Since 2007, Yam Lau has been visiting China annually to explore various aspects of traditional and contemporary Chinese culture.Taking the form of digital video, computer-generated animation, and installation, Lau’s work involves extensive field research and spans art, cultural, and documentary projects. Nüshu:Echo Chambers is a computer-generated animation that transmits a writing script Nushu (women's hand) that was invented and circulated exclusively amongst women in Jiangyong County in feudal China. Forbidden to participate in formal education, women developed their own written language and passed it on to their daughters and granddaughters. In 2013 and 2014, Yam Lau travelled to the region to study the culture of the script, meeting the last practitioners and recording their songs. Back in the studio, Lau used the songs and the lyrics to animate an empty chamber in virtual space. Combining video with architectural installation, the virtual reality of Lau’s work is extended to transmit the language of this rare cultural practice into the gallery space.
Devoid of hands and stripped of their functionality, William Eakin’s photographs of vintage watch faces transforms them into markers of time on an entirely different scale. By honoring the integrity of the objects he collects through his photographs, Eakin works to foreground the narratives in which they had participated before reaching his studio – they are simultaneously metaphors of time and its individual capsules. They bring together such complex histories as the cultural production of the Cold War, alongside fingerprints of the workers who assembled the watches. Traditionally, a photograph is meant to depict a moment in time, to hold it still while keeping the surrounding moments before and after forever inaccessible. In Time, Eakin’s intent is to subvert this expectation, opening the image for contemplation of a fuller sense of the idea of time.