Rabbit God
Mixed-media installation
The installation consists of serval media, dimension variable
Kunstpodium-T, Tilburg

Why does a concept seem absent in one social context but a collective understanding in another?
Tu’er Shen is a Chinese deity who manages love and sex between homosexual people. His name literally means ‘rabbit deity.’ Calling people rabbit (Tu Zi) is also a swear word (like faggot) in many Chinese areas. However, unlike the God of Wealth, nobody knows about the rabbit god; there are barely any images of this deity, just like the topic of homosexuality is often “off the table” in China. I made a rabbit god statue before I researched him. Then I transferred his figure into the objects we used to worship the God and ancestors.

300X200X200cm, video duration 00:02:23
From L to R: silk paper, clay, PVC string, canvas, crayon, acrylic, wooden stick, TV, blue hyacinth, porcelain spoon, chopsticks, rotten fruit, candles, tinfoil, alcohol, sand, match, incense, rice cover, wool needle, plaster, newspaper, acrylic, iron wire

Above: Yuan Bao is a kind of Joss paper–money for spirits. We believe ancestors/gods can receive the Yuan Bao if we burn them through the worshipers.

The red bow: Yue Lao, a god of marriage and love for heterosexuality in Chinese mythology, uses a red cord to connect destined lovers. I made one for Rabbit god too.

In the flowerpot, I carved the earliest recorded rabbit god (by Yuan Mei during the Qing dynasty). Hyacinth represents constancy, while blue hyacinth expresses sincerity.

Chinese paper cutting generally has symbolic meanings, and It is also used as decoration for offerings to ancestors and gods.

There is a painting in my memory about Yue Lao riding a crane under the moon, and I replace him with the rabbit god.

Play Video

Rabbit god, duration 00:02:23
Video in the TV set