appropriation, copy, reinterpretation, plagiary, remix, reproduction

accumulation, archive, wunderkammer, database, cabinet of curiosities, encyclopedia

disclosure, reprint, multiplication, republishing, replication, fac-simile

destruction, deletion, burning, damage, programmed obsolescence, hidden


Dealing with a different kind of meaning loss, Language Product depicts a fictitious factory in which words and sentences are manufactured. Furen Dai’s work began with her research on a “Secret Women Language” called NüShu, which was originated and developed as a secret code among women from the Yao minority in Jiang Yong, Hunan Province, China. Though nowadays the language has lost its functionality, women who still know the language have been pressured from Chinese government into performing their cultural activities as entertainment for tourists for menial wages. Mirroring this absurd commodification, the video is a weird journey through the act of producing the secret language as art object to be sold to people who are unable to decode the language. In Dai’s words “history lives through language”1, and through the fictional and almost satirical story narrated by the video we are witnessing how both Yao community history and NüShu language are undergoing a process of mystification and corruption.

1Furen Dai, Artist’ Statement

Furen Dai is a multimedia artist based in Boston, MA, working mostly in video, performance, sculptural installation as well as painting. Dai has presented exhibitions nationally and to a wide range of audience internationally in Italy, Argentina, Russia, China, Vietnam, Spain and more. She holds a Masters in Fine Art from The Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (Boston, MA) and Post-Bac Certificate in Studio Art, a Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurial Management from Boston University School of Management (Boston, MA), and a Bachelor of Russian from Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beijing, China). Forthcoming, Dai will be part of the Listhús residency program in Iceland, Art Omi in New York, MASS MoCA in North Adams, along with presenting her work in numerous group exhibitions. She is currently a Post-Graduate Teaching Fellow at School of The Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University.