Chen Qiulin: Tofu Tales
Tue 19 Jan 2016, 5.00pm
Chen Qiulin, ‘One Hundred Names for Kwong Wah Chong’ (still), 2016, 25-channel video installation. Courtesy the artist and A Thousand Plateaus Art Space, Chengdu. Commissioned by 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, Sydney.
Silken, fried or air-dried, tofu is one of China’s oldest and most commonly used ingredients. To Chinese artist Chen Qiulin, it’s also an apt medium that symbolises the material transformation through intensive labour. Her ongoing project One Hundred Surnames in Tofu (2004–) presents the one hundred most common Chinese family names carved out of tofu and slowly decaying over a period of weeks or months. The current iteration of the project, showing at 4A Centre for Contemporary Art in Sydney from 16 January to 27 February 2016, commemorates Sydney’s first Chinese-owned and operated business, Kwong Wah Chong—an economic and social cornerstone for the city’s Chinese community in the early twentieth century.
Presented by 4A, and ahead of her One Hundred Names exhibition at Shepparton Art Museum this June, Chen continues her project at MPavilion and invites you to share a tofu meal with her. Through exchanging migration tales, sharing food and discussing the main ingredient’s role as a storytelling medium, Chen and her guests will explore the experience of contemporary migration.
Stay with us after your feast: at 6.15pm, Chen joins a panel of special guests to discuss the role Chinese migrants have played in developing our city by the Yarra.