Published on the occasion of the exhibition 'Patty Chang: The Wandering Lake, 2009-2017', held at the Queens Museum.
The Queens Museum website describes The Wandering Lake (2009-2017) as a project that redefines the role of artist, image, object and performance in the construction of narratives through an exhibition that integrates video projection, photography, sculpture, publication, and performance as one expansive body of work. It allows viewers to navigate through Chang’s personal, associative, and narrative meditation on mourning, care-giving, geopolitics, and landscape. It is in part inspired by turn-of-the-century colonial explorer Sven Hedin’s book The Wandering Lake (1938)—which tells the story of a migrating body of water in the Chinese desert—the project also chronicles the loss of Chang’s father as well as her pregnancy and the birth of her son.
This artist book is intended to conceptually mirror the installation in the galleries and is comprised of a photo essay by Chang detailing her travels to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of Western China, the site of the wandering lake, and other aquatic locations, along with selected excerpts from literary as well as other sources in relevant topics written by authors including Jill Casid, Herman Melville and Alice Walker.