‘Repeat after me’
Video installation, sound, dimension variable, 2021
11 screens – one big screen with ten small screens, synchronized, 00:06:42
St.joost, Den Bosch

I spoke Chinese to non-Chinese speakers and asked them to repeat the sound I made. I recorded the performance, extracted the non-Chinese speakers’ parts, then edited a Chinese language exam. In the exam, you will only see and hear the sentences that non-Chinese speakers repeated. I played the video to ten native Chinese speakers and requested them to write down what they heard. I was the Invigilator.

The accuracy of the exam and the distance from the participator’s city to the Netherlands.

The following part is the process.

In the exam

What did I say during the performance? 

We usually don’t speak out our first impression of a stranger. Our instant thoughts on them may be strange or even offensive. But how about speaking it out in a language they do not understand? In line with these thoughts, I made a performance. I invited non-Chinese speakers into a room to repeat a sound I made. It is an initial comment on them I had, spoken in Chinese. It may be funny, a bit judgemental, or offensive, but they repeat it unknowingly.