one-to-one performance: 4 hours
"Future of Imagination 5"; Sculpture Square; Singapore. 2008
Lojong is a Tibetian Buddhist meditation in which one practices putting herself in the position of another person, as a way to expand compassion.
In this literal exercise of Lojong, I invited participants – one at a time – to tell me about their most harrowing experience, and promised a parallel account of my own in return. I then sliced myself a wedge of lemon and sucked on it as I listened to their stories.
When participants finished sharing, I offered them a fresh lemon wedge to bite into, then proceeded to tell their narrative back to them – in the first person – as much in their own words as I could remember.
The thing that makes horrible experiences so much worse is that – on top of everything else – we feel desperately alone. It can often seem like no one in the world can possibly know what we are going through, or have gone through.
This work offers the suggestion that while the causes for our suffering might differ, the pain we endure is very much shared.
photos by: Urich Lau