‘Clean Me’; site-specific installation; used bars of soap, sebum, excretion, hair, water, scent; dimension variable

Close-up of ‘Clean Me’

Close-up of ‘Clean Me’

Close-up of ‘Clean Me’

Close-up of ‘Clean Me’

(Photo documentation by Jacky Jaan-Yuan Kuo)

In one of my early artistic practices, Clean Me, I repeatedly cleaned the floor and walls of the exhibition space using the collected bars of soap from the bathroom of my family house. This was developed from the experience of enclosure in vapour how I saw the transitory condition of a bar of soap’s shape, its renewal by the fusing of another onto it. They were worn down against my family’s skin, their shape mutating, changing. The alienated domestic relationship is silently, yet actively, reenacted in the bathroom every single day as we rub ourselves with individual temporary sensations of sebum, excretions, hair, and steam.

I collected them for half of a year, pausing their wear to prolong a domestic atmosphere and to integrate a fresh intimate relationship into the art space. The concept of ‘home’ was permeated outwards through the shower cubicle. The scent of the soap, as well as the interaction between the cutaneous surface of my body and the surface of the exhibition space, were acting in tandem as a medium to represent the interacted trace, traces of time, and impression of affections

The display of the scattered articles, the used bars of soap - their scent, their stains - as borrowed objects which represent the universality of shared experience, suggest an absence of my cleaning and a projection of a commonality, a picture of a family. My emphasis on the changing forms of the material as a disintegration of pictorial fragments serves as a metaphor for the fragile constitution of the family consciousness in response to the affect; the invisible personal memory, and the continuous shift of understanding and meta-cognition.

This idea of fragmented perception and memory is also replayed in the damp environment which, like the bars of soap, also serves as a transitory viewpoint.

All is temporary, containing within it a fragmentary incompleteness, and it is this atmosphere which performs and incorporates what is embodied in its materiality, yet it also alludes to a completeness that corresponds to other synchronisation.

(ENG︎︎︎中文)   (︎︎︎Back to Overview)