The Beginning is Feminine: alive

Tina Chang

Emily Edelman

Tina Chang x Emily Edelman

The Beginning is Feminine is a visual interpretation of Tina Chang’s poem by the same name. Arranged by stanza in a series of 10 works, the text of the poem warps and wraps around primal shapes. Viewers are encouraged to tilt their head in syncopation with the edges, feeling the shapes with their own movement.

The poem begins with earth material (plains, bark, wilderness) and ends with water (rushing, runs). This balance ensures the sustainability of nature: trees, birds, humankind. The calm volley between the elements of earth and water is represented with careful geometries in greens and blues.

Chang’s lines also reference fire, spark, flame: a third, urgent element used both for survival and destruction. Fire threatens earth and life, but is itself alive. Reds throughout the pieces interact with the blues and greens as small agitations, and also eruptions of flame. This tension is quelled, in the end, by water; a gesture to begin this cycle again–earth, fire, air, water–exploring the relationship between humanity and nature through the generative power of femininity.

Featured in POÈME SBJKT, an exhibition of works of literature both on and off the blockchain that enhance, reinvent, and reimagine the relationship between text and image, analog and digital, blurring and challenging the lines that seek to divide.

POÈME SBJKT was curated by theVERSEverse in partnership with L’Avant Galerie Vossen and took place at Librairie Métamorphoses from May 25 – July 15, 2023.