"Power cannot be exercised unless a certain economy of discourses of truth functions in, on the basis of, and thanks to, that power." by Michel Foucault
Miscourse consists of two consistent series about representing the voices of minorities. I was inspired by Michel Foucault's discourse theory, in which he first defined discourse to describe practices that systematically form the objects of which they speak. Discourse is the representation and basis of the power. While the power would solidify it to deliver a certain purpose. What about the voices disfavored by the existing power and discourse system？Miscourse is a coinage that combines "mis" and "discourse", "mis" could refer to missing or mistakes, which means parts of the conversation are absent or misrepresented. In this case, the miscourse could be completely contrary to the discourse or a missing part of the current discourse.
The first part of the work is Tongue in the Shell, I used a tongue and a sea shell to create a creature. The tongue is the organ to make a voice and speaks out clear content. In the Chinese context, there are also phrases, including the word "tongue" to represent words and arguments. The inspiration for the visual expression partly comes from traditional Chinese myths, which say there are different levels of hell for people to compromise their mistakes afterlife. One of the hells is to torture the tongue of those who speak bad words. The image shows what happens to the tongue and the process is an analogy of what different voices might suffer. The tongue in the shell is a fictional alien creature, as a metaphor for underrepresented voices exiled, alienated or even eliminated by the mainstream. The images display an order of its existence, escape, imprisonment, cleaning, disintegration and. As the organ makes a voice, it finally was quietly displayed as an oil painting and will soon be eaten.
The work's second part is the Monument, a mobile installation with realistic tongues sealed in clay, embedded with screws and covered by fainted collaged newspapers, carved words in "Nvshu". The installation consists of several small blocks could be rearranged several times into different shapes, such as a tower or a tomb. Nvshu(Women's calligraphy) is Chinese traditional calligraphy only understood and used by a group of women in Southern China historically. They sewed this language on napkins and clothes to write about their stories and secretly communicate with female siblings and friends when women weren't allowed to access education. Nowadays, very few people can understand this language. It is a "quiet voice" created by underrepresented groups. The process mimics cementing, sealing something and solidifying the substance around it. The monument is a reminder of those voices buried in a society's historical development: ignored, forgotten and exiled.