Yajing Hu is a recent graduate from the Central Saint Martins MA Photography program based in London. Hu’s practice is rooted in transitional states, the ‘in-between’ and interstice between the internal and external. Hu looks for the dislocations in society that subvert the individual experience into the collective. Hu practices refusing the extremes of ontological dualism and tries to make work which exists in the middle or at the boundaries of things, using a variety of media in an attempt to reveal the aesthetic sensibility of the in-between spaces, where ambiguity and elusiveness reside.
Uniform’ explores the relationship of the individual in society, questioning how social and cultural conventions and constructors interfere with the individual’s perception and evaluations and how these conventions influence behavior. To what extent do the traditions and stereotypes of language, education, gestures, style, clothing and perspective influence and mask who we are. To what extent does the external form our uniformity.
This work developed after the death of Hu’s mother. On her deathbed, as her breathing changed it was difficult to determine whether she was still living or passed. She could only measure a sense of life by feeling her mother’s pulse.
“At that moment I was struck by the symbolic nature of the heartbeat. The heartbeat is actually proof that we are alive. Something I myself had taken for granted.”
Hu’s performance expresses how our heartbeat is a subliminal but critical rhythm, we are present in the world without ever really noticing this rhythm. The work is comprised of two components, the first is a performance where a sensor placed over her heart, sending the rhythm of her heartbeat to a perforating machine. In turn, this machine punches a hole into a strip of 16mm film. Each performance will record on 100ft of film.
The second part of the work projects the recorded film at heart height onto a wall.
To view more of Yajing Hu’s work please visit her website.