Le Fan Fan, 2011, video installation. Aluminum, vinyl, paper & bone fan, tassel, fan-shaped video projection, 9'09.
Inspired by a 1980's Chinese Soap Opera, Baker has assembled a cast and crew to reinterpret Wuxia legend, Chu Liu Xiang, a mythical gentleman who is infamous for both his irresistible good looks and his ability to dispatch enemies with his folding hand fan.
Baker's fascination with fans led to frequent private viewings of fans in The Fan Museum archive, specifically Oriental pictorial fans of the 17th-19th centuries. These fans, which were once desperately sought after status symbols, often feature hand painted figures carefully placed along the fan leaf. Influenced by these compositions and inspired by the tradition of adorning fan leaves with classical mythological subjects, Baker creates a monument of a fan in the gallery by projecting onto an immense sculptural fan a video vignette of the Chinese legend in a spinning, flipping, and folding world of fans.
Le Fan Fan, production still. You-Ri Yamanaka as Goddess of Iron.
Le Fan Fan, rehearsal still. Christopher Goh, You-Ri Yamanaka,. Choreograopher: Master Leo Au Yeung.
Performers: Christopher Goh, Grace Ker, Eugenia Low, You-Ri Yamanaka, Howard Ellison(voice)
During a trip to Taiwan, I was invited to participate in a Tai Chi Fan Form class. In the class we learned a routine that is performed in synchronicity and set to music- reminiscent of my childhood passion, synchronized swimming. The music was the theme song for Chu Liu Xiang, a popular legend that has been recreated several times in traditional Chinese television soap operas. As mentioned above in Le Fan Fan, Chu Liu Xiang is a gorgeous man who fights evil with a hand fan.
Tai Chi Fan Form Introduction, Rehearsal still, Taiwan.