Ferment Love Letters

Minah Lee + Marcelo Viera

Cinevolution’s Digital Carnival 2017, Richmond World Festival, Richmond. Sept 1st

Artist Statement

How to Ferment Love Letters is an interactive performance. Here’s a message jar for you. Please help us write a love letter to the land. We will store it under the ground, with cabbage, salt, and spicy memories of our bodies, to keep you warm and full throughout the winter. My grandmother used to bury it under the old family tree in our yard. Or you may pickle your sorrow and longing in a colourful Brazilian sweet jar so you can taste the fruit before it gets too bitter with somebody’s hidden history of crystallized slavery melting in you.   

The artist duo of Minah Lee and Marcelo Viera celebrates both 150 year old Canada and Minah’s 10th year of living in the land as one of the Unlanded. How to Ferment Love Letters attempts to manifest our love beyond national boundaries. The project evolved from their multimedia project in 2016 called Stranger in a tenirjar, produced during Minah’s immediate immigration limbo. Lee observes how Canada’s immigration system reduces her flesh and blood into something she cannot touch or reach. Since she turned 29, She has been losing 5 or 6 points every year because she is aging. 

For this collaboration, the duo reclaims values of exchange, reciprocity, and share, grounded in the realm of emotions and consent that are often trivialized by systematic logics. The migrant artists display images of fermented ethnic food that has been gaining popularity in global markets, to rediscover meanings of community, communication, and creativity.

Each participants were encouraged to read this letter before their contributions. Sometimes, the content of the letter was verbally communicated between Minah and a participant.

Minah has promised to ferment their letters  and share them with the world.

If you would like to taste them, please

You can read VANDOCUMENT’s full exhibition review of Digital Carnival 2017 here!

Written by Justin Ramsey