LOTUS ROOT

2022, Digital Installation: Video Game, Sculpture, Sound

'Lotus Root' is an installation exploring representation of Asian females in popular media. It counters their hyper aestheticization and highlights the violent nature of their underlying objectification.

 

The work manifests as a fantasy video game, set within a giant lotus flower filled with glossy black liquid. Strewn throughout the environment are a series of hyper-real, anime-like avatars based on selfies of the artist, enhanced using the app, Meitu. The avatars perform looped choreography, recorded using motion capture and aerial performance to reference, glitch and evoke the anime trope of the ‘magical girl transformation’. Their bodies stutter between the hyper choreographed and beautiful lines of transformation sequences and the violent fragmenting and compressing of the glitched capture.

 

Taking the lotus as commodified symbol of ‘Asian-ness’ and as a further metaphor for Asian women’s objectification the work looks beyond its glossy and beautiful exterior towards the entangled roots under the surface. It seeks to expose the dark and ugly nature of objectification whilst also acknowledging how enmeshed it can be with one’s ideas of beauty and sense of self.

 

'Lotus Root' explores the chasm between lived and ancestral experience, the conflicts between representation and objectification and the messy and complicated process of reconciling dual identities.

Audio by Ben Dixon

Mocap by Limbo Tech

Commissioned by FACT. Supported with funds from Arts Council England and Liverpool City Council.