Public Art Project
My America (Hard to Acclimatize), 1999, Performance, Seattle Art Museum, USA

I moved to New York from Beijing in 1998, I faced a totally different culture and society. It was a new beginning, working and living, to me I describe as: Hard to Acclimatize. I bought Chinese culture of five thousand years from the other side of the earth, something can be changed, but something can not be changed in my life.

I remembered one day when I had dinner, I went to find some food for my pregnant wife, walking to Madison Square, suddenly a guy asked me: Are you hungry? then he gave me some bread. I felt very strange, maybe it hurt my dignity a little? I could not say what exactly were my feelings at the time, and eventually I came home with the bread. Recently someone told me that bread is often provided by soup kitchens to the homeless.

When I heard that--I felt shocked--I got so many memories at the same time, and these inspired my idea for a new work.