Zeng Burong 曾不容

Artist & Curator 艺术家 & 策展人

Non-Taster: A Photo Essay about A Loss of Taste and Ramen Breakfast

15: 00-15: 20 CET 29/05/2021

Recorded in the living room, Non-taster is a seven-day live-streaming breakfast show which explores the elusive connections between the change of taste and the immigrant experience. It was inspired by my experience of a sudden loss of taste at the beginning of 2020. The world, which used to be dirty, viscous and alive, has rapidly become hygienic, distanced and virtual. I documented breakfast during that period of time in a series of scanned images and photographs. The images of spicy sauce and food packages reveal the desire to reconnect the sense of hot, stinging, pleasure and pain. Alongside inevitable apathy, nostalgia and homesickness, Non-Taster laments the change of perception and desires in the post-pandemic period. I want to make Non-Taster an intimate work for people whose lives have been completely changed by the pandemic: food critics who lose their taste buds; dreamers who cannot remember their dreams; writers who cannot write; travellers staying at home.Beginning with the symptom of a sudden decline of taste, I worked on seven interrelated themes by sharing my favourite lockdown films, performances, pop music, podcasts, manga and ASMR mukbang videos in the seven-day show. The visuals of the breakfast show are correspondingly inspired by what might be seen as lowbrow/trash-pop cultural references. 

Burong (Wenjie Li) is a Beijing/London-based live art practitioner-researcher. She writes, performs and makes podcasts. Her work deals with the politics of intimacy, gut feelings and posthuman ethics. Currently, Burong is undertaking doctoral research on feminist resistance in live art practices since the 1990s. Her co-authored book The Happening of the Contemporary Performance Art (2016) and a series of interviews with live artists and curators were published in China. She also writes books for children.