Cloris/Han Dong 董涵

Video + Installation:
Net Art:


Chén / We Wouldn't Fade Away
Spin / Lotus



        “It’s a sunny day.”

         We are sitting facing each other, the tips of her feet pointing at me.

         She looks away from the window. I feel her gaze and look up.

         She pulls her lips up and says, “I really just detest humanity.” I freeze for a minute. “Very chuunibyou, right? A very angsty talk, right? Someone has made the same comment before,” she looks at me and breaks into a soft laugh.

         “Actually, I do like my pimples. Even if they’re imperfections, in a sense, they’re almost freeing. That slight sense of losing control when I find new pimples on my face makes me feel like I’m becoming more like a tree swaying in the wind.”

         I listen quietly without interrupting her.

         “Have I told you? I’ve always had trouble comprehending what brings me to this world in the form of a human being…until the other day when my parents told me my birth was an accident. They were too poor to afford another life. But when they found out about my presence, they decided to accept me without any doubts. They said I am a blessing from heaven.”

         She grins, her eyes turning into crescents. Her eyelashes quiver slightly as she smiles, like the wings of cicadas.

         She continues, “I don’t want you to have a beautified image of me. I am just a coward. In middle school, I avoided politics and didn’t like talking to others about it. I thought I was too imperceptive. It was only a few years ago when I realized it was my protection mechanism.”

         “When someone likes something, there are a lot of intertwined reasons behind it. I like genderlessness, and I like the absence of ethnicity and nationality. Liking something requires a lot of determination compared to holding onto its flaws. Loving oneself is also not easy. I am a human. I don’t like humanity. I wish I weren’t born as a human. I don’t know why I am a human. When I say I don’t like humanity, I am also not fully loving my presence. After all, I am always a part of it, an individual of this species.”

         She notices the unconscious biting of my lips and quickly adds, “ Don’t overthink! This is not meant to be a heavy topic. I always tell my friends, ‘I don’t like humanity, at least not every part of it. But I cannot imagine my life if I haven’t met so many important people.’ Humans are so interesting, all different from each other. And I truly appreciate every one of my friends.”

         “These thoughts don’t conflict with one another. In essence, I am a human. I want to enjoy this life. As a human, I have felt a lot of warmth, even though being a human was not my choice. You can say I am avoiding the problem, but after all, I am not a tree. I can only perceive what I can feel and imagine the rest. Maybe a tree also has a mind of its own. Maybe I just wanna be the tree in my eye.”

         She rests her chin in her hand, “Don’t feel sorry for me. I live such a happy life. I talk when I feel like expressing myself. I cry when I feel like crying. But most of the time, I am laughing. It’s ok for me not to understand my presence while still enjoying my life in my world.

         When I don’t understand my existence, I treasure it even more. In this way, I have full freedom to build things and weave stories without being constrained by what is ‘true,’ what is ‘physical,’ or what is ‘real.’ There is no space that confines me. In my own narrative, I challenge the boundaries that have been set in this world and embrace fluidity.

         “One day, I put my hands behind my back, joining them between my shoulder blades. There was a breeze outside the window. I was watching the trees sway in the wind and imagining myself to be one of them, without backbones, without arms but with a trunk and branches. I was dancing with the tree. Half an hour flew by. During that thirty minutes, I forgot who I am. I blocked my perceptions. There were no longer any boundaries between me and my environment. I was the tree I was staring at. I could also be the wind that was bringing the tree into a dance.”

         Her eyes drift away from me to the windows on my right-hand side.

         “I’ve said a lot today. But please don’t remember all of this tomorrow. I am still me. Please don’t let any of this weigh on you too heavily. What matters the most is you and also me as a person.”