ArtworksQUILT OF THE DEAD (work-in-progress)Performances

Chang Yoong Chia - Quilt of the Dead - PerformancesFirst performance during "Chow Kit Fest" in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2002.

I sometimes embroider the obituary images as a form of performance. What I normally do is to go to a spot, sit on my stool and stitch. I usually stitch for 8 hours per session. I wait for people to approach and talk to me. I hope to engage in conversations about death with these strangers, as death is something we all have in common. I jolt down stray thoughts, reflection of the location I’m in and conversations with these people into my journal. Sometimes I bring along a donation box. The money collected is to fund my traveling to other states and countries with this project in the future. Sometimes I bring sweets along which I give away for free. These sweets are tied together in pairs with a red cotton string. I safety-pinned a small rectangular piece of red cloth on my left sleeve. Earlier, before the individual pieces of cloth were stiched into a quilt, I brought the completed stitchings along with me to show people.

The performance part of the Quilt of the Dead is a search for kindred spirits. I encourage onlookers and passerby to chat with me, hoping that I would find strangers to talk to me about their experiences of deaths that were/are significant to their lives.

I've performed at some location "busking-style" , while at other locations, I have been invited.

Chang Yoong Chia - Quilt of the Dead - PerformancesThe image is embroidered while looking at the obituary photo placed on the side of the embroidery ring. An embroidered image is usually done under 3 hours.
Chang Yoong Chia - Quilt of the Dead - PerformancesSometimes I include things to enhance the ritualistic aspect of the performances. (1) A piece of red cloth safety pinned to left sleeve. (2) Donation box. (3) Sweets tied in pairs with a red string.