This listening session part two presents the one-hour music recording of Tissues, soon to be released as an album, and followed by a conversation between artist and composer Pan Daijing with curator Xue Tan.
Driven by the emotional extremes of the human voice and electronic music, Tissues created instead an atmosphere of turmoil and melancholia, originally performed by an ensemble of thirteen opera singers, actors and dancers, who together lead into a journey in the mind of a single wayward protagonist, grounded in the deepest and most basic human desires and fears.
At the age of 27, Daijing was the youngest artist to have a solo live exhibition in the Tate Modern performance programme. Her performance exhibition Tissues premiered in the Tanks in autumn 2019. A five-part immersion in performance, sound, movement, space, and most of all emotion in its most distilled and conflicted states, Tissues engaged with the conventions of opera and tragedy to present a searing representation of the embattled human psyche in space and time. While the ambitious multi-sensory artwork made use of the range of Daijing’s artistic capabilities, music, particularly the voice, was at its formal and emotional core.
Daijing conjures states that are by turns delicate and severe, the tension between opposing modes animating the work as it unfolds. And yet, for all its interiority, Tissues foregrounds an intimate relationship with its audience through details like its engulfing visual landscape and its rattling, confrontational narrative arcs. Daijing uses the opera form as a prism through which to question the boundaries of music itself: perhaps, she proposes, music is much more than simply what is heard.