Coral Dictionary–An Interpretation Performance

Chang Yuchen

October 27, 2023, 6:30pm
Géza, 306 Maujer

“In Bahasa Melayu, the word for coral is karang; while the verb mengarang derived from it, means to compose, to arrange, to weave and to create. After looking at corals closely under and above the water closely for months, I start to comprehend get it: it’s the shape of coral that describes structure, classification and gradual formation, the porousness communicates endurance, and the unfathomable otherness of marine creature, the dim and yet wild colors, suggesting some sort of fictional fabrication – I am composing a language with corals, I’m creating a feral literacy. I arrange the relationship among shape, sound and meaning, I weave a web that preys on name, thing, soul.” – Chang Yuchen

In Coral Dictionary – an Interpretation Performance, co-hosted with Art Switch, artist and nature linguist Chang Yuchen will share her readings of coral bodies: their gesture, their texture, their propensity and more. Exercises of interpretation will be facilitated, meanings generated, multiplied, and exchanged by the participants.

This performance is part of Art Switch’s 2023 Art and Climate Edition, Nature Thinking, taking place between October 21-29, 2023 in New York, made possible through collaborations with Amant, Hauser & Wirth, the Swiss Institute, and the support of Teiger Foundation.

Image: Chang Yuchen Nature Thinking (2023)

Chang Yuchen works in an interdisciplinary manner, combining writing, drawing, teaching, and publishing. She weaves in and out of these activities, defying divisions of labor and strict categorization of mediums.

Yuchen was a recipient of Kahn | Mason SIP Fellowship, Poetry Project Curatorial Fellowship, Huayu Youth Award Grand Jury Prize, Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Grant and Luminarts Fellowship. She has shown/performed her work at Artists Space, UCCA Dune, Power Station of Art, Para Site, Taikwun Contemporary, Abrons Art Center and more. She was an artist in residence at MASS MoCA, Museum of Art and Design, NARS x Governors Island, Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, Textile Arts Center. Yuchen has written for publications including Heichi Magazine, Press and Fold, Art in Print, Randian, and she lectures/teaches at Yale University, University of the Arts, Center for Book Arts, Printed Matter, among others.

Art Switch is a NYC/Amsterdam-based nonprofit started in 2019 to mediate and accelerate a climate conscious shift in the arts. Art Switch functions as a knowledge center organizing conferences, programming, and exhibitions on a global scale. By bringing together art professionals and academics, Art Switch stimulates resource sharing, networking, and publishing to collectively define the climate-forward strategies of tomorrow’s arts sector.

Art Switch is a founding member of Partners for Arts Climate Targets (PACT), an international coalition of organizations within the visual arts, engaged in collaborative efforts to accelerate the sector’s broad adoption of collective climate action.