Shuang Shuang

Mediated by the humidity in the air, I find my visions calibrated to the swamp. The sunlight gets deflected and diffused by the moisture. In diffusion everything finds its twin, its double image. I think I see a lion giving birth, or a beast devouring another. Soon I realize it’s the one and only Shuang Shuang, the two-headed liger-tigon.

Shuang Shuang is born with breasts, penises, clitorises, ovaries, scrotums, labia, uterus. They possess all the sexual organs of both sexes without looking incorrect or fictitious. I open my eyes wide. They are just too real to be a dream. However impossible the dual state is, one thing is sure: they are not a feeble phantom, but a stunning presence. They seem so careless and innocent, never worried about having to land on one side or the other. Their paws stomp on earth forcefully, heads swinging up and down in all directions. They keep nibbling on each other’s back affectionately, letting out harmonious roars. Their lion-like features are rather august, but they behave like big fluffy kittens. 

As the Taoist canonical text I Ching says, “All things carry the female and embrace the male.” A lot of the time, peace is tantamount to staying in solitude, desireless. Looking at Shuang Shuang makes me hate the limits of my features shackled by biological determinism., I’m sterile, inert, trapped in a single sex. 

The question is: Can we be accused of wanting more? What if embodying duality guarantees us more, not less. What if it is sustainable? What if duality cannot be obscured or deflected as pathological? Shuang Shuang is such a gleeful manifestation: “Dao begets One, One begets Two, Two begets Three, Three begets all things.” As Tao Te Ching goes, being of both sexes is never an unnatural category. This congenital and unconditioned premise of undifferentiation is central to Daoist philosophy. The joyful and energetic presence of Shuang Shuang struck me hard. I couldn’t help but want to learn how they nest, how they romp, how they swing their mane, the deserving attitude they hold as if nothing can deny them the resources to thrive. 

I don’t know how to feel, maybe I feel handicapped with my lonely singular state of being. Grumpily I immerse myself in the shade under a palm leaf. A large drop of dew falls on me. I am taken out of breath for a while, it’s the dew the leaf has retained. I look at myself in the puddle beneath me. My sense of pleasure is not worth mentioning in comparison to Shuang Shuang. Soaked, my heart crumbled. I’m too lazy to dry myself.

I perfunctorily dip my tail in the buds of a few hydrangeas, until my body is covered with pink and yellow pollen. I smell effeminate and I look eerily colorful, striking, delicious and fatuous. I wait patiently by the cedar tree. I let my guard down, wishing to be looked upon as defenseless prey. I don’t get what I want. Maybe I’m overdressed with the intense colors of the pollen that make me look toxic and intimidating. 


The Macalline Center of Art (MACA) is a non-profit art institution located in the 798 Art District of Beijing and officially inaugurated its space on January 15, 2022. Occupying a two-story building with a total area of 900 square meters, MACA unites artists, curators, and other art and cultural practitioners from around the world. Through its diverse, ongoing, and collaborative approaches, the Center establishes a new site on the contemporary art scene. Guided by the “work of artists” and backed by interdisciplinary research, the Center aims to bring together a community passionate about art and devoted to the “contemporary” moment so as to respond proactively to our rapidly evolving times.