The five–piece sculpture “The Five Steps” is part of a body of work entitled “Come to the Party”, a response to the big questions that preoccupied Vivien during her two-year long visit to China, and her attempt to understand the impact on individuals of the unprecedented social, political and economic changes taking place.
Vivien started working on “The Five Steps” project, in mid 2011, videotaping dozens of Chinese school students knotting the red scarf (honglingjin) around their necks whilst recalling their inauguration into the Young Pioneer Movement, the junior youth league of the Communist Party. As it was not permitted for foreign teachers to discuss politics openly with their students, inviting them to chat about the scarves was an indirect way to learn about their initiation into the Party.
Vivien’s art practice endeavours to produce art that tells a story without being too literal, art that harbours layers of meaning and leaves the viewer interrupted and/or satisfied. She is interested in the language wielded by the actual materials used in the art making process, this consideration being paramount in the choice of sheet lead in the making of the scarves project.