q & a
A collaboration between Alex Nichols and Qinmin Liu, performed in the San Francisco Bay.
Alex and Qinmin together with eight kayakers arrive at Pier 40 with their plexiglass boxes and eight foot rafts to give a fantasy tour of the San Francisco Bay.
Hard questions of assimilation and identity are sometimes best attacked at a slant. With that idea, Alex and Qinmin built their rafts and clear five foot boxes and launched themselves into deep waters. Caught in the tides and power of the water in the bay they moved between the playful and the urgent, a full cycle of emotions. Alex Nichols is born in the US and Qinmin is born in China. Both female artist, look at the way identity is formed. How is our identity challenged and freed in another culture?
Learning History—I learn about my decisions by watching Qinmin make her decisions. It’s a unique mirror into myself as a female artist, as the subject of my work. I am able to reflect on myself in time and it is like proposing a hypothesis and knowing one outcome but not another. Thinking about who I thought I was then and now.
Qinmin creates her narrative. She comes from a different place of thinking and sense of self. Is this because of culture, generation, language or personal characteristics.
Working side by side with Qinmin challenges me to question again my narrative, my values, my goals. How do our decisions impact our work, our marriages, our careers, our personal relationships and our relationship to the public and ourselves. This is a process of observation and reflection. It is a deeply personal context of learning about my decisions around my art in terms of marriage, and family.