Nearly five thousand years of Chinese history and tradition were not passed on to my generation largely due to the cultural revolution of the 1960s. Later on, as the Chinese economy experienced rapid growth, we left poverty behind along with traditions and principles. Every year there are an increasing number of Chinese tourists that fly 8 to 12 hours to Europe and the United States to shop. The experience of traveling long distance with patience and high expectations for a short visit reminds me of my experience of going to the Buddhist temple when I lived in China. Nowadays, we line up in front of stores in the same way we line up in front of the temples. We stare at the gadgets with admiration in the same way we adore statues. We believe that the purchase can bring us fortune and confidence in the same way we make wishes in front of the Buddha. The absurd similarity between religious worship and luxury consumption is a microcosm of the complex tensions that economic growth has brought to China. On one hand, it should be celebrated that my generation of Chinese is not living in poverty. On the other hand, I must ask whether something that used to be one of the most holy and pure experiences in my life can ever be recreated. Is the shared experience of walking for a whole day to worship amongst Chinese being subsumed by this false worship of exchange value?
In-Betweener Jing Ouyang has equal amount of Chinese and American in her. Born and raised in China, this is her eight year living in the United States. The moment she left home was the beginning of her exile; however, she sees that as a gift. Living in between places gave her the ability to better understand her origins. Her work has been exhibited in Italy, France, China and the United States.