Akeroyd Collection


Sin Wai Kin, The Universe, 2023

In The Universe (2023), we see Sin Wai Kin lounging peacefully, face down on a branch of a tree. Their hands are clasped together, acting as a support for their head. Their eyes are closed, mouth just slightly open. They appear to be sleeping, maybe dreaming. Wearing white, and positioned in the near foreground, they relax in front of a fantastical landscape, rendered like a set from a theatre production. The image is still throughout the duration of the four-and-a-half-minute video aside from a slowly rotating moon in the sky. The landscape is mountainous, the ground strewn with wildflowers with a lake visible in the middle ground. It feels otherworldly, the moon is in an impossibly near orbit by planet Earth’s standards and we feel this character’s presence is constitutive of other possible ways of living. The face of the protagonist is familiar from other of Sin Wai Kin’s works. We see a lotus flower painted on the face, with visual elements arranged to reference the Jing Warrior characters of Cantonese operas. In these operas, the Jing is a role that presents the ‘rough’ or ‘mighty’ male figure. They must have a strong voice and be able to exaggerate gestures to characterise this archetype. In this universe, even the Jing needn’t live up to stereotypical characteristics imposed by normative social coding. Here, like in much of Sin Wai Kin’s other works that present these archetypal figures, it seems to be suggested that one can break free of the dominance of the heteronormative languaging paradigm and think about other ways to produce the promise of collective escape from its confines.

MediumSingle-channel video, 4K, colour
Duration4 minutes 49 seconds
Editionof 5 + 2 APs