Sharon Low’s solo exhibition ‘Female Ghosts….and Other Stories’ will be on display around the school until Friday the 19th of October.
Female family ghosts (past, present and future) | mǔ hún 母魂
Once upon a time… there was a small child, and that small child was me, and before that I was a baby… you may not remember, but you were once a baby too… your parents were also small once, and so were your grandparents… a much longer time ago, they too had grandparents, and they, too, could say: ‘Once upon a time’… and so it goes on, further and further back. Behind every ‘Once upon a time’ there is always another. We can’t see where it ends… or begins… grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother… That takes us back into the past, into the distant past. But you will never reach the beginning, because behind every beginning there’s always another ‘Once upon a time’.1
Female family ghosts (past, present and future) was a project started during my MA at UAL, where I became interested in my own family history and culture: this is in great part the story of the Peranakan Chinese2, a story of migration, blended cultures and languages, the karmic spirit or code of the mothers, daughter, sisters… those that came before me, those living now, and those who will continue the next generation.
If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.3
From the singularity of a human life to the entirety of humankind, reinventing itself generation after generation, extending beyond the human scale, this cycle is manifested at a micro and macrocosmic scale. One might think of the vastness of the cosmos – endlessly expanding and contracting, collapsing notions of past, present and future into one co-existent state.
The thread of life has never been interrupted from the very beginning up to this present moment.4
… and other stories
A precursor of the Female family ghosts project, these are part of my ongoing work which focuses on childhood, with a particular focus on the role of play, as well as the interaction of family relationships.
- Paraphrased from E. H. Gombrich, A Little History of the World
- Peranakan Chinese, or Straits-born Chinese, are the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to the Malay archipelago including British Malaya (now Malaysia and Singapore, where they are also referred to as Baba-Nyonya) and Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and southern Thailand, between the 15th and 17th centuries.
- Thich Nhat Hanh
- Thich Nhat Hanh
Tuesday 09 Oct 2018
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