Romantic Dream in the Garden, 2019, HD Video, 06:21
Inspired by Romantic Dream in the Garden(游园惊梦), a scene from an outstanding traditional Chinese play The Peony Pavilion(牡丹亭), Wang Chen's video work of the same name shows the desire for sexuality from a female perspective.
Romantic Dream in the Garden is a famous scene from the ancient Chinese opera The Peony Pavilion. In this scene, Du Liniang (杜丽娘), a sixteen-year-old girl raised in an extremely conservative aristocratic family, is taking a tour of a garden with her maid when she comes across the beautiful spring scene. Du Liniang admires the blossoming spring scenery empathises with the ripening flowers, and also feels a sexual urge for the first time. Although the lyrics of Romantic Dream in the Garden depict only the typical beauty of spring, they are full of metaphors for female sexual desire. Wang Chen interprets the strong desire through her performance and with the help of a balloon, which has a symbolic meaning with the shape of the female body.