Stories from the Room

Stories from the Room

Stories from the Room is a participatory long-term project that collects personal writings about the shared experience of living through the “new normal”. An open call for personal writings will be conducted online and offline, welcoming contributions from across continents. All received contributions will be systematically organized into a living archive, using the participants’ writing as components to construct a sculptural monument.

In a time where we suffer from isolation and acutely feel the disruption of the pandemic, I am exploring the possibility of imaginative connection to bridge seemingly parallel localities, as the antithesis to the idea of closure and exclusion.

As a traveling project, Stories from the Room will be realized in different countries including Japan, China, Australia, Kazakhstan, and Ethiopia. While the basic structure of the project will remain consistent, the execution of each archive might each be completely different, depending on the local cultural environment and social conditions. For example, the archive in Japan was exhibited in a gallery space that closes periodically. In Shanghai, China, the archive will be open to the public for a month before going through a long period of closure with the Rockbund Art Museum’s exhibiting space (where construction is scheduled to take place in December). As for Kazakhstan, the observed setting can be a rather private one: such as an apartment or community library, etc. On the contrary, Ethiopia might be more suitable for a public display, where the archive can be freely accessible to a broader audience in daily life.

That is, this will be a global project with local emphasis.

The challenges of this project are obvious. Coordinating remotely within time differences can be one. Particularly however, is incorporating different languages, different record and reading habits, and different modes of working digitally.

Still, the collected archive remains reproducible and will be circulated between all mentioned localities. For what does it mean to exchange stories between people living divergent realities, when there is usually a language barrier? To what level does it reveal a degree of privacy or solidarity? These are some of the questions I am hoping will be addressed in the process of executing this project, which I foresee will remain fluid under plenty of alteration and adaptation along its course.

We are excited to welcome you to join this journey (both virtually and physically) with us, that we may embrace all upcoming uncertainties and challenges together.

Starting from Rockbund Art Museum, Stories from the Room will be implemented across different locals context that project is situated working with local institutional partners and peers.

more about open call done in collaboration with Rockbund Art Museum and implementation of the archive within the institution please see the link

Jasphy Zheng is an interdisciplinary artist who living between the US and China.