"Loss has a monumental driving force to which artists have grappled with the subject of death and grief for centuries. Hijacking our systems to rewire and reboot our mainframe, applying an update in which can no longer return to its original software. There is no amount of turning it off and back on again to wipe the surface clear. The functions are not too dissimilar to that of a sick bug in which we are all susceptible to and in an event in which one hasn’t fallen to her illness, be assured that you will be infiltrated by this time next year. The packaging is not clear and depending on whom you ask, she goes by many names. She purposefully weaves in and out in and out to leave you with more gaps than flesh. Disguised through this extravagant display of disembowelment here lies the questions of how does one receive the gift of death? How does one unravel the many complexities assigned to one’s own grief let alone qualify entry to another’s?"
- Pui Kan.
Momentary Collapse, a second-hand account of mourning, is a vivid inquiry in accessing an individual's grief alongside that of her mother's. The events around of her grandfathers' death has played on the artist's mind, in retrieving this common ground between her British, Chinese identity.
One is held in a suspended space, unstable as she seek to locate her positioning and agency, firstly as not the protagonist but rather only as the writer. This recognition and acknowledgement of where one lands within a story supports the uncertainty of bearing witness. Thus, an unconscious action of seeking to provide grounding to whom should carry, retain and reclaim responsibility. Therefore, this second-hand account of mourning sets the scene for what becomes a struggle to comprehend death placed on another at such a young age. Although, this struggle was not fought within its current time due to many considerations to not pry into the life of a mourning mother. For the answers that she may not know of herself to the whereabouts of death. Nonetheless, fourteen years later this nuclear waste is safe enough to walk alongside, to fuel and seep into our system as if it were meant to. To let it wash over us like salty waves that hydrate the pores of a rock’s face. Yet, like that rock’s face, death too eats away at us and begs us to ask of the need for self-preservation, to what must we protect to the crashing waves of loss?
© Pui Kan 2020