‘mì | Me’

mì | Me (solo exhibition)

28 October – 31 December 2013
Qing Gongguan, Beijing, China
Works exhibited:
Outside World, series of paintings  、 Bird, series of paintings
Sponsors and organizers:
China Youthology,Youthology Lab Fund

2012 Chai Mi solo exhibition ‘mì | Me’

(pinyin: mì)

The top part of the character stands for ‘claw’, the lower part stands for ‘see’. Therefore, 觅(mì) literally means to search for something with eye and hand.
Explanations of the character: seek; look for; hunt for
Pronunciation: the same with ‘me’.

Pinyin:  the official phonetic system for transcribing the Mandarin pronunciations of Chinese characters into the Latin alphabet in China.


2012 Chai Mi solo exhibition ‘mì | Me’

2012 Chai Mi solo exhibition ‘mì | Me’

2012 Chai Mi solo exhibition ‘mì | Me’B285C7FD8F1_B800_2400_800_532

Exhibition Preface:Unspeakable State

Chai Mi

One day, when I was six years old, I was playing in the yard and a neighboring woman came by to chat. When she heard my name, she frowned.

“Your name is not very a good one,” she said. “Chai Mi… ‘Mi’ means ‘seeking’, it symbolizes that your whole life, you will always be looking for something, but never find it.”

I was shocked and didn’t know what to say.

In my twenties, I gradually learned the narrowness of speech. So much of life seems to be “I can’t exactly say,” “I don’t want to talk about it,” or “I can’t put it into words.” So I often keep quiet and smile to hide my confusion. I am ashamed of my poor writing skills, I write very slowly and cannot post online. In my mind there is a backlog of thoughts and emotions, like old boxes stacked and crowded in disarray that cannot be cleared for a very long time. Moving them back and forth, finally I found some ways to unpack them.

‘Do something,’ as I have so- called it, is another instance where speech fails me, capturing a cluster of activities that don’t fit so tidily into words, including painting, crafts, animation, and undefined experimentation. Drawing is always the most efficient way; with just a pen and paper you may begin. But I cannot always express all my imagination through the paper, especially those living images dynamic in my thoughts. So I found animation – a creative process wholly satisfying. Of course it’s also tainted by means of multi-field vision and repetitive work. The process of animation is a kind of self-cultivation, requiring numerous small injections of creativity, subdivided into a myriad- step process delineating precise actions, and somehow through that rigor, releasing something incredibly big.

Still, animation needs sophisticated planning, which can limit the spontaneity of the results, and sometimes makes me feel blind and numb. I felt I needed a flexible and controllable way to reorganize the scattered and fragmentary images, so I began creating improvisational animation in live performance.

Looking back on the past few years, what strikes me is all the bad habits and undisciplined chaos that shapes these thoughts of mine. Still

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, through introspection I have found another way to understand ‘seeking,’ the meaning of ‘Mi,’ the meaning of me.

‘Seeking’ I consider as a kind of state rather than implying a specific result. Results are easy to reach, but the state is difficult to maintain. Compared with targeting a result, I am willing to choose a state. Searching. Struggling. Persevering. These words explain the state of exploring an uncertain world and self. ‘Seeking’ was given to me by coincidence, and I’m willing to keep it. The result of my seeking is visible to you, the viewer, but I can hardly describe the origin of this result, because it is something that I can’t exactly say… something I can’t put it into words.

2012 Chai Mi solo exhibition  ‘mì | Me’


Bird, series of paintings

Year: 2012
Amount: 16
Medium: Color ink on paper

Most drawings in this series were made around 2012. They are drawn with colouring pen, the same as The Outside World series. The paper used for this series came from a printing factory in southern China. They were purchased as book binding material 10 years ago but were never used therefore discarded. These pieces of paper have special textures. They have all turned yellowish now, though some aged more greatly than the others.

‘I lived near the Old Summer Palace of Beijing when I was little. I used to see all kinds of birds. But now, after years of rapid urban development, sparrows and crows are two of few kinds, which remain to be common in Beijing. I often see crows searching for food in the big trash bins near residential buildings, sparrows playing at the balconies of households or making nests on power poles. I like observing their behaviours and believing the behaviour of the urban birds must not be the same with their relatives in natural environment. The urban life must have changed them just like it did to us.’—Chai Mi

Continue reading “‘Bird’”

‘Silence Heroes’

Silence Heroes: Objects, as told by Zhou Xun

Silent Heroes: Objects, as told by Zhou Xun, the Chinese famous actress is an exhibition about storytelling and the richness to be found in common things. Through the lens of artifacts taken from the childhood of actress Zhou Xun, alongside those from the lives of current-day residents of Beijing’s Dashilar neighborhood, the exhibition seeks to encourage audiences to appreciate the value in what might otherwise seem humble and mundane.

The pieces selected will be contextualized within imaginary worlds created by Ray Lei and Chai Mi, and accompanied by the narratives, told in texts and audio recordings, that lend them their resonance – thus giving voice to many “silent heroes.”
Silent Heroes: Objects, as told by Zhou Xun is curated by Beijing Design Week creative director Aric Chen, and supported by Diesel.
Organizer:Beijing Design Week
Dates:2011 9.25-10.3(12:00-20:00)

‘Silence Heroes’

‘Silence Heroes’

‘Silence Heroes’

‘Silence Heroes’

‘Silence Heroes’

‘Silence Heroes’

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Outside World

Outside World, series of paintings

Year: 2010-2011
Amount: 17
Medium: Ink on Paper

The Outside World series was created between 2010 and 2011. Using coloured ink pens, Chaimi brought to life shapes and colours on white cardboards. The whole process was a stream of spontaneous actions without anticipations.

‘I start whenever I have some ideas in mind. Then depending on how I feel, I kind of allow the image to grow organically on paper. By then I was employed by a big Chinese computer manufacturer. ‘ — Chai Mi

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