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Writing Excerpt on Huidi Xiang


Huidi Xiang’s sculpture hello kitty is 5 apples tall._exercise 002 (2021) explores the potential of linguistic units to construct a beloved icon with indeterminacy and sensuality. The stool-like structures consist of two cement forms, each supported by A-shaped wooden sheets with a red acrylic sheet attached frontally to symbolize apples. Swept away by the character’s cuteness since childhood, Xiang is among the millions of Hello Kitty fans across continents and cultures. To recreate the character’s official height of “five apples tall,” the artist models her unit of one-apple-tall after an average of ten regular-sized apples she handpicked at a supermarket. With irregularly shaped, delicious apples serving as measurement units, hello kitty reveals a possibility of measuring with tactile sensations.



Huidi Xiang, hello kitty is 5 apples tall._exercise 002, 2021. The tall structure: 6 in.(w) x 31in.(h) x 15 in.(d) (15.2 x 78.7 x 38.1 cm); the drawing table: 13 in.(w) x 16 in.(h) x 17 in.(d) (33 x 40.6 x 43.2 cm); cement, acrylic sheet, MDF, wood, drawing printed on acetate. Photo courtesy the artist. Website: https://xianghuidi.com/hello-kitty-is-5-apples-tall-002.




Huidi Xiang’s sculpture my body is in the metric system. (2022) presents measurement units and bodies as reciprocally defining and shaping each other. The work consists of a plain, rectangular cement block with yellow-and-red protruding or detached details. Signaled by numbers 1-7, Xiang exhibits miniature bodily casts or audio-textual signposts, corresponding to seven standardized measurement units or tools. In addition to the five-apples-tall Hello Kitty, the artist recreates anecdotes like a yard defined by a king’s nose-to-thumb. The sculpture’s embedded video excerpt of a curved ruler in The Pink Panther addresses the artist’s aspiration to “not make a work to fit the ruler, but make a ruler to fit the work.” As its titular phrase suggests, the work connects everyday measurement systems with unmeasurable corporeal sensations while revealing their shared indeterminacy.




Huidi Xiang, my body is in the metric system., 2022. 1 meter x 3 feet x 5 apples, wood, foam, cement, caster wheels, 3D printed PLA, paper, pushpin, acrylic, clay, motor, video played onloop (excerpt from The Pink Panther Show “The Pink Blueprint”). Photo courtesy the artist. Website: https://xianghuidi.com/metric-system


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