Sai Di is a Vancouver based artist. She has a bachelor degree in Computer Science, and is currently completing her BFA at UBC. Her interdisciplinary practice is mainly concerned with re-imaging the “spaces”, through drawing, performative gestures, digital collage, and material experiments of the everyday objects. Her works often engage counter or "other" narratives through allegorical and textural acts, in the exercise of “poetic remembrance”.
the universe will bring the cake to you
Sai Di, Video Works and Fortune Cookies, 2020
Fortune cookies traditionally served at the end of a meal in Chinese restaurants are in fact a North American invention. Fortune cookie sayings classify ‘fortune’ into money, prosperity and romance, in the rhetorics of upward mobility from material comfort and individualistic outlook on the future.
The work consists of seven customized messages to be packaged in the fortune cookies made by a food manufacturer in Vancouver Chinatown. Borderline between satire and poetic, each message juxtaposes a didactic with an object that toy with hybridity of desire and contraction in the hegemonic power of Western culture. The final work presented to the viewer results in a series of performative videos that interrogate the slippage of meaning, identity and power in the didactic textual practice. It blurs the boundaries between the authorship, packaging, dissemination and manifestation of “fortune” in ways that are all tied to the capitalist mode of existence. At which point, the message on a small paper slip written by a lay person starts to play its roles into someone’s superstition? Does the authority of magic lie in the cookie crust, the interpretation of a fortune seeker, or none of above?
Very special thanks to my dear friends who helped me to bring life to these fortune cookies!
Fortune #1(cat) performed by Stephanie Bueno
Fortune #2 (cake) performed by Chipo Chipaziwa, Jelena Markovic, Leyla Rose, James Alberts, Reiko Inouye
Fortune #3 (butterfly) performed by Leyla Rose, Chipo Chipaziwa, Sai Di
Fortune #4 (banana) performed by James Alberts, Reiko Inouye
Fortune #5 (glitch) performed by Margaret Joba-Woodruff
Fortune #6 (arms) performed by Margaret Joba-Woodruff, Sai Di
Fortune #7 (floor) performed by Reiko Inouye, Sai Di
Magics of the Acknowledged
Sai Di, Livestream Sound Performance
Duration 12m 58s, 2020
In this performance I ask the question how the gesture of acknowledgement can move beyond the didactic formality and translate into embodied acts in the practice of magic? From primary senses, embodied animality, cultural identity to the mystic nature of the land we are situated, the performance recollects the alchemy process of the memory, imagination desire and understanding. Inspired by German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen’s piece “Stimmung”, the embodied process seeks to acknowledge “magic thinking”, grounded in a sensible experience suggests but does not fully attain cognitive articulation. Incorporating digital lens, folk art and everyday materiality, my performance aims to activate a movement between the macro- and microcosmic, the unconscious and the political.