September 11th Memorial Installation - White, 2001-2003

Artist: Chee Wang Ng

Mixed media with audio

30” x 30” x 36”

September 11th brought massive expressions of grief at all levels of the society. Prayer candles were everywhere — from the public vigil at Union Square to street corners throughout the City’s five boroughs. American flags filled every possible surface. This was my personal offering for September 11th, and the lost World Trade Center Towers.

In the Confucian tradition, meals are rites, in which everyone is at rest sharing in the daily bounty around a table. You take only what you need with your own chopsticks, and eat off your own bowl. In this deeply relevant ritual, you establish your own identity within the community.

This installation cries for a nation’s loss of innocence. The rice bowl is filled not for the living, but as an offering to the departed. The Chinese taboo of sticking chopsticks vertically into the rice bowl (resembling an offering of incense-sticks to the deceased) is a ghostly reference to the lost Twin Towers; and the low murmuring of a Buddhist funerary, salvation prayer emanates from the low, round table for one.

When will the world’s nations join in to share at this table of humanity?

-Chee Wang Ng

《九一一紀念的装置−白》 2001-2003年