Liturgy provides Flora Yin-Wong, a Chinese-Malay author and musician born in London, with a poetic means for coming to terms with her own past. In the book, recently published by the New-York-based imprint Primary Information and the Berlin music label Pan, Yin-Wong, so her publishers, explores “issues related to cosmic principles, conspiracies, and parallel universes.” Indeed, in the combination of texts, illustrations, photographs, scans of newspaper articles, and other materials, Yin-Wong manages to reveal intimate insights into her personal history, which is as much a product of Cantonese fables as her childhood and youth in a European metropolis. Only a few months prior to Liturgy’s publication, the author’s debut album Holy Palm was released on the British label Modern Love. On the record as in the book, the artist, formerly an editor of Dazed magazine and A&R for Pan, pursues a collage-based approach: she fuses recorded, found, and sounds of her own making in a multifaceted listening experience that resembles that of reading a diary. For V/A and our ongoin thematic focus Alliance, the artist put together an exclusive series of loosely connected poetic fragments and photos from her personal archive inspired by the texts and images in Liturgy. Yin-Wong’s contribution is another testament to an alliance, which she enters into with the time – felt and actual – that lies behind her.
Do strange memories come back to you sometimes?
Very boring memories. Unmemorable moments, or the categorisation of memories like every bed you’ve ever slept in… For no reason at all, maybe to pass the time.
Remember when I was running up a hill somewhere alone at night, it was tropical, somewhere new but nostalgic and the mosquitoes were buzzing. My skin dripping in sweat and heat.
Don’t small things throughout the day seem to resurface at night when you close your eyes?
A splatter of unborn baby birds – a box of eggs smashed on the floor in the street. A snap second of a horror film on TV, of bloodied hands, becomes the first thing you see in the dark. These things that make me shudder.
When I couldn’t sleep sometimes, at the early dawn I would go for a lonely walk. The neighbourhood would already be filling up with the noises of carts rolling, and the smell of dim sum being steamed. The old men sitting in the street playing checkers, with their bright little birds in their little birdcages, fluttering, but they seemed to be happy.
The dream inside a house,
A thousand butterfly wings shattered, falling through the wall-less walls, and the roofless roof,
the windowless window panes, open doors, drifting in like spring blossoms,
The outside, it’s a place surrounded by autumn trees, in shades of turquoise and ochre,
A cerulean lake laying still, as a dream.
The foreground is moving
The background is moving
But everything in the centre is perfectly still
Bones of the Wrist:
She Looks Too Pretty, Try To Catch Her
Red on black, Venom lack.
Red on yellow, Kill a fellow.