Breath of the Periphery
Breath of the Periphery, 2022
16 porcelain bodies
Breath of the Periphery is a collection of porcelain bodies resembling the shape of teapots – without lid nor handle – that have lost their ability to serve tea, but have earned the skill to sing like a bird. Functioning as a whistle instrument, the ocarina, the work plays with the notion of kinship and origin related to the cross-continental usage of the instrument. Historians believe the small, hollow-pitched sound-making object originated in ancient China around 2500 B.C. The clay whistle is a common thread that relates cultures located in the periphery of Western civilization: Pre-Christian mediterranean, Mesoamerican and Asian cultures among many others. ‘Pitos de barro’ or clay whistles are also part of the popular folklore of Andalucía in Spain, dating back to the Iberian bull-shaped whistles (VI B.C.).
In celebration of the Lunar New Year on the 26th January, local musicians brought the artwork to life in a sound performance. By blowing into the porcelain bodies, the ocarinas materialize their breath into sound. Simultaneously practicing a series of breathing exercises, the musicians bring humanness to the clay bodies creating a new ritual of transcultural togetherness.