Performance For Video at an Abandoned Factory Staircase,
The Great Progress is a site-specific installation and performance in an abandoned staircase inside a factory in Shenzhen. The deserted factory building after the economic reformation in the 1980s was renovated into an office building. At the same time, the unused staircase remains abandoned, and the history of immigrant labor remains silenced and ignored in official records.
Within 48 hours, I temporarily “renovated” the space into a simulated scene from the 1980s, a time when immigrant workers were immersed in heroic narratives by posters and stories calling them to contribute to a communist “utopia”, while being forced to work long hours in dangerous conditions. I performed acts of labor: mopping the walls and cleaning dust while avoiding shattered metal on the ground. I aim to bring attention to the unwritten labor in the economic circuits – within the past (factory) and present (corporate office) space. My performance is an act of reclaiming and re-writing spaces, to bring forth the ignored history and unheard voices - the regressive “progress”, the “heroic” victims, and the dystopian “utopia”.