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Sanzu Ding and its Motif: Hypotheses on the Origin and Evolution of the ‘Hammer-Sickle’ Symbol,

2013 - 2018


“Sanzu Ding and its Motif” is an archaeological subject “Professor Yao” has being extensively researching during a yearlong period. The ‘Sanzu Ding’, more commonly used as a ritual pot- tery vessel, bears a mysterious symbol uncannily similar to the hammer and sickle of modern communism, which was unearthed by archaeologists in 1921. Carbon-14 dating showed it had been made around 3000 BC during the Neolithic period. Professor YAO, a specialist in ancient Chinese ideograms praesents six hypotheses on the origins and evolution of this symbol based on her extensive research in archaeology, semiology and psychoanalysis. “Professor Yao” is in fact a fictional character played by the artist, and some of the works cited in the research are files forged and mined from research artefacts.

The formation of the fictional personal “Professor Yao” has been a process unfolding through a multi-layered series of performances. The work stemmed from an initial series of performative lectures held in universities and art centers across France, China and Germany. 


Embodying the authoritative role of the invited academic, she espoused her research to an audience of unknowing students. In later stages within an exhibition context, the research as expanded and disseminated into a constellation of media and records through photographs, light boxes, ceramic objects, printed text and video installation are displayed in the manner of a museum collection.

This project has three parallel forms: lecture-performance, exhibition, and video Screening.

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