Soup 孕

A woman’s body is an untold story.

SOUP is an intimate fantasy, or a chaotic, dangerous and deeply-troubled nightmare. It is an elegy on innocence, or a ritual for the buried cruelty in a scene of everyday.

It’s quiet in the kitchen. The only sound comes from a pot of boiling chicken soup. On the side of it, three young girls are waiting on the delicious-smelling chicken soup. With the shadows of their mothers, grandmothers and all the female ancestors, they play, they sing, they dream. The girls are not aware that the reproductive mechanism that Nature programmed has began. The fat from the hen is oozing into the soup. Hormones being secreted. Desire and nutrients growing together. In the kitchen’s delicious air, the soup has yet to reach the girls’ tongues, chaos is already at the door.

SOUP is written with the bodily senses. The smell. The heat. The echo. The lights…

A woman’s body is the ‘non-dit’.




I have just stepped into my golden years of fertility. It is said that in this incredibly short period of a woman’s life, the eggs that my ovaries produce will have better qualities and are best for having babies. I feel deeply troubled by this fact. In this period, I feel like an animal, possibly a young hen that lay eggs. The education that I received told me that the time has changed. Today ladies are able to say: ‘my body, my choice.’ Women have absolute sovereignty over their lives, bodies and their uteruses. Her uterus is an inalienable part of her body. But what troubled me is the next question: beyond this slogan, where does ‘my choice’ come from? In other words, is the freedom of choice that individualism so often advocates still as valid when the discussion reaches the biological level? Does the idea of ‘freedom’ also lead to another kind of trapfall?


Photography/Jianyong DAI

Up till now, I still have not got a satisfying answer to these questions, but I, indeed, have been holding a lot of feelings so complex that words cannot capture them. As a result, SOUP, a theatrical poem of the senses is conceived. It answers the questions about contemporary women and reproduction with a genuine expression of female perspective — the history, desire and fear that ‘she’ carries. In our creative process, several female artists collected the materials with me, amongst which were materials that are physical, performance art and audio. Some of the collection was internal, (part of the materials came from the creators themselves and their bodies), and some was external (part from literature, interviews, public memories).


Photography/Jacney Chan

In this small group, there is woman who has given birth as well as woman who has not yet interacted with sex. In some sense, the act of collecting these materials per se is the act of piecing together meanings about ‘pregnancy’ for ourselves. The broken meanings converged and diverged constantly on the topography of my troubled feelings and gradually formed the shape of SOUP, and they are still going on. (LIN CUIXI, 2018)

SOUP is developed with ensemble _AO_AO_ING as part of triple bill _AO_AO_ING Digging A Hole along with two other pieces to complete the night, TITLE IX and YOU’RE MY WATER.

Photography/Jianyong Dai, Jacney Chan

Site of Performance

Ming Contemporary Art Museum (McaM), Shanghai, China


Director | LIN Cuixi
Ensemble | Keng CHEN, Salome, Liyun Zhang, Selena Lu
Designers | Yishun Li (Lighting), Jing Yin (Sound)
Production | Yuan Zhang (Producer), He Zhang (Stage Manager)
‘Digging A Hole’ Performance Season was supported by McaM (Shanghai) & InsideOut Theatre (Beijing)

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