Totality 全福 - Artist statement by LuLu Meng

photo credit: Mark Breckenbach @hushwashere

photo credit: Mark Breckenbach @hushwashere

The lantern art installation draws its inspiration from an object appropriate for the Year of the Boar: a piggy bank. Instead of directly referencing the image of a piggy bank, the circular lantern art piece with a square collection box at the center focuses on its symbolic meanings and reflects the idea of completion and reunion. (圓滿、團圓) . It also refers to an ancient Chinese coin.

Totality is an extended public project from Lulu’s ongoing work series, Look into the Mirror. The front surface of the lantern is mirrored. Yet, under different lighting conditions, one can see what is inside the lantern, or see one’s own reflection juxtaposed with what is inside.

Scattered inside the circular lantern are numerous red envelopes, some with handwritten notes on them. These red envelopes are from Lulu’s parents and other family members, given to her throughout the past twenty years. Each envelope represents a special occasion in her life: birthdays; entering high school; college; and celebration of the Lunar New Year.

In a way, this lantern is Lulu herself. What's inside is personal. It is covered, but is always there. It reveals itself when the light is right.

LuLu Meng is a New York-based artist born in Taipei, Taiwan. Her multidisciplinary practice, including installation, sculpture, photography, drawing and video, explores the difference and similarity among cultures and people.