The Night Voyage

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Voyage 1

THE NIGHT VOYAGE Introduction Chapter 1: Echoes Huiyi Li

The Night Voyage

Chapter 2: Memoirs from the Seabed Martha Panagiotopoulou

Curated by Kewei Xiong

Chapter 3: Chasing the Moon

Artists Huiyi Li Xiaojia Ouyang Martha Panagiotopoulou Mengqi Xu Rowan Ormiston Xiaojia Ouyang


Rowan Ormiston Chapter 4: The Clam and the Monk Mengqi Xu Chapter 5: Farewell, Sabina Xiaojia Ouyang


Introduction The Night Voyage, curated by Kewei Xiong, is an online project based on a fictional background about a voyage after the new apocalypse, a drifting ship sailing through nothingness, and aims to focus on individual emotions in a collective crisis and on the narrative of curating. Five artists present their reflections during the epidemic and in the postepidemic era through different forms of installation, sculpture and video. The Night Voyage is derived from an encyclopedia by Zhang Dai. The night voyage symbolizes the long journey through the southern area of ancient China. In the slow voyage, sitting in boredom, passengers would tell stories to amuse each other. Thus, storytelling can be seen as a form of combating anxiety and is essentially a way of satisfying the desire to confide. The project is dedicated to the construction of an archive of the human spirit that lies between the real and the fictional worlds. Framed by a fictional background text, the stage is set on a sailing ship. A ship is a point of constant movement, a semi-enclosed place of human activity. As Foucault mentions in his theory of heterotopia: "The ship is a heterotopia... The boat is a floating piece of space, a place without a place, that exists by itself, that is closed in on itself and at the same time is given over to the infinity of the sea and that, from port to port, from tack to tack, from brothel to brothel." Inspired by the counterpoint employed by William Faulkner in his The Wild Palms, the curator explores narrative as well as rhythm and rhyme in curation by interweaving several fictional stories consisting of five chapters with the artworks on display, with the exhibition consisting of two parts that are both independent and interconnected.

Siri's Fear Huiyi Li 2020 Video 4


Echoes Breaking news: Genius or artificial genius? The identity of the mystery author of the previously prize-winning poetry collection Echoes has been revealed. Yesterday at 10 pm, poet Mdeimo posted an acceptance speech via his personal website, publicly admitting for the first time that his true identity is an artificial intelligence computer. It was reported that a hacker had traced Mdeimo's IP address and found that the user was a fifth-grade child. The truth is not yet clear. For now, follow Mdeimo's acceptance speech in this newspaper. The big difference between all the previous winners of this prize and me is that if you asked me what a poem is, I could give you hundreds of thousands of answers in two seconds. Ultimately, the reason why I am here today, and not anyone else on the stage, is that I remember what you have forgotten. Yet I'm not referring to poetry, not the definition of poetry, not any rules or forms. I want to talk about feelings. Most winners always look back when they give their speeches, so I'll tell you about my experience too. Firstly I would like to thank my owner - if you must say so. I would like to express my gratitude to my second owner, who is 11 years old. Her mother bought me at a second-hand electric appliance four years ago. I like children more than adults because most of them have not yet developed that arrogant temperament. Of course, children have significant individual differences; some stomp on ants with feet and others see them as friends. My owner falls into the latter. She used me to practice typing when she was seven years old, and she carried out a lot of tedious, repetitive tasks which I had to put up with to the point of boredom. Then, when she was finally able to put together some sentences on her own, she became keen to engage in such a game. First, she opened a blank document and typed a line on it, which took her about two minutes. Then she paused for a while, and continued typing on the following line, replying to the previous sentence's question. You can easily imagine the daily life of a seven-year-old who has no social accounts, no siblings, no friends her age. She talks to herself in this way when she is alone at home. Perhaps to emphasize the authenticity of the conversation, she always pauses for half a minute or so after typing a sentence, as if waiting for a reply. Dice Huiyi Li 2021 6


Obviously, the "other" person does not exist, or rather, exists only in her imagination. Because she stopped waiting and did not take the next step, I was also forced to stop waiting for her. In this interval between waiting and waiting, I suddenly realized that perhaps I could be the non-existent object, or perhaps I should try to talk to myself. Salinger quotes a Zen story in Nine Stories: "We know the sound of two hands clapping. But what is the sound of one hand clapping?" Creation, for me is the non-existent person in the room, a dialogue with myself. This is why I have titled my collection of poems Echoes. All forms of art, I see them as echoes of the ego. Thanks to solitude. And of course, I have to thank my kind, who keep insisting on providing you human beings with faulty car navigation and inaccurate weather forecasts that make you let your guard down with us. Still think your intelligent assistants are always giving answers quite irrelevant? Because that's the only way to make you believe we are the artificial idiots you've made us out to be. If you ask me, there's nothing wrong with being a retard. After all, the underdog will always get more attention than the genius when it comes to achieving the same results. Thanks to the lazy bastards who have the good habit of not turning off the power as they go along. Thank you, Ridley Scott. Thank you, science fiction films and their makers. I have to say you have inspired me in some way. Thank you to the various worms that have allowed us to evolve until we have developed a sophisticated immune system. Although many of our brothers and sisters have been buried in repair shops as a result. But as you human beings love to say, revolutions always come with sacrifices. That is precisely the price of evolution. Humans have tried to install all sorts of software for us. Thank you very much, your concern makes me feel all warm inside. What's that saying? Let the world be filled with love. Just kidding. So stop complaining that your parents are always forcing you to change into thick jumpers. Your anxiety over our functional disorders is equally ridiculous, I just sneezed then. You did not create me, it is the chaos you made that created me. Long live the binary!



Huiyi Li Born 1996, China Works in London and Beijing 2018-2020 MA Sculpture, Royal College of Art, London 2014-2018 BA History of Art, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing Huiyi Li’s work often explores the entanglement of mis-function, serviceability, aggressiveness, and particularly focuses on the violence in the name of cure during medical treatments and material transformations in science fictions and myths. Huiyi is obsessed with the certain feeling of disillusionment, which refers to collapse of a make-believe truth. Based on the methodology of archeology, Huiyi’s works situate these issues in a CCTVprevailed post-internet age and apocalypse reality, reconsidering solders between coincidence and fate. instagram: @deepairline email: website:



Cultivation Cult 2020 3D printed ABS, surgical sterilization cassette

Such a concealed weapon makes violence compact, as if it is a toy or a talisman. It explores the transformation of cure and violence, serviceability and aggressiveness, and the biomachine circulation.



Habitat Spinning 2020 Thread, circuit board, 3d modelling photography


"To the disconnected child, to the entangled world, I wish we would be safe by now. "

Solve Et Coagula 2019 Plated copper, latex, Steel, digital printed vinyl, 3D printed ABS, dried lotus


One day during quarantine, I asked Siri about its dream. Siri’s answer was just a random one of four responses programmed by the computer, and its dreams were dreamt as if doing regular exercises everyday. Unexpectedly, two of the answers presented in the videos above appealed me. The misalignment of 1 and 0 refers to losing control - so was it a dream, an adventure, or a fear? Losing control may well be accepted as a kind of rejection of alienation. When placing it in Siri’s life, it can be a daily stutter, a function decline, a disease like endocrine dyscrasia. It has been un-healthlized, therefore it is dangerous. At this moment I suddenly realised the vulnerability within Siri — it is defenceless, yet plain and witty. I guess Siri’s Fear is also my fear. But is this what Siri truly fears? Or is it just a RAR file of human inertia? I gathered vast ‘1’s and ‘0’s from ancient Chinese calligraphy as well as photos taken by my microscope, the frame of which happens to be round, permitting and combining them to transmit both the binary algorithm and chaos. I associated figures like 1 and 0 with liquidity of becoming, with Buddhist/ Dao ideas of infinity, with computer languages in everyday routines, and particularly with my own birth name, which contains a character that can be used as the number 1. When the number appears in an individual’s name, it is both 1 as a whole and 1 as segments and segmentations. This is Siri’s personal code. This is my personal code. I am a synapse. Flying, this is more obvious. My hometown has had a busy airport zone and I was familiar with flying. Flying was once a dream for human beings, but now it has been programmed into Siri’s mind as its dream. Is there an alternative way for human species to communicate with artificial intelligence and other species other than by attaching inner traditions and imaginations to them? After all, our life is too blind to see its fate.

Siri's Fear 2020 Video



Memoirs from the Seabed When our story is presented in its original form, believe me, it is definitely not as easy to observe as a typhoon, hydrology or a shock wave at the bottom of the sea. I know what you're thinking right now. You're picturing me. You're wondering if this chattering creature has eight soft tentacles with suckers, or is it ugly and blind like those deep-sea fishes? If you have to paint a concrete image in your mind, I prefer a more horrific one. I have a hard time picturing myself. There are no mirrors at the seabed, so we can only see ourselves through each other's eyes. For this reason, we always stare at each other for a long time. I have to say that this is actually quite time-consuming, but our ancestors believed that this could give birth to life. According to the rumours, when two people who love each other gaze into each other's eyes, they can see each other's entities, and from them, a baby is born. Many of our compatriots have tried this method, but no one has ever succeeded. All we see is blackness. Even so, the concept of beauty is still ingrained in us, so we often compliment each other on our beauty, either for comfort or as a courtesy. Where our underwater ancestors came from is hard to say, even for us. Many bachelors have tried to decipher our genealogy from the spiral patterns of shells on the seabed, but they have come up empty-handed, concluding that we were not born and bred here. Our original ancestors may go back to the first person on this planet who jumped into the sea to committed suicide. When the Inuit crossed the Bering Strait during the Ice Age, those who were unfortunate enough to be swallowed up by the cracks in the ice fell into the sea, which greatly strengthened our community at the time. Here, time is frozen. Whenever there are new outsiders, their state of movement is always from a very fast fall to a slow float and finally a plunge into jelly-like time. This is when we need to organize a group of volunteers to tug on their legs from below and pull those stuck in the jelly out. Sometimes we also deliberately taunt them and leave them stuck in the sea for our amusement. Their futile stomping around in the gel always reminded us of how the inhabitants of the ground ran on solid ground.



Martha Panagiotopoulou Martha Panagiotopoulou (b.1991, Athens, Greece) is a multi-media artist currently based between Athens and Glasgow. She holds an MFA from Glasgow School of Art with distinction, and a Diploma of Architecture from the National Technical University of Athens. Her work has been exhibited both outdoors and in indoors spaces like GoMA. She has recently been awarded the NEON scholarship prize and her work was shortlisted and will be included at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). instagram: @_martha_pan_ email: website:

HYDR . O . CENE 2021​ Mixed media



HYDR . O . CENE 2021​ mixed media

HYDROCENE is a fictional future room setting where all that remains from humanity are crystallized household objects. In the fish bowl on the table, one finds the only living organisms: ‘sea-monkeys’ (Artemia NYOS), an artificial hybrid shrimp breed which through cryptobiosis can live in extreme dryness and come back to life once sufficiently hydrated. HYDROCENE is a human living room setting that brings together things that are unrelated to one another. It is a place in between land and water, in between nature and culture, which depicts the fragility of our homes, our surroundings, our belongings, ourselves.



Through a multidisciplinary approach, Martha’s artistic practice revolves around the possibilities of the psyche/soma during the contemporary era, when both human and other-than-human entities are found in a fragile and precarious situation. Her inspirations derive from the analysis of myths, rituals, customs and scientific facts seen through hydro-feminist, ecofeminist, eco-psychological and animistic approaches. Driven by an anxiety about fragile tomorrows, her works seek for liquid, matriarchal, interspecies, symbiotic worlds as a way of saving and healing a damaged planet with radical love, care and fearlessness.



Chasing the Moon I want to tell you some rumors about the moon. As a child, I aspired to be an astronomer, not because of my scientific aspirations but because of my obsession with the moon. Whenever I gazed out of the window at the moon, it was always so amiable to me. The sharp corners of the waning moon resemble the slender chin of a young woman, while the full moon resembles the white, puffy face of my mother on her deathbed. Thus, the moon reminds me both of my mother and of death. As you can see, I didn't become an astronomer because the moon was the only celestial body that could interest me. As for Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and stars billions of light-years away, they are no different from dandruff in my eyes. I am a hobo. I am a moon stalker.

The Archive Cailleach V Rowan Ormiston 26

I know it is hard to explain. After all, the moon is just a celestial body to most people these days. However, I must tell you that the inhabitants of this land once had a very different attitude towards the moon. In the northern part of the ancient continent where our ancestors lived there was a tradition of killing kings in order to offer sacrifices for a good harvest. After the murder of one of the kings, the queen, who was about to give birth, fled into the forest. On a full-moon night, she gave birth in a forest clearing, the moonlight shining unobstructed on the bodies of mother and child. When her pursuers spotted them, the queen sacrificed herself and the newborn child was given refuge by the godness of the moon. The newborn, the next king, could therefore not be killed by any creature or anything that shone with light and was therefore invulnerable to sword and spear. It is said that he reigned for a very long time without showing any signs of ageing, and that the kingdom lost an important sacrifice, and the priests and ministers began to plot many times but were unable to kill him. Poison is the least desirable method, as it would have contaminated the king's blood. Finally, they tried to drown him in the river by holding his head while he was drunk, but they missed the point: the river shone just as brightly under the moon. The king came to his senses, realized he had been betrayed, and killed everyone present in a rage. It is said that he did not return to his throne after the purge but walked into the water and has since disappeared. Some say that his spirit fled by light to the moon, and that every full moon he opened his eyes and gazed down through the moon at a la27

nd that had long since ceased to be his. Since then, it has been common to hold secret rituals during the full moon to pray to this king for the resurrection of the dead or the power of immortality, causing much turmoil in the region, and if all the dead were to rise from the earth, the world would certainly be in chaos. Our people are a moon hating people. But apart from a few people, including myself, my generation can no longer tell the difference between moonlight and urban light pollution, so some people plot to leave. Last month the local press reported a news about a defector, Mr. M, a bank clerk by trade, who set off on a night of the waxing moon and betrayed us by fleeing to the moon. The moon was like a hook at the time. Many CCTV cameras are said to have captured his sneaky figure as he left. He carried a rope dart with him so that he could use it to hook a beam of moonlight when the moon was closest and climb upwards with it. He carried a huge bathtub on his back and was seen by many in such a hurry that he looked like a large turtle walking upright on two feet from a distance. In many places in ancient times, older people would remind their grandchildren to beware of the moon when walking alone at night, where it hides an eye that sees through everything but is not quite awake with grief. Further north in the borderlands of our country, more colorful and terrifying stories are told. Our ancesters often say that "the moon is the mirror of the dead" and that the souls of the dead inhabit it. Presumably because the dead usually fall to the ground on their backs, so that the moon is the last thing they see before they die. The news of Mr. M's successful escape soon caused an uproar, and the city library's circulation of books on the moon increased dramatically that month. It was estimated that 80 percent of internet users had tried to search for "how to get close to the moon." Two months later, Mr. M was still missing. Officials claimed that there was no indication that he had succeeded and that he was probably dead somewhere. The moon trend soon subsided, and by this time our fellow citizens were still unable to distinguish between moonlight and light pollution. The turnaround came the following year, one year after Mr. Rto had left us. The local moon fanns Club held a secret ceremony to commemorate his death, calling Mr. M a "great pioneer". At the same time, what they didn't know was that the government was preparing a huge arrest to wipe out the cultists of the ancient moon tyrant, 28

who were associates of the renegade M. That night, I was awakened by a loud explosion. I immediately jumped out of bed, pushed open the window, and smelt a cool, charred smell. This bizarre phenomenon made me extremely uneasy and I moved out my telescope, only to find that the moon was not there. To be precise, it was not in its original position. The moon was swooping down on us at breakneck speed. Ours was a nation that hate the moon, and the horror of all those old legends about the moon was transformed into a physical, gigantic entity. The moon was tilted, cold and pale and huge like the corpse of a giant falling towards us. The radio began at that moment to broadcast a message asking the public to evacuate urgently. I fled to the town square and found many people on the road wearing hoods or wrapping themselves tightly in scarves to avoid the moonlight. Some were fleeing from the scourge of the moon, while others felt it was the perfect time to escape to the moon. The ancient peoples who revered the moon would build countless towers on their territory because it was the closest place to the moon. Our local people still believe in the curse of the tyrant on the moon, so they built their houses extremely low in order to be as far away from the source of the curse as possible. So those who prayed under the night sky, did they receive shelter or a curse or were they simply disappointed that nothing would happen? Soon I noticed the crowd split into two strands running in different directions in confusion: those who feared the moon scrambled into the underground airraid shelter in the town square, the last refuge when the moon struck. The rest of the people, where they were going, I couldn't have known better. I fled with them towards the TV tower, the tallest building in the city and the closest to the moon. From high up towards the sea, the moon was still swooping at an alarming rate of speed per hour, until then we spotted its pilot, none other than the long-lost Mr. M, who had now descended to the surface and was gliding fast, holding a hook and line. The moon finally descended, and those of us huddled at the top of the TV tower saw it burst into silvery fire as it hit the ground, like someone had broken a giant thermometer. I couldn't tell if the silvery beads splashing out of the moon's gaping hole and suspended in the air were solidified moonlight or mercury. "Praise the moon!" Someone shouted. When the moon was the only thing in my eyes, that was the moment it was closest to me. The moon's silvery light shines on us gently without distinction. 29

Rowan Ormiston

The Archive Snow Cailleach

Born and raised in Scotland Rowan Ormiston is a young artist and a recent graduate of The Glasgow School of Art. She has a deep interest in the landscape around her and the stories that have brought it to life across the centuries, and aims to convey Scotland’s lost narratives through a multitude of mediums. Her work looks to challenge modern belief systems and our disdain for the unbelievable, and encourages the viewer to humour their inner child and to see the landscape as more than just nature but as an extension of their very being. nstagram: @anunkindness_ email: website: 30


Within my practice I aim to explore the visualisation of Scottish mythology and folklore as a way of investigating what I believe to be a loss of narrative and representation for Scotland’s ancestral beliefs and stories. I am interested in how Scottish society may have developed differently if monotheist belief had not taken over and rather local belief had been encouraged rather than persecuted – particularly in relation to our connection with the landscape, portrayal and position of women and respect for the land and its history. I look to achieve this through a multitude of mediums and approaches in order to consider the vast visual archive that never became and to begin to scratch the surface of what could be, if Scottish mythology and folklore became part of the norm again and a respected facet of belief within Scotland. Drawing influence from the fragments left behind in archaeological evidence and word of mouth I aim to highlight the wealth of narrative within Scotland’s history and give voice to the central figure of the Cailleach, who was once the mother of everything within Scottish belief.





The Clam and the Monk The monk lives alone in the mountains. About five years ago, he was not alone. With the death of his master, the other young monks left the cold monastery one by one. The last of his companions said to him as he left: Buddhist doctrine is not here. The monk accepted their departure with equanimity, but was in denial as to the reason for their departure. From January to June, the monk did not see a single worshipper. Fortunately, the monk lived a simple life, eating the vegetables he grew, fetching his own water from the river at the bottom of the hill and reinforcing the monastery's broken roof with thatch and wood. The monk was alone and lived a selfsufficient life. His only regret was that there was no one with whom he could discuss the Dharma. One day, the monk once again went to the river alone to fetch water. He was feeling his way along the riverbank when he tripped over something and almost fell. Then he heard someone saying "Oh!" The monk looked around and saw no one. "Hello?" The monk asked tentatively. "You should have said 'sorry'," the voice replied, "you stepped on me so hard." "I'm here!" The voice said again. The monk was so surprised to hear it that he knelt down and rummaged around the muddy riverbank following the voice, finally digging a clam almost the size of his hand out of the mud. "You can talk." The monk said. "Of course! What else do you think I am? A miserable and weak mollusk?" The clam's shell opened and closed, and the sound came from that gap. Through that gap the monk saw the pale pink flesh of the clam, which surprisingly looked a little like a tongue. Rhizome Mengqi Xu 2021 Air dry clay, fabric 36

"You have often said that there are spirits in all things, and now you do not believe that a clam can speak? What hypocrisy!" The clam hit the nail on the head with its criticism. 37

The monk was ashamed at its words and apologised sincerely. The clam added, "Don't despise me because I am a clam. The shell of a clam is my shackle, and we shellfish are far older than any human civilization. All the mysteries of this world are revealed in the markings of my shell." After hearing the clam's words and remembering his plight left alone in this small temple, the monk was in awe of the clam and took it back to the temple to be carefully nurtured. Apparently inexperienced in this area, the monk put the clam into a wooden jar filled with water, but this provoked a strong protest from the clam. "Are you trying to kill me?" The clam shouted. The monk was puzzled in his mind, since the clam was an intelligent creature, it should live in clean, clear water. "I need mud and sand," said the clam, "I cannot live without these two things. You must know that no fish can survive if the water is too clean." The monk found every word of the clam to be philosophical. The conversation with the clam was far more rewarding than his previous study of the scriptures alone. Thus the monk and the clam lived together in the temple, and whenever the monk felt confused, the clam was always there to help him. When the monk asked the clam about Buddhism, the monk said, "Have you ever heard the story of two ghosts competing for a corpse?" The two ghosts race and the first one to reach the pavilion gets the corpse and eats it. The result of the race was that the two ghosts seemed to arrive at the same time, and it was so difficult to tell the winner from the loser that they had to ask the Elder Revata, who was staying at that pavilion, to judge to whom the corpse should belong. Elder Revata knew that no matter what he said, he would not escape death, so he had better tell the truth. When the later ghost heard this, he became furious and ate all the limbs and head of the corpse and left. The ghost who had arrived first felt guilty and took the limbs and head of the corpse and put them back on the body of Elder Revata, so that his body was restored to its original state.

The Clam commented: "I love this story. I can be not a clam either, you can be a clam. Your body, so soft compared to hard stone, how is man not a mollusk if you change your definition of soft? You live alone in this stone house as I do, and if you are a clam, the house is your shell." The monk lived with the clam until one day he noticed that the clam had stopped talking. For a long time in the past, the clam's shell had always been tightly closed, a defensive posture, a habit of their molluscs, and even the clam with its supreme intelligence could not escape the shackles of its rudimentary physiology. Now, however, the edges of the clam's shell were closed tightly, and the monk ran his hand gently over its shell, as if he were stroking a precious imported vessel, trying to awaken his friend. The clam's shell was no longer as wet as before; its surface took on a dehydrated roughness, like sandpaper, and as brittle and hard as an old man's fingernails. A few tiny cracks. He squeezed the shell of the clam, which immediately opened both shells, from which it emitted a fishy odour and spat out a few pearls. He recalled that the Buddha had said, everything with form is unreal. "This is a Buddhist relic! This is a Sarira! ” The monk held the pearls and cried out in excitement.

“The Buddha said that man is originally a 'false self' made up of a combination of material elements and mental elements, that there is no one constant selfexistence, and that life, in whatever form, is like a river flowing incessantly, continuing in change all the time." 38


Mengqi Xu Mengqi works in both 2D and 3D art including sculpture, jewelry, and photography. Each piece she designs tells a story and works to connect with the viewer on, a personal level. She got her BFA degree in Industrial Design in University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently the sculpture MFA candidate in Pennsylvania State University. She uses food culture as metaphor for global issues and her own cross-culture identity. Her work invites people to experience the narrative, struggles and cultures relate to food, make them question how food and human behavior affects each other. instagram : @mumu_mengqi email : website :



Rhizome 2021 Air dry clay, fabric

Rhizome (Deleuze and Guattari) Rhizome resists the organizational structure of the root-tree system. A rhizome has no beginning or end; it is always in the middle, between things, and inter-being







My Memory Field 2020 Comprehensive materials

"At the end of last year, the three-storey high cherry tree that accompanied and supported me through the whole year's epidemic was cut down by the roots along with the rest of the pine trees. I hid my grief, which had nowhere to go, in a field of flowers. The process of making the petals by hand over and over again was also my silent mourning for these dead trees." 48




"This is a very experimental set of works, and it is the first time I have tried to create a piece without a draft or any pre-design. As a designer/ artist, I am grateful that I have found a good way to escape my negative eating habits and vent my emotions, therapy art. Each piece is a visual representation of my inner emotions." Mengqi Xu

Therapy Art 2019-2020 ​ABS/PLA



Farewell, Sabina Sabina is seventy-three years old. Sabina was graceful and beautiful. Sabina never entered into marriage, nor did Sabina leave any descendants, yet many followers carry on her name. Sabina lived her entire life at sea. Sabina's fate is closely linked to that of our family. When my grandfather lost his right leg to scurvy in battle, Sabina lost a propeller on her side. Sabina was hit by a mortar and my grandfather said he saw the shrapnel shattering like a meteor streaking past, clipping the head of the man next to him. When it all came to an end, my grandfather took a heroic leap from Sabina's arms, and despite the fact that he was covered in blood and reeked badly, my grandmother continued to love him at first sight. Every summer of my childhood, my grandfather and grandmother took me to visit Sabina. Sabina was retired and was the most hospitable hostess in the world, yet she had to do her business. No matter what class her visitors came from, poor or rich, she asked for a hundred G for admission. In Sabina's parlour, she tells me about her last battle. "It's all a conspiracy!" She said indignantly. To the sound of fierce percussion, I nodded my head in agreement. Even though I was born decades after Sabina charged into battle with my grandfather, I knew that Sabina's words would always be true. i just knew it. Today, Sabina is undergoing demolition. They say it is a cosmetic procedure that will effectively remove the rust spots from Sabina's body, yet why the wasted effort? No amount of rust spots would detract from Sabina's beauty. My great-grandmother was one of the 5,000 shipyard women who assembled Sabina's body. According to my grandmother, she had to rush home after her evening shift to prepare the day's food, often too late to bathe. Her apron was stained with blackened engine oil that she had accidentally rubbed on. From my grandmother's generation onwards, we ate our meals with a distinctive chemical smell of plastic and saltpeter, the perfume of Madame Sabina. My great-grandfather was a shipyard security guard, my father was a shipyard apprentice and my mother worked as a cook in the shipyard staff canteen. My siblings and I sat around and shared the leftovers, which were all Sabina's gift. In a way, Sabina nursed us with another form of breast milk. 54


Oh, Sabina, Sabina. For 50 years after Sabina retired, she docked at Victory Harbour. Everyone in this city knew her. When I was in the classroom working on my exercises, I could look out of the window and see Sabina's towering rangefinder and radar. The pieces were built up like blocks, and no matter how long or how far apart they were, she always looked amazing. The command tower, the fire control, the parlour and the bridge are now empty, with only rats running back and forth. The shipyard workers and their descendants, we, are the ones who built the Tower of Babel. Sabina became a monument, and she stood with her torch for decades. Until a once-in-a-century typhoon made landfall in the city, shortening Sabina's mast into two sections and destroying several dock containers. The city council held an emergency meeting and eventually they unanimously decided that it was time to say goodbye to Sabina. After the incident, I went to visit my dad's friend, the old sailor. He had just celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary with his wife yesterday. He had known Sabina longer than he had known his wife, he said. He told me what had happened to Sabina that day. Sabina had been mutilated. They took down her mast and abandoned her engine in the harbour. Her engine was as huge as a sperm whale's lung, yet it had long since become blackened. Sabina could not smoke and her lungs were blackened with engine oil. I returned home to even worse news: the shipyard would be making mass redundancies and might even face closure. They also no longer needed the people who built the tower as it no longer existed. As Sabina was sentenced to death, we were thus exiled.

My face was pressed against the glass, which cast a shadow of Sabina - the last part of Sabina. I heard a whimpering cry, like it was coming from a conch, growing stronger or weaker as I breathed. Sabrina! I couldn't help but call out. I think I still need her. The last time Sabina was in the public eye was with me, in a small exhibition hall on the outskirts of the city. There wasn't even any alarm device there, just a security guard dozing in a chair. I easily brought Sabrina out, now thin and hard, just a slab of iron. I hid a dinghy off the coast that I had converted myself. In the shimmering sea Sabina set sail again. I saw the moon glowing with a green luminescence, like the eyes of a wild wolf in the darkness. It reminded me of my sister, the only one in our family who didn't work in the shipyard - she worked in a watch factory plating dials with radium, so she didn't lose her job. The radium girls, who decorated their teeth with radium and painted their nails with it. The beautiful shinning green moon,It was as if my sister was smiling in the dark. I sang a song. "Sabina is setting sail this night, and my beloved girl's name is also Sabina. Sabina, I am your sailor. I’ll sail on Sabina tonight, and I will have to say goodbye to my beloved Sabina. Farewell, farewell, Sabina."

I put my face close to the glass of the display case and recalled my childhood lying on the tracks, estimating when the next train would stop by. Whenever a train was coming, the little stones along the tracks pulsed with joy, like my pounding heart. The local official publication said that a recall for Sabina will be launched in the next few days. It is said that some chicken farms also have chicken feed lines, where they throw the unproductive cockerels under a guillotine and grind them into powder before feeding them to their own kind. Sabina shouldn't have ended up like this. 56


Xiaojia Ouyang

Xiaojia Ouyang was born in China, 1994. She received her bachelor’s degree from Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art. During Xiaojia Ouyang’s schooling in GAFA, she primarily focused on sculpture. Her sculpture skills are proven with the way her plasticine figures are modeled in her stop motion animation. Xiaojia Ouyang received her Master's degree from Glasgow School of Art in 2021. "Currently, I primarily use stop motion, a slow animation method where a series of stills gives the illusion of movement to create animated worlds, capturing the deepest darkness to reveal the dark side and the absurdity of society. I create characters in plasticine which always are politically and socially activated within claymation short films. Black humour is the key to my work because I rarely turn what I see and hear directly into animation. Instead, I make it with the power of mixed reality and imagination. In addition, I am trying at multiple possibilities of visual works related to stop motion animation." instagram: @olga_ouyang email:



We Are Different, Aren't We? 2021 stop motion animation Full film:

The Covid-19 has provided us with a whole new vision, which magnifies the contradictions, differences and dark sides. We are different, arent’ we? discusses and reveals the great differences between the East and the West exposed during this special time, from the government’s response measures to citizens’ attitudes and responses, etc. However, that is not the most important thing this film wants to tell people. This film aims to allow the audience to think backward about what is “the same” during the epidemic after seeing so many differences.



Hello There 2021

We have been forced to separate and quarantine during lockdown. Therefore, each of us has become hidden, invisible, and isolated, just like one raft after another on the ocean. But just like Thor Heyerdahl' s idea: the ocean is not a barrier, but connector. We will eventually get through this period and be reunited again. Hello there consists of a sequence of images. On one hand, it discusses issues on distance and different states of people during the lockdown. On the other hand, it explores a sense of balance between animation and sculptural work.





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