“Yum Cha – Together! is based on both the installation Yum Cha – Sharing Monuments, which was created for the MAV’s Mapping Melbourne, Australia 2017, and the artwork Yum Cha with Milk Tea presented for the South Wind Rises, Asia-Pacific Contemporary Art Exhibition in Taipei, Taiwan 2018.
Yum Cha in the Cantonese language means “drink tea“. Tea’s history is intertwined with the history of botany and herbal medicine and it was believed that the very first drinker of tea was the creator of Chinese medicine dating approximately 2737 BC.
The basic materials of the artwork consist of bamboo steamers, couplets collected in Chinese from the Melbourne Chinese community and personal blessings in English combined with digital images of making food for Yum Cha. Like how the first person who drank tea may have been looking for healing properties, Yum Cha has become a communal activity that nourishes the soul.
The artwork is focused on resilience and togetherness. The final work includes a poem, which is written for this video “We Yum Cha Together!”. It encourages the audience to consider how we eat and what we do for our body, mind, soul and wellbeing.”
Yum Cha – Together! by Jenny Zhe Chang
Images and Writing – Jenny Zhe Chang
Music – Pale Grass Blue by Enya
About Jenny Zhe Chang
Jenny Zhe Chang is based in Melbourne, Australia. For the past 12 years, she has been creating installations, sculptures, paper cuttings and paintings that investigate the interaction between the Eastern and Western ways of being.
The recent solo exhibitions include: “Love! From head to toe”, (Tian Qiao Theatre, Beijing, China, 2019); Beyond, A Century’s Love II”, (Glen Eira City Council Gallery, 2018); South Wind Rises: Asia-Pacific Contemporary Art Exhibition (National Taiwan Arts Education Centre, 2018); Yum Cha – Sharing Monuments, (Mapping Melbourne, 2017); Beyond, A Century’s Love (T3 International Art Zone Contemporary Museum, 2016); Soar – Step by Step, 55th Anniversary, National Ballet of China (Tian Qiao Theater, 2014-15); Détente Connection (Art Gallery St Vincent Hospital, 2014); Warm Up, Soar Beyond (Museum of Contemporary Art, Taipei 2013); and, Homeostasis: Yin & Yang (Five Walls, 2013). Since 2001, I have participated in more than 52 group shows in Australia, Japan, and the US.
Yum Cha – Together! by Jenny Zhe Chang is created for Shelter 2020.
Image credit: Yum Cha – Together! by Jenny Zhe Chang.