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'The Body Knows Silently' by Liao Wen at Cai Jin Space, Beijing


In the exhibition “The Body Knows Silently", Liao Wen focuses on the critical status of "the body in the ceremony" by combining sculpture with narratives, and focusing on the physical and mental conflicts hidden behind the rituals of marginalized women. 

The works exhibited this time revolve around three ancient female rituals: The Thesmophoria in Ancient Greece, The Adonia and the Hysteria Healing operation. The artist is deeply attracted by the contradictions of the body reflected in the ceremony. In the process of decomposing the ritual and tracing the mythology, she reproduced the conflicts between death and rebirth, instinctual desire and ethics, and control and escape.

The maternal atmosphere of the exhibition space contrasts with the female uterus that releases energy in the above-mentioned ceremonies. Liao Wen has transformed the wood and silicone that she is familiar with  into slender and twisted bodies placed on top of the damp soil. The sharp joints in the sculpture are connected to the soft skin and flesh, and the detachable parts are connected and balanced to form temporary stability in the conflict.

As Richard Sennett put in the book「 Flesh and StoneThe Body and the City in Western Civilization] :"Ritual heals. Ritual is one way the oppressed—men as well as women—can respond to the slights and contempt they otherwise suffer in society, and rituals more generally can make the pains of living and dying bearable”. "The Body Knows Silently” attempts to give a voice to the silent history of the human body experience, so as to bring relief to the contradictions and pains that may still continue.  

18.6.21 — 15.7.21

Cai Jin Space

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