We own it, it belongs to the world : A performance by Liang Shan-bo & Zhu Ying-tai
The piece is about a journey into spaces that are still echoing with the myth of the butterfly lover (also known as Liang Zhu), which connects the ‘imagined community’ that transcends various boundaries. The myth, hence, becomes a site of translation across cultural, linguistic, social, political and other semiotics systems, with multiple non-isolated elements that enter into the composition of the myth. The path is never linear, breaks down, splits, reconstructs and sometimes rejoins.
The question is no longer about what the story is, but what it performs as it is transmitted through its embodiment in the archive (books, artifacts, films, museum exhibitions and visual art) and repertoire (oral transmission, music, operas). Being introduced to small groups within this massive ‘imagined community’, we get a glimpse of how the myth and it’s reception performs memories, imaginations, desires, national identity, gender, generation, class systems, the changing political climate and other lived experiences.
The myth carries the past, the memories and history. It is constantly reprised into new forms (both tangible and intangible) through its reperformance, which surely will be rewritten in future narratives. History is mythologized and simultaneously the myth is historicized.