ShellieZhang_IAmTerrified  ShellieZhang_IAmTerrified  ShellieZhang_IAmTerrified  ShellieZhang_IAmTerrified  ShellieZhang_IAmTerrified  ShellieZhang_IAmTerrified  ShellieZhang_IAmTerrified

I am Terrified /我担心, 2017
10 x 40″

I am Terrified /我担心 explores the transmission of language from one generation to another. Written in both English and Mandarin, the two neon signs speak to the cultural connections brought forth by language, and consequently, unveils the inherent loss experienced through linguistic assimilation. The piece examines the existential question faced by many non-English speaking individuals in Canada. By necessity, they must adapt and learn another language in order to function within contemporary society, most often at the detriment of losing their mother tongue. How do families navigate this change and how does it affect the ways in which they communicate with each other? As inevitable assimilation progresses, how do these communities navigate cultural loss and act as ambassadors of heritage to future generations?

Installation photos by Toni Hafkenscheid.
Mother Tongue, Mother Tongue, Varley Art Gallery, 2017.

This project was made possible with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.