Memory Bread


College of Fine Arts

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


Graphic Design

Thesis Advisor

Duane McDiarmid

Faculty Advisor

Mark Franz

Faculty Advisor

Jennie Klein


Memory Bread, constituting a daily performance ritual and the post-action objects, seeks to address the generational decline of mother language use in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, a post-colonized province of China. I chose to eat sliced white bread in the performance and later casted concrete sculptures as the extension of the action for both substances’ capitalistic nature. Being an invasive material that took over the traditional architectural lifestyle, the use of concrete mirrors the pervasive cultural and ethnic assimilation in China. Meanwhile, the materiality of concrete being a mixture of various substances also metaphors the mixed culture that Chinese-Mongolians are living.


Memory Bread is a performance work of me studying Mongolian words by consuming them. I would write one Mongolian word and its Chinese translation on a slice of bread, only subtract the portion of the bread with the written word, eat it, and then pronounce the word that I have consumed to prove that I have learned. The duration of this continuous action varies depending on my physical and mental ability to eat. This action presents me, as a Chinese-Mongolian, who is longing for my native culture yet powerless to retrieving it. I assumed, “mother language” should be innate in its children, however, the reality is that the difficulty of learning is almost painful. Therefore, eating sliced bread was presented as a study method to learn Mongolian. Though absurd, this daily action for people living in a globalized society expresses my understanding of the learning process of a mother language, easy and mundane.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.



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