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Can’t Live With or Without You (2018) >

Can’t Live With or Without You (2018)

Installation with vinyl turntables, microphones, slide projection, publication, loudspeakers, photography


This project is based on a private collection, part of it is handed over to me.



As a dedicated follower of Marx and Lenin, Mao Zedong advocated Materialism Dialectics since the very early stage of the Communist Party, Mao published On Contradiction (1937) and On Practice (1937) respectively to distinguish his pollical philosophy from Soviet formulation. The projected vision of utopia in the above volume justifies the necessity of class struggle and revolution, which aspired to create motivation for comrades and proletariats to fight for the party before and after WWII.

I decipher a precarious aspect of the collection, while its constitution resuscitates the history of the Chinese communist regime and social reform ever since WWII until now. The creator of the collection underscores the contradictions inherent in Chinese communist ideologies, inconsistent policies, and the actual influences on humanity.

In theory, social relation is built upon the production of materials, which marks the trajectory of history and its narratives; hence, “Production” reveals capitalist exploitation of labour and proletariats, which generates inertia for social changes and affiliated movements. Text and images from that collection delineate how an individual endured in that special time frame in Mainland China, while the core of ideologies barely remained and the class struggle became political manipulation instead of dialectical opposition between dominance over social resources and the lesser majority. Under the context, the collection resurrects a piece of history that “things” were evidence for baseless accusation during an era of madness, provided that the ideological narratives had been radically changed, the existence of the collection already inverted the established boundary between belief and politics.

The collection owner still suffers from the trauma that rooted in her childhood and adolescence, which is resulted in the loss of faith in friendship and humanity. Nevertheless, she has been engaging in communist activities in Hong Kong and China since the 50s, swimming with the current and sometimes against it.