What we experienced last weekend on Rivington Street…
Scrolling through my Instagram last Saturday I happened to catch a glimpse of something that intrigued me. Called “DISTANCED INTIMACY” it looked to be a sort of installation performance featuring the work of a young fashion designer, Jiaqi Shen, who just graduated from Pratt Institute –and in collaboration with another creative, Essie Liu.
Having just arrived back in NYC after nearly 3 months away I would normally be consumed by unpacking, going through mail and the other various tasks that must happen before “life resumes.” But I had a need to be out in the greater world and Kar agreed to go as well so it was settled.
Set in a small space on the Lower East Side, the performance happened at 4 specific times a day and an RSVP was required. We chose the earliest time, 11 am to attend. Rivington Street was bright and lively and everything had the hard edge of the late morning sun. Walking into the space we were engulfed in black and a slightly musky sweet scent of candles. There were two black stools in the center encircled by gauze curtains. In the outer ring, one encountered a progression of shapes; ethereal, intimate garments (one white, leading to black) made of layered tulle that was embraced, disfigured, and reshaped by a structural boning.
Two performers, wearing similar garments, entered the space behind the curtains (also of tulle). What followed was both strange and familiar; intimate and fantastical. A quiet, almost unnerving tension of figures weaving, falling, twisting, like the fabric itself, into moments of possibility. Maybe it’s a post-pandemic emotion, but something very human and powerful happened when they touched and then retreated back into their own private space.
Co-creator & Creative Director: Jiaqi Shen
Co-creator & Experiential Director: Essie Liu
Scenic Designer: Linna Zhou
Lighting Designer: Yi Lu
Lighting Assitant: Yi Xiong, Yuchen Yuan
Production Crew: Chenyu Zhang, Cheryl Yu, Esmeralda Han, Jo Lu, Langyixuan Li, Phoenix Mei, Tianwei Han, Yutong Wang
Art Director & Visual Lead: Kaiqi CaiArt
Associate: Jada SunArt
Assistant: Angela Sun, Fangyi Yang
SoundSound Designer: Zikun Zhu
Vocal: Fangyi Yang
Marketing & PR Director: Essie Liu
Marketing & PR Coordinator: Jada Sun
Performance Artists: Rinchen Drolkar & Mira Jiang
Ceramic Artist: Yichen Lu
Special thanks to Sean Yuan.
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