the furniture with a transparent pen. This information is invisible in daylight and can only be revealed by UV light in the dark. The reason for this represents the concealment of secrets, and most people will keep secrets in the dark until they die.
For the working process, I invited people to write down their secrets on paper and put them in a bottle. After one week I collected and selected some secrets and I wrote them on the chair making them become a part of the installation. All the furniture that I found in charity shops and I carefully selected the ones with scratches and marks. The reason I did that is to add more narration in my work. Expect from the writing I add on them, they already carried some stories. This work creates an uncanny and immersive scene that looks like a domestic space. It allows the audience to peep at others’ private life, but at the same time, it also reminds them of their secrets.