Vicky (Yijia) Tang
Vicky Tang (b. China, 1997), studied Latin dance and classical piano professionally in China. She received her BA in Visual Communication from the School of Fine Arts at South-Central University for Nationalities. In London, she has practised at Independent Dance (ID) and Siobhan Davies Studios and collaborated with Margarita Zafrilla Olayo at the Tate Britain Archive.
Vicky works with dance, performance, visual communication, choreography, painting, and film. Her performative language explores questions about how our bodies can be self-archived and transformed by movement.
Her work has presented in London at Work in Progress Show, Royal College of Art (2020), The Creative Space Autumn Exhibition, Arlington House, (2019), Archiver(s), Tate Britain Archives (2019), P.3-P.117, Tenderbooks, and in New York at the School of Visual Arts Illustration Residency (2019).
I aim to visualise intangible realities: the inability of communication, the attempt of dialogue, and the unbalance between language, and body movements. By connecting the division between the realm of memory and the field of experience, I reflect on the closely related subjects of the body as archive and physical memories, and how they transform through movement.
I consider movement as a bridge for a continuous loss. It presents as a transformation for human connection, as well as awkwardness, a humour that echoes our vulnerabilities.
How to disappear
In my performance, I played with the idea of uncertainty and fear without knowing, inspired by Zen Buddhism and Tao-te Ching. Furthermore, the invisibility and visibility through sharing and communicating different qualities of drawing and dancing. Here, I bring pictures close to my body and become visible to the spectator, transforming performative action into archiving notations.
I believe that art isn’t there to explain things. It’s there to affect people and to activate the relations between the senses. As a performative communicator, I want performance space to be a place of permanent debate, and the spectator to play an active part in perception.
A Living Archive
Transmission in Conversation
The project draws on Marcel Mauss’d research on body technique in 1950. Mauss argued that the body is a repository of the form of usage. Here the ‘body as an archive’ uses the materiality of the body to accumulate documents and then trace the knowledge stored back to the body.
The theory of dance, like memory, form bodies. German philosopher Marcus Steinweg said, “give me your material, and I will show you what you are not doing with it.” This project asks how we can redefine archival material and use embodied knowledge to bring it alive - actively performing dance history, reconstructing, and reimagining the lived experience.
The project is a collaboration with participants at The Creative Space, a studio space programmed with artist projects and creative workshops run by SPACE for homeless people at Arlington hostel in Camden.
Mask-making workshops were translating the action of communication into a performance. In a responding work, I separated myself in ‘double motions’ and travelled between myself and the four masked dancers to create a work that functions as a kind of call and response.