Li-E Chen is conducting a series of experiments to begin her process of developing new opera writing and collaboration during her one-year of research and development on the life and art of TehChing Hsieh, 12 September 2017 – 12 September 2018. Li-E aims to bring the concepts behind Tehching Hsieh’s six life durational performance pieces 1978 to 1999  – the “Cage Piece,” “Time Clock Piece”, “Outdoor Piece,” “Art/Life Rope Piece,” “No Art Piece” and “Earth Piece” – to a silent opera.

Tehching Hsieh is a New York-based Taiwanese performance artist, has inspired her to push the boundaries of art and performance by aiming to go beyond the need for narrative, contexts, materials or representational meaning. He has been an important influence on Li-E’s work since she discovered him in 2009 during her Whisper artist residency at the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester.

Tehching Hsieh’s concepts of bringing his “thinking process” into becoming a lifetime art work explores different orientations towards thinking – what Li-E Chen calls “thinking postures,” a term she uses for the disposition of mind and body that affects one’s ways of living, thinking, and artistic making. Li-E’s experimental opera will response to Hsieh’s work by developing different assemblages of her “thinking process” using a series of Participatory Conversation/Experiments in reflection to his division of time into life time and art time; this division operates outside of language and ordinary conceptions of time.

This Work-book documents Li-E’s one-year research and development process of the project, a completed blog will be published at the end of her project in October 2018 along with a final sharing event at the Live Art Development Agency (Date TBC).

Li-E’s project is being supported by Arts Council England, Southbank Centre, Live Art Development Agency, Tête-à-Tête International Opera Festival, and Royal Holloway, University of London. She would like to offer special thanks to all her supporters, and for the additional support provided by The Robert Wilson Archives at the Byrd Hoffman Watermill Foundation in New York, Improbable’s Devoted and Disgruntled in the UK. All these organisations, as well as her team, advisers, participants and contributors have made possible her artistic development and the research for this silent opera.



Current Public Display, Tate Modern, London till July 2018


Selected links on Tehching Hsieh:


Current  Screening, Live Art Development Agency, London