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Live a Life, Live a Death

Live a Death | 2012 | Mixed medium | 96 x 96 x 124 (h) in. (243.8 x 243.8 x 315 (h) cm)

Death is an integral part of life. In essence, we begin to die the moment we are born. We live a life and we live a death. Death is not the moment of transition to the end of life, but exists as an invisible force throughout life. The subject of death has been most puzzling and perplexing to humankind since time immemorial. The myth of the afterlife and reincarnation not only address the angst of mortality but also serves as a promise for an eventual escape from unendurable situations or from the anguish of unbearable boredom. From all different cultures come myths and legends about the underworld, imaginative and allegorical. I am particularly interested in the similarity between the Chinese myth of Mengpo soup and the Greek myth of the River Lethe. All those who drink from the River Lethe, or the Mengpo soup experience complete forgetfulness. Having been purged of all previous sins and knowledge, the dead spirit is sent to be reborn in a new earthly incarnation, and the cycle of life and death begins again.
In this installation, a circular sheer curtain encloses a number of ‘Mengpo soup’ bowls, creating a realm of obscurity. Surrounding the outside rim of the curtain is a group of daily found objects: a toy, a book, a lamp, a chair, small furniture, dinning utensils, medical apparatus. Among them, a teddy bear and a walker briefly epitomize the life span. Green moss, symbolic of life, is set amid the found objects. Strips of drawings of the geographic representation of the underworld intertwine with the group of secular objects – reminders of the co-existence of life and death.

Annysa Ng Atelier. Copyright © 2023.  All Rights Reserved.

Photograph a Light Switch | 2012 | Mixed medium | 16 x 28 x 11 in. (40.6 x 71.1 x 28 cm)