X reverse , 2011

A story about a woman in an empty building spying on neighbors, and binoculars installed outside the gallery. Spectators can spy on the gallery space, where I put all my things out from my personal room and used as a private space, and on neighbors through the installed binoculars. ( produced whilst staying in an artist residency in Taiwan)





X reverse

Do you know what this place is for? Have you ever looked into this space before? Did you notice a woman with black hair lives in this building? Have you heard small sound that she makes inside?

There is a woman living in this building. Her name is X. X wakes up in her small green room, which doesn’t have a window, at 9 o’clock every morning, stretching her arms in Taiwanese way. X slowly walks out of her green room. After having a quick look around the empty space, she has Taiwanese toast for breakfast alone. Slowly chewing the toast, she sits around the window and looks outside with Taiwanese face. X spies on the betel nut shop next to the building on the left. She spies on the woman with a yellowish complexion who is busy with rolling betel nuts with two hands and watches she lifts her head once every 5 minutes staring at people passing by outside with impassive face. Wistfully

In the empty building, X feels hungry in Taiwanese way. X makes lunch for herself at the Taiwanese kitchen, which has fire on the third floor and water and sink on the second floor. The separation structure is not convenient. Having lunch alone in silence, X looks out the window again. She spies on the next building on the right this time. She spies on the very tiny old lady overshadowed with the building and watches she sucks her toothless gum 51 times a minute. G u m m y, g u m m y

X also spies a white dog with a bit scaled gray nose passes by her place in light steps once every 4 hours and 19 minutes. Whoosh and again whoosh. Sun goes down around the time when X sees the dog makes the second pass. Even though she spends all day spying outside, she doesn’t feel so much hungry. She also feels a bit annoyed at cooking in Taiwanese kitchen, which has fire on the third floor and water and sink on the second floor. X decides to skip dinner and goes back to the window side to start to spy on the sport lottery shop opposite her place. She spies the slim young girl comes out with a long broom stick and makes a quick sweep in front of the shop every 1 hour 37 minutes 42 second Sweep, sweep. X also spies on the woman in the corner shop next to the lottery place scratches her head with her finger wearing a gold ring. Absently,absently,absently

Wistfully, sweep, whoosh, gummy, absently. Absently, whoosh, sweep, gummy, wistfully. Gummy, gummy, sweep, sweep, absently, whoosh. whoosh, gummy, absently, wistfully , sweep, whoosh.

Today as yesterday, nobody visited X. She goes to bed late at night. Next morning at 9 again, she wakes up stretching her arms in Taiwanese way and starts her day. Sweep, sweep, whoosh, wistfully, absently. Gummy, gummy, absently, sweep, sweep. Whoosh, whoosh, gummy, sweep, gummy, absently, wistfully, sweep, sweep, absently.

Today was a bit different.  5 minutes after the gold ring woman in the lottery shop scratched her head, when the tiny old lady sucked her toothless gum 1,468,800 times, a tall man with thick black eyebrows visited X.

He is the only visitor for a week. He asks X, “Is everything going well?” X feels somewhat awkward to speak out something after a speechless week, so she shyly answers to him in a small voice, “sweep, sweep, sweep, whoosh, whoosh,whoosh, wistfully, wistfully, gummy, gummy, absently, absently.” The tall man speaks, “ I hope it would be developed in more active way. Ah, also more experimental gestures are strongly recommended.” X replies with thoughtful face “absently, absently, gummy, gummy, wistfully, wistfully, whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, sweep, sweep, sweep”. The man says, “I think it is interesting. Please remember we always consider active communication with our neighbours.  O.K. Then, I am looking forward. I have to leave now as I have another meeting. I will stop by again” and leaves the space in hurry.

X is left alone in Taiwanese way again. It is just the time when the betel nut woman lifts her head showing her yellowish face, and it is 3 hours 57 minutes before the white dog with a scaled grey nose pass by the building. X gets some water on the second floor and boils it on the third floor to make Taiwanese tea. “sweep, whoosh, sweep, whoosh, wistfully, whoosh, gummy, whoosh.” “absently, sweep, absently, sweep, gummy, sweep, gummy, sweep.” Across the road, the slim lottery girl trots out with the broomstick. Nobody notices X.


* Click here to download the story in Chinese

* Click here to read an article about this work


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