In his new work, Water Stains on the Wall, Lin Hwai-min challenges his dancers with the daunting task of dancing on a tilted stage with an eight degree inclination.
Covered with white marley, the entire set looks like a blank piece of rice paper traditionally used by Chinese calligraphers and painters. Accompanied by the renowned contemporary Japanese composer Toshio Hosokawa’s Zen-like music using traditional Asian instruments, Cloud Gate dancers whirl and leap high on the slanted space with deceiving ease, giving the illusion of clouds and water as their light skirts are frequently “dyed” by the projected images of drifting clouds in different shades of black.
The title of the work comes from a legendary conversation between two of the most respected Chinese calligraphers from the Tang Dynasty (618- 907). In reality, water stains on the wall are the result of a long process of natural, organic, and fluid evolution. The legend of the conversation established “water stains on the wall” as a popular metaphor that represents the highest aesthetics of Chinese calligraphy. Inspired by this metaphor, Lin Hwai-min and Cloud Gate dancers create an abstract work of spellbinding beauty and breathtaking technique that stands sublimely on its own.