Its Pan Daijing. Its opera.
Pan Daijing’s exhibition-performance Tissues premiered in the Tanks at the Tate Modern in autumn 2019. A five-part immersion in performance, sound, movement, space, and most of all emotion in its most distilled and conflicted states, Tissues engaged with the conventions of opera and tragedy to present a searing representation of the embattled human psyche in space and time. While the ambitious multi-sensory artwork made use of the range of Daijing’s artistic capabilities, music, particularly the voice, was at its formal and emotional core. The vinyl and digital release of Tissues on PAN serves as a record of that work, in the form of an hour-long, studio-recorded audio excerpt: an invaluable archival document from Daijing’s practice.
You don’t really have to know any of that to fall under the spell of Pan Daijing’s Tissues, released on PAN in January of this year, a harrowing work that represents a sonic departure yet remains pure Pan.
‘The piece is ultimately about time and solitude. Tissues as the medical term which forms human physicality. And tissues as the instrument we use to wipe to clean bodily fluids and waste, and eventually memory.’ –Pan Daijing
54 minutes that will toss you and your emotions around like a pea in a tempest.
I adore every Pan Daijing release, 2017’s Lack and last year’s Jade, and save them for days when rain feels uplifting. Tissues may be the most disturbing yet, because the choral voices act like achingly beautiful buoys amid Daijing’s post-industrial dangerous dark ambient sea. This is lights out fare that’s meant to be taken in in one salty gulp. Bravo!