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"2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage": Shen...


Hi, my name is Shen Xin.

Provocation of the Nightingale is originally a four channel video installation, what is shown here is a special edit of the work as a two channel video installation for the New Museum Triennial.

The work is born out of a long term research on the assimilation of Buddhism into different cultural contexts.This work focuses on Buddhism in South Korea.

Buddhism in Korea is a forerunner in gender equality when it comes to women practitioners, which is very different from Tibetan Buddhism. However, many aspects of the experiences within Korean society like most East Asian societies are largely under the influence of patriarchal traditions and practices. This experience along with flocks of foreign women coming to Korea to practice Buddhism is the base of the fictional dialogue between the two women.

In this conversation, the lovers criticize and sympathize with each other. The Buddhist teacher who is an immigrant with the manager of a DNA company challenge each other’s belief systems, while revealing in equal measure their vulnerabilities and affections.

Filmed in the theatre of Asia Cultural Centre in Gwangju, South Korea, the two channels’ protagonists and contexts are positioned in different spatial mappings of the theatre, the platform where the audiences can sit and watch these films is an extended presence of this spatial memory.

On the opposite screen of the lovers, is first a motion captured animation of vloggers on youtube sharing their DNA testing results. These monologues reveal the disparities in the commercialized DNA testing tools and databases, at the same time give credits to the way it empowers some by illustrating and confirming history and trauma.

While the various animated characters dance around the theatre, the TV screen containing found footage is positioned in the forefront of the theatre space. The footage shows a collection of materials in which affective associations are fabricated.

Mostly focuses on religious practices’ assimilation and the circulation of established belief systems in both historical and personal contexts.

"2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage": Shen Xin
"2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage": Shen Xin

Audio guide recorded on the occasion of “2018 Triennial: Songs for Sabotage.”