Tofu & Violence 豆腐與暴力

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Inspiration: The Taste of Tofu

Tofu does not have an attractive look nor an exciting taste, but I enjoy it a lot. It looks so pure and it tastes so plain, drawing me into the long-forgotten, unadorned space deep in my heart. Tofu – so gentle, liberal and easy, with an unsettling boldness and sincerity hidden within. Tofu's softness can be a strong power. When faced with unfairness or violence, it retains its serenity, because it is always at ease, understanding and possesses acumen.

Part 1 : A Tofu Monologue – Spiritual Consciousness in Times of Violence

No matter how advanced our society becomes, it cannot stop all physical and linguistic violence. All kinds of brutal violence: between humankind and nature, in wars, child abuse, or between the two sexes. The series of paintings is inspired by tofu, a metaphor of a gentle and unspoken power against violence. I'd like to explore how our souls might express a spiritual strength and quality in times of pain. The two extremes are brought to confront each other, probing the viewers to consider the relation of the two. Neither taking it in nor fighting violence with violence is the way out. I try to propose that nonviolence is a power with wisdom; it does not mean one is weak.

Part 2 : Tofuese Monologues – Reflections On Fragility And Gentleness

If I give you a brick of tofu, how would your hands respond to it before it breaks into pieces?

In this project, I gave a brick of tofu to a group of participants of different backgrounds, asked them to use their bare hands or any body parts to hold it, feel it, and exist with it. Photographs were taken as the skin holding it. At the end of the session, they were asked to write about their relationship with tofu. It is just a piece of ordinary tofu. But in the intense moment of concentration, it reveals the most basic instinct in us all – to protect, to destroy or to manipulate. I believe that to be able to contact with your inner self again is a beautiful nature of gentleness.

Ending note: The life philosophy of tofu

Tasting tofu leads us to a moment of peace and tranquility. From the slower pace and the tiniest facets of life, we find sensitivity and thus comfort. This is the gentleness you can give to yourself. Like tofu, so plain, so cheap, so fragile, yet to me it is unruffled and fearless, modest and gracious. I hope that people in modern days no longer live by the Law of the Jungle - which believes that the strongest will dominate the weak; but to return to our origins: upkeep our manners, broaden our minds and be respectful. Gentleness and nonviolence may not further the developments of this world nor solves all challenges we are faced with, but I believe that it is very important to uphold and elevate our life and interpersonal relationships.

About Artist Claire Lee

After a long journey in design industry, Claire studied art curatorship at the Hong Kong Art School and became visual artist holding various solo and joint exhibitions. Claire’s poetry was selected to publish, also participating in various poetry readings and collaborative music performances www.clarielee.hk


豆腐外表其貌不揚,平凡乏味。我卻喜歡品嚐它。它的白和清淡的口感,帶我回到心靈裡被遺忘了的那片簡樸的精神空間。豆腐-它善解人意、坦蕩、安然卻隱藏一種誠懇無懼的精神。豆腐的溫柔可以是一股強大的力量。在不公平和暴力下可以懷着一份平安的自處和覺悟的智慧。溫柔和非暴力未必令世界更發達或解決困難,但我相信去維持和提升生活和人際關係的更高價值。

受豆腐的溫柔與力量所啟發,藝術家Claire Lee於2013年間創作了一系列的混合媒介畫作及逾60張攝影作品。作品輯印成作品集,售賣的收益捐予風雨蘭,以支持性暴力受害人。

Claire Lee

長年從事設計。Claire 在香港藝術學院修畢策展課程。幾年間, 舉辦多個藝術個人展覽。Claire 的詩被出版社選錄印刷,並參與音樂和多媒體藝術交流實驗。www.clarielee.hk