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Room (1) Wrap
Single-channel HD video, color, sound
16 min 30 sec

A thick white sheet contorts itself on the bed, slowly rising and assuming a vertical posture, like a sculpture.The sheet is shaken, while the body of the dancer (Saadia Souyah) remains concealed beneath a light, flesh-colored turban. Successively, she hides behind a translucent white veil, then a black curtain, experiencing aseries of envelopments and unveilings. Finally, the dancer emerges from the darkness of the black curtain,revealing her body and hair, and begins the characteristic shudders of traditional Arab belly dancing. Thesebewitchingly intense tremors animate every muscle in her body, making the silky fabric of her nightgownshiver. Gradually, she unties her headdress, slowly revealing her face, her long hair moving freely. It’s theKhaleegy, a traditional festive dance of Middle Eastern women, as we catch a glimpse of her face and listento her breath. It’s the process of a body gradually unraveling from its envelopes, passing from the concealedform of an object to that of a human being. The shooting also metamorphoses, from a distant still shot to aclose-up capture of the character’s state of mind.


«Room» series

In « Room «, Yao Qingmei collaborateswith five contemporary dancers andperformers, gathered successively in thesame standardized hotel room to explorethe space. All have different physiques,genders, ages and skin tones, andpractice different types of dance. YaoQingmei maintains the diversity of thedancers’ profiles, subtly capturing theindividuality of each and guiding theirphysical expressions, urging them toexplore the various angles of an enclosedspace. These experiences are born of the artist’spersonal observations and perceptionsof the details of the hotel room during hisisolation in 2021 in Shanghai. Yao seeksan empathetic physical experiencedrawn from the improvisations of bodiesin the «room». This place refers notonly to a confined space, but also to apsychological one. This video seriesis the most reality-related part of the«mole» exhibition, a true testament tothe physical expression of dancers inan enclosed space, where the freedom,agility and diversity of the bodiesthemselves transcend the physical limitsof space and stereotypes.

Room "Flesh"

肉, Chair

Room "Rub"

拭, Frotter

Room "Observ"

观, Observer

Room "Walk"

行, Marcher

Room "Wrap"

裹, Draper

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