The Third Space
(artistic research book)
Third Space is the concept developed by Homi Bhabha to describe the hybrid cultural identity which emerges from the interweaving elements of different cultures. Bhabha posits hybridity as a liminal or in-between space, where the ‘cutting edge of translation and negotiations’ occurs (Bhabha 1996). During the process of this artistic research, I realised that all the segments in my works are a journey in the third-space, where my native culture and memories meet with my experience of Western culture. They collide and merge with each other, while I examine with a magnifying glass the Western culture with one hand and examine my past with a monocular with my other hand. I navigate in this space to find answers to questions of who am I and where is home to which I could return?
This book is made with the intention to be a gift for my children. Besides being an extensive research on Diaspora theory, it is also a collection of the stories about my family’s history: how they found the small island called Xi-Yu- Ping, on their way immigrating to Taiwan and the Dutch colonization in Taiwan. Each chapter is named by an object I used to make a work. The readers can experience the link between my work, personal stories and sociology studies. It is a thorough overview of my reflections (in the past few years) on the displacement, the trauma, and the past. Now I feel I can close a chapter and continue to fulfil my curiosity with further exploration in how my status of displacement can lead to cultural exchanges, a dynamic Third Space, or eventually deterritorialization.
Author: Linhuei Chen
Book designer: Tilius Sodeika