Patty Chang: We Are All Mothers


Artist: Patty Chang

Curator: Yuan Fuca

From July 10 to October 10,2022, Macalline Art Center is proud to present solo exhibition: “We Are All Mothers” for Chinese-American artist Patty Chang.

“We Are All Mothers” is Patty Chang’s first institutional solo show in China. Chang emerged in the New York alternative art scene in the mid-1990s, re-examining the critical parameters of body politics and identity construction with challenging performance and video works. The exhibition takes its name from Chang’s latest video essay We Are All Mothers (2022), where the artist reflects on observing a porpoise necropsy as part of Learning Endings, her collaboration with wildlife pathologist Aleksija Neimanis and ecofeminist writer Astrida Neimanis. The results of the scientist’s investigation into the creature’s cause of death were recorded in an animal rescue database. The meetings online, the explanation of the necropsy, and the washing of the dolphin’s body comprise a ritual of death. In the film, the artist uses memory game cards to build a visual archive for the deceased dolphin, delving into the deeper emotional connections between organisms in a moving, contemplative way. We Are All Mothers is a continuation of Chang’s exploration into the themes of care and trauma within an extremely fluid creative practice. Previously, in Milk Debt (2020), Chang examined the similarities between letting go of anxiety and breastfeeding. Performers from different places pump breast milk while reading aloud lists of fears that take different forms, thereby reflecting insecurity and systemic oppression on a larger scale.

From this point, the exhibition moves back through the artist’s previous work of performance and loss in everyday life. In Love (2001) depicts the artist and her parents exploring what at first seems to be a long kiss, Que Sera Sera / Invocations (2013-2017) engages with her father’s death and the birth of her son, and the Letdown (Milk) (2017) series of photographs offers a record of abandoned breast milk while searching for a shrinking body of water. Through deeper relationships that connect images and text, body and will, and other mediums, Chang reveals the shared losses of the individual and the collective, so that we can reconsider the process of healing.

By presenting solo show for this female artist, Macalline Art Center hopes to explore more deeply the aesthetic and lived dimensions of contemporary performance practice. The solo exhibition has been curated by Chief Curator-at-Large Yuan Fuca and presented by Curatorial Assistant Chen Baichao and the Curatorial Department. The exhibition was designed by Fang Yuan.


About the Artist

Patty Chang

Patty Chang is a Los Angeles-based artist and educator who uses performance, video, installation, and narrative forms when considering identity, gender, transnationalism,

colonial legacies, the environment, large-scale infrastructural projects, and impacted subjectivities. Her museum exhibition and book, The Wandering Lake, investigates landscapes impacted by largescale human-engineered water projects such as the Soviet mission to irrigate the waters from the Aral Sea, as well as the longest aqueduct in the world, the South-North Water Diversion in China. In addition to numerous awards and fellowships, her work has been exhibited at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, New Museum, M+ Museum in Hong Kong, and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. She teaches at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA.


About the Curator

Yuan Fuca

Yuan Fuca, Chief Curator-at-Large of Macalline Art Center. She was the founding Artistic Director of the Center between 2019 to 2022. Yuan Fuca has previously held positions at Independent Curator International in New York City, Spacetime C.C. (the New York studio of American sculptor Mark Di Suvero), and the Beijing Contemporary Art Foundation. From 2016 to 2019, Yuan co-founded and managed Salt Projects, a non-profit art space that offered a site for practice and exchange among young artists and practitioners. Fuca’s curatorial practice has been supported by Parasite (Hong Kong), Maxim Gorki Theater, Asia Society, Japan Foundation and New Century Art Foundation. She is the founding editor of Heichi magazine, the online bilingual publishing platform affiliated with Macalline Art Center. Her writing has been published on platforms such as Artforum, Artnews, BOMB, Flash Art, and Frieze.

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.