Group 2

Lap-See Lam & Wingyee Wu, Mother’s Tongue (still from video), 2018 © Courtesy of the artists & Erik Nordenhake

Talk: Mother’s Tongue & The Museum of Movements

23.2 – 23.2 2019

Malmö

How can art contribute to nuancing and problematizing issues like cultural heritage, identity, language, exotification, and the power relations that lay in between? Welcome to a conversation with Lap-See Lam and Wingyee Wu, the artists behind the video installation Mother’s Tongue, arranged by The Museum of Movements and Moderna Museet Malmö.   

The Museum of Movements is a national museum in development, built slowly brick by brick in dialogue with civil society’s organizations, NGOs, activist groups, researchers, youth, and the independent cultural sector. During the last two years, the Museum’s team travelled around Sweden to arrange dialogue meetings in order to explore the need for a new museum for democracy and migration, and the topics it should raise. Some of the needs voiced were to widen the understanding of cultural heritage, to tell new and untold stories, that enrich the understanding of democracy and culture.

The video installation Mother’s Tongue (2018), which was previously presented at Moderna Museet Malmö, takes up many of these questions. It takes the viewer on a speculative time travel through the history of Chinese restaurants in Sweden and to a fictional future. In the video, we follow three generations: a daughter, a retired restaurant owner, and a grandmother. Their roles are highlighted through their different experiences of the Chinese diaspora in Sweden. The story is told by the restaurant itself, speaking with its own voice it becomes a viewing room where its identity and cultural values are reflected upon through the women’s perspectives.

Katya Sandomirskaja, project manager for The Museum of Movements, discuss together with the artists on how art can contribute to nuancing and problematizing issues like cultural heritage, identity, language, exotification, and the power relations that lay in between.