Blindfold is about gaze from female and how it is perceived by both man and woman. The central image of the sculpture is a pair of female eyes projected onto the top one of a pile of card board boxes. Strips of fabric are wrapped around the box, symbolizing the attempt of blocking female gaze. Around the box pile, dozens of 4x6 size photographs are hanging from the ceiling. Half of them feature a woman’s blindfolded eyes; the other half are blank with projection mapping of iconic images of female gaze produced by our media and culture. The boxes in the pile are covered by pages from fashion magazines, then spray painted over. In Blindfold, the female gaze "stands up" to the male gaze.
In 2015, I filed a sexual harassment complaint against a professor who claimed that he sensed a mutual romantic interest between us. Later on, he sent out an email to the rest of my class accusing me for manifesting a romantic interest in him by taking the form of repeated attempts to lock eyes with him in a suggestive manner.
What is a suggestive manner of looking, from a male's perspective? How are women's way of looking being represented in our society?
I wanted to create an art piece to invite people to reflect on the question of gendered stereotypes of looking.
I started out with a performance idea as shown in the graphic above. Later on, I was invited to present this piece at Abington Art Center as part of a group show. The venue was far from the city and the exhibition was a month long. It was hard to narrate the story in a form that has a beginning and an end, and I had no audience commitment. I need to change the performance form to something less demanding, more "permanent" and ongoing.
The final outcome is a video sculpture. I hanged dozens of photographs of an image of a blindfolded woman (myself) from the ceiling, and projection mapped images of woman's stare I found from fashion magazines, advertisements, movie posters and so on. In the center of the room is a tower structure made with cardboard boxes. I covered them with magazine pages, and sprayed paint over the women's eyes. At the top of the tower, I projection mapped a video of my neutral, non-sexual stare.
The audience members can walk among the hanging images and observe them coming in and out of the projection, creating a dynamic layering of meanings.