LOTUS, 2019,
14ft diameter 10ft tall
Steel, Aluminum, Personelle netting, and aircraft cable

《一颗螺丝掉在地上》”A Screw Fell to the Ground”一
颗螺丝掉在地上 A screw fell to the ground
在这个加班的夜晚 In this dark night of overtime
垂直降落,轻轻一响 Plunging vertically, lightly clinking
不会引起任何人的注意 It won’t attract anyone’s attention
就像在此之前 Just like last time
某个相同的夜晚 On a night like this
有个人掉在地上 When someone plunged to the ground 
– Xu Lizhi

The lotus flower is a hydrophilic plant that floats gracefully atop the surfaces of ponds. Its pastel surface-level beauty gives way to muddy and murky roots just beneath the water. LOTUS is an excavation of what appears to us as beautiful, but what is, in reality, a dark beginning. The suspended sculpture installation is an industrial rendering of a lotus flower made from the same material used to build suicide netting outside cell phone factories in Shenzhen, China. The sweeping petal shapes take their visual cue from the structure of these suicide nets that are built to keep mortality rates low in the Shenzhen factories. The inspiration for the sculpture originates with the story of Xu Lizhi, the poet who authored A Screw Fell to the Ground. Lizhi was a migrant worker from North-East China who took his life at age 24 by jumping out of a factory dormitory window as a result of underpaid, overworked, and alienated working conditions, becoming another victim of industrial exploitation. This grim reality points to a dark and underlying condition of the seemingly “beautiful” global connectivity that cell phones afford those who are able to benefit from them. When they are not being lambasted as apparatuses of distraction, cell phones are romanticized for being tools that allow people to maintain a close connection despite location and distance.