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A Better Life



50 mins

YAO Qingmei undertakes this performance project after a month-long stay within the "Aranya community." Located on the northeast coast of China, surrounded by barbed wire and equipped with surveillance cameras, Aranya is a vacation village, a gated residence intended for the middle class. Operated and managed by a real estate company, this place is a separate world known for its Western architecture, luxurious lifestyle, and "high culture" values.

YAO invites employees of the company to engage in the performance. She explores the notion of boundaries and the fluidity of the human body within the structure. The guardian, the janitor, the real estate agent, the maid, the cafeteria waitress, the receptionist, and the administrative staff mainly come from the surrounding impoverished areas. Paradoxically, they are heterogeneous and irreconcilable elements within an established filtration system. The three performances based on the routines, postures, and words of the employees record and disrupt the spatial and social boundaries in this spectacle of daily life.

GOLF, 16 surveillance camera images, 1 hole



Video-documented and 16 stills from the surveillance camera

A golfer pushes his ball from the entrance of the Aranya community. Following a precise route, he traces the 16 surveillance cameras to the amphitheater. The surveillance images are projected in real-time on a large screen in front of the audience. The silence of the room is interrupted by the arrival of the player, putting the golf ball into the hole at the center of the theater.

Poetry of a Day


Performance documented in video

The performance brings together eight company employees in different positions. Participants summarize the body postures, formal expressions, and routes related to their daily work. After reciting a "good morning" poem as a vocal exercise, they engage in a physical game with their work clothes bound by an elastic fabric.

Thanks for the support of TaiKang Space in Beijing and the Aranya Art Center.

Thanks for the material from Magician Space and Catch Space in Beijing.

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