Chinese restaurants have been a familiar feature of Swedish cities since the late 1970s, embodying a foreign and exotic alternative. In three chapters set in the past (1978), present (2018), and future (2058), ”Mother’s Tongue” tells stories that revolve around social, cultural, and technological clashes.
Language, identity, and life in the diaspora are explored through fictive monologues led by three generations of women. The work also sheds light on preconceptions of proximity to Chinese culture that Chinese restaurants may create.
The use of 3D modelling and computer animation establishes a distance to the places described, emphasising the Chinese restaurant’s role as a scenography – a stage where guests may expect an experience comparable to travelling to a foreign country. At the same time, the Chinese restaurant serves as an real place in the everyday lives of people, many of whom are inhabitants in a new country.
A first version of ”Mother’s Tongue” was created as a mobile phone app and a walking tour of Stockholm that took users to three locations linked to existing or earlier Chinese restaurants.
You find the room in the Collection on floor 4
A new presentation of the Moderna Museet collection
A museum collection can be presented and interpreted in countless ways. Throughout 2019, the Collection will be in focus even more than usual, with a major new presentation that will unfold gradually in all the Museum’s collection rooms.
The art will be displayed thematically to a greater extent than before, to highlight new contexts. The new presentation is largely chronological, with occasional surprises by juxtaposing early key works with recent 21st-century acquisitions.
The ambition is to visualise even more narratives about the past and present. One premise for the new presentation is that history is not static but is constantly read and interpreted from a contemporary perspective. Therefore, several versions and interpretations of the Moderna Museet Collection will follow.
More on the Collection: Moderna Museet Collection
Published 2 December 2019 · Updated 2 December 2019