"I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind."
So wrote Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of 'The Little Prince'.
The freedom of the mind is an intriguing concept. Inspired by the seminal autobiography of acclaimed author and poet Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings explores the idea of freedom, and what it means to us as both individuals as well as members of a community. Living in a society affords us safety and well-being; and yet restricts and constrains our absolute freedom to pursue our own ends. Or is that truly so? Do we all place cages over our own minds, limiting our own creativity and freedom, out of fear of disapproval from others? Liu Dao questions how responsible the individual is in imposing his own restrictive parameters on his thoughts, capabilities, and thus, life.
In the LED artwork, an animated girl (choreographer Li Lingxi 李翎溪) jumps restlessly around a large wicker cage carved from a single sheet of paper with a bamboo knife in the traditional Chinese jianzhi (papercutting) method. Against the burnished brown finish, a result of translucent rice paper steeped for hours in oolong tea, the girl searches for an escape. And yet, a confused hesitation in her movements betrays her fear and dilemma about what she really wants, and where she wants to go.
[Loo Ching Ling 吕晶琳]