Andrew Thomas Huang’s Interstice collection features three digital editions that re-imagine the theatric formula behind orthodox and occult rituals. Examining the way ritual is constructed and performed, Interstice creates a liminal space that interrogates the tenuous boundary between oriental nostalgia and cultural appropriation, posing the question: “How can we who are culturally displaced invent tools and rituals to exorcize from ourselves the illusions projected onto us?” Huang considers the way Chinese cultural practices are simplified and romanticised by Western cultural readings of it, as well as looking at the displacement that occurs during his own attempts to bring his current practice and childhood experiences together.

The works are inspired by the lion dances the artist saw as a child during clan reunions in LA’s Chinatown, where “the mechanics of eradicating evil, according to my naive understanding, occurred somewhere between me, the spectator, and the gyrating anatomy of the beast itself; between the action of the dislocated limbs of the half-hidden dancers and the trailing silk veil that obscured them.” Through the works, Huang has created a contemporary ritual in which veiled dancers connect and dislocate their bodies in the theatrical fashion of a re-imagined lion dance. The veil is central to the work; it is “a self-contained magic trick: a shapeshifting second skin loaded with potential energy to manipulate identities and temporal-spatial dimensions that would otherwise be rendered immeasurable in its absence.” Through his contemporary ritual, the artist examines the relationship between individual and cultural memory, as well as between embodiment and depiction.

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