HOU I-Ting 侯怡亭
Magic | 看我七十二變
Single-channel video
Duration: 4:16
2005
For this piece, the artist contorts her body to emulate the images of idealized femininity which are projected onto the wall behind her. The work’s Chinese title, 看我七十二變 (Watch Me Change 72 Times), is a reference to Jolin Tsai’s song of the same name that was popular at the time of its creation. In Tsai’s music video, the singer jumps in and out of different personas, as indicated by changes in her wardrobe. Similarly, HOU’s shifting gestures are agents of translation, mimetic of the divide between physical presence and absence of identity. She appears painted in white, which poses a stark contrast to the warm hues of the images that engulf her. How many identities can we present to the world? In what ways can appearance calibrate interpretations of these identities?

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