I AM FINE: Not Completely Falling Apart - PhMuseum

I AM FINE: Not Completely Falling Apart

Ziyun Zou

2020 - Ongoing

Life is fragile. During the lockdown, a complete transformation of life was experienced as if everyone had to press the pause button on the routine of their lives. There was a demand which was issued out of this fabric of life and with this, a series of questions arose between the space of endurance and fragility.

Fragility was a sense that I had been coextensive with since my earliest childhood. I was born in a small room and lived there until I was two and a half years old. That room was the extent of my universe. I was a locked away secret enduring isolation, a social blind spot, unrecorded in a state of not knowing. That room is like a scar that lies deep within my flesh which will never be erased. Memories can be like scar tissue drawing lines within your process of becoming. Imagine the shock of seeing the literal scars on my mother's body. Such scars are written on the outside whereas mine are written on my invisible inside.

So, I am back within a confined space. It is as if my first room is folded into this room. Maybe it is like an echo chamber. A whole constellation of figures circulate within this space: trauma, isolation, memory, affect, ghosts, uncanny, mourning, oblivion. The images start to circulate as well but are as if there are gaps between images and words. I am in search of a space that might occasion a meeting point of images, words, and gaps. This otherness of space is what I call art because it is the place of aesthetic fascination.

In this third space, I finally experience an acceptance of my life. It should be understood as just another texture or even a text already written. I say to myself that this space is the fold of my exteriority, a meeting point of the fragility of life within its endurance of the conditions which sustain it.

Life is fragile but it endures within a curvature of becoming other.

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  • Breath
    -It is hard to imagine that one day people will breathe cautiously. She walked from the isolated small room to the balcony. The only place she can breathe, she picked up a plant-succulents, a kind of plants that are strong enough and can survive on their own. She thinks we may be able to get virus-free oxygen from it.

  • Flies
    -During this time of being "trapped", it seems that time is frozen and the rhythm of life is completely disrupted. The brain is full of chaos. Gradually, her head was no longer fresh, and it was difficult to breathe, like a plastic bag of garbage covering her head, these flies were surrounding her rotting head. At that moment, I look at her through the lens, just like I am watching a wax figure in a mirror in my room.

  • Second Child
    -Fear of gaze. In the past, because the government only allowed one child per family. Unfortunately, she was the second child. Her mother secretly gave birth to her in a small room. She was hidden in that room and grew up to two and a half years old. This is probably the cause of fragility caused by trauma. Or it is the reason why she is afraid of strangers. She is even more afraid of other people's gaze. The gaze of every eye seems to be violence.

  • Mother's Path
    -She asked her mother "Can I take a picture of your scars?" But she never thought that there were so many scars on her mother's tummy. Those scars looked like centipedes. She was standing behind the camera and was so shocked that she pressed the shutter hesitantly. She almost forgot that apart from mother's two C-section operations, her mother also suffered from cancer and other diseases.

  • Mask
    -She took off the wig and put it on the sofa. Looking at her clear face, I asked wonderingly "why do you use these wigs?". She answered "Because they can cover my characterless face and make me look more beautiful. " During this period, everyone wore a mask. The mask was small, but it blocked communication between people. Using fake things to increase beauty seems to be the same as wearing a mask to block the virus.

  • Lines
    -There is no choice of directions in her life when the piece of fabric enfold her whole head. Lines, she is hanging on it like an utterly worthless person.
    These parallel lines are the path of her life. The sky and her living environment are entirely separated.

  • Spume
    -She described herself as falling into a black abyss. The foam was like foam stirred up by waves and disappeared when the tide was low. Her face is so fuzzy that no one can see clearly. She is waiting for the bubble to disappear.

  • Beetle
    -A beetle is always defined as a kind of pest. Like the beetle in "The Metamorphosis" written by Franz Kafka, and its range of movement is allowed to be that small room.
    But now the outside and inside world seems to be the same world. They both full of fear, the fear of being locked; the other is the fear of becoming a beetle. This space is divided by iron gauze.

  • Sense
    -She sits on this sofa and watches TV every day. Every single day, she looks like a sculpture, motionless. So fragile, she seemed to be able to feel that she was close to death because she was old enough; she could only move slowly, sluggish. Just like these sands would one day cover her whole body completely.


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