Subbing The Subbing
2016 Made in Bangkok, Thailand
Work format: Video installation (Dimension variable)
Materials: 2 TVs
In Spain, there is a town inhabited by people with the surname Japón, which means Japan in Spanish.
400 years ago a group of Samurai traveled to Europe for some missions.
During their journey, Christianity was prohibited in Japan and some of the Samurais decided to remain to live in Spain to live as Christian. Those named Japón in the Spanish town today are regarded as possible descendants of the Samurai from history.
The work EL JAPONÉS aligns the artist himself as a “Japanese person who just came from Japan” and Mrs. Japón as a “descendant of historically the first migrant from Japan”.
The dialog itself looks like a simple praise of communication but the two juxtaposed "Japanese" people imply and ask different notions such as "nationality", "race" and "immigrant integration".
Special thanks: Mr. and Ms. Japóns whom I met in Coria del Rio
2022 at Doubutsuen-mae Shopping street, Osaka, Japan / 动物园前商店街（大阪）/ 動物園前商店街（大阪）
Work format: Performance recorded with iphone screen recording / 苹果手机录屏 / iphone画面録画
Materials: tarpaulin / 防水布 / ターポリン(2000 x 3000 mm / 1750 x 1500 mm) , any monitor / 电视监视器 /モニター
This two-screened video installation is composed by two videos, identically setting the scene. Two ladies sing a song named “The Great Pretender” by the Platters from 1956. It appears as though the ladies are pretending to be each other, but the point is what they are actually pretending to be.
In 1956, the song “The Great Pretender” was the first record by an African American singing group to reach the number one position in the US pop chart.
The song itself is about a man who is hiding his true self and pretending that he is fine.
In a certain point of view, it could be interpreted as though he does this in spite of wearing a white mask, separating from his culture and his true self.
In the 21st century under globalized capitalism, regardless of any scientific rationales, many non-English speaking countries are having local discussions about a common fear that their mother languages are facing a crisis; that the English language might destroy or alter them and their relevant cultures. This kind of discussion, taking place in so many areas of the world, is now seemingly becoming a cliche.
However, when two identical actions take place in tandem in different countries, and when the song is triumphantly sung by non-native English speakers, a contemporaneousness is shown over myopic cliches and reveals different levels of homophily.