It is neither this nor that: a search for material and spatial representation of the ‘in-between’ cultural position
AffiliationFine Arts and Music Collected Works
Document TypeMasters Research thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2017 Siying Zhou
This research, drawn from my own experiences as both an immigrant and a tourist, investigates the cultural space of ‘in-between’. I explore the possibility of demarcating this in-between position by working with culturally disparate objects and images to create temporary material artefacts. By constructing an installation, I ask if the unhinged and dislocated cultural experience of the in-between can be transposed to other people. Using everyday objects, images, languages and commonly-practiced activities, I locate four intercultural events, and their related scenarios, in the form of sculpture, videos and performance. Each scenario depicts a propositional mode of cross-cultural interaction. Through this creative process, the ideas of the in-between transpire from the dynamic articulation and representation of cultural difference. In this research, language, the human body, material form and geographic sites are perceived as various forms of cultural representation, manipulated to construct cultural conflicts and negotiation. Incidents, such as phonetic translation, transformation of one’s cultural identity, the appropriation of the existing products and the human intervention of a geographic site, interrupt in the signification process of the existing cultural forms. These reveal the openings in the linguistic structure, the idea of the Self, material composition and the cultural identity of a place. Through these openings, the in-between is represented in the notion of cultural hybridity as a unique place for forming culture and the Self.
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