A few photos and the accompanying notes from the premiere of my recent work for two speaking percussionists, performed this past week by Yongyun Zhang & Xinyi Zheng:
“In the furnace, she casts herself as an iron nail… 在炉中，他把自己熔铸成一颗铁钉…”
An Iron Nail 铁钉explores the poetry of Zheng Xiaoqiong 郑小琼 (b. 1980), a former migrant worker who left Sichuan Province to enter the factories in Guangdong Province. At age twenty-one, she began to write about her experiences. Her poems offer a window into the lives of and conditions faced by factory workers.
When I visited Xiaoqiong in May 2018, she took me to Dongguan to listen to the sounds of the factories firsthand. Every factory sounds unique: a plastic factory, a hardware factory, an electronics factory…
“Little by little gathering rust, 一点一点积蓄着锈, Little by little swallowing her up… 一点一点吞噬着…”
This work is dedicated to Zhang Yongyun and to Zheng Xiaoqiong. April 2019, Beijing.