Delphine Mei @ Pflaster Festival in Linz, with Maiz as one of the venues

This exhibition was Mei`s first commission in Austria back in 2007 as part of Pflaster Festival in Linz, Austria. Taking a shop window as a vehicle of display this was crucial in translating the theme of exoticism. Mei having grown up in New York, but born in Taipei has encountered many an exotification and found herself often having to play the ethnicity card and feed into this fetish, in order to keep herself afloat. I found my self peering into what seemed like a precarious balance between private and public display. The porcelain like egg shells lay cracked and delicate and an erotic dance between Mei and her artistic partner writhing in negative form, covered in Kanji Calligraphy are teasing the viewer to watch them on TV. Cut-out magazines are posted and displayed. The Western like Asian girls stare back at me, it feels like I can hear them say: "I am just like you only.....", it seems like they are provoking and challenging your gaze. I peer in closer to see comic strips of the `White Male Geek`. A story parodying the o-so-many white men, unpopular and geeky in their own western countries, winning the affection of many Asian women when they go to Japan, Taiwan or China to teach English. This incredible translation is due to the Western myth that is so pervasive across Asia that any Western men (or indeed owning anything Western) are somehow a trophy and superior. For myself these images reveal the exotification on both sides between east and west and how easily we buy into each others` myths, then instead of working towards a greater truth that runs deeper that the myth . So many of us, choose the superficial exotic display as the one to be valued and adored.
Through simple visuals and materials arranged in a shop like design, I realise how easy it is to buy into this commodification of West and East, oriental and occidental. Although, the cracked egg shells are reminding me of how fragile we are, so I´m sensing a deeper human condition can be grasped if we can get beyond our transient facades. There is a sense of uneasiness as I look up at the paper dress hanging in the bright white light, with a few strokes of Kanji brushed across. It hangs like a ghost, I think, somehow, this gives me hope that our shadows can be easily integrated if we fear not our need to belong to each other.