Jim Crawford in Words of Support, collaboration with security and maintenance staff, Star Store, College of Visual & Performing Arts, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, New Bedford, Massachusetts, 2020

Salty Xi Jie Ng

Social Practice
Chamberlain Award, 2024

Artist Statement

I co-create semi-fictional paradigms for the real and imagined lives of humans within the poetics of the interdimensional intimate vernacular. Often playing with relational possibilities, my transdisciplinary practice proposes a collective re-imagining through humour, care, subversion, discomfort, institutional critique, a celebration of the eccentric, and a commitment to the deeply personal, in hopes of uncovering hidden selves and histories in kinship with the other-than-human.

My practice is concerned with ancestry, inter-realm/inter-being relationing, eroticism, death, and aging, while examining power and what gets to be called art. Often constellational, it has manifested as brief one-on-one encounters, co-created meals, performances, rituals, films, conversations, publications, dream circles, and community space.

Centering the experiences of those invisibilized by society —like senior women, buskers, incarcerated individuals, security officers and maintenance staff— I create cooperative situations that invite them to make work from their unique selves in equitable, fun, profound ways. Together, we tend space to be ourselves, and live into the fate that brought us into orbit.

While at Headlands

I will conduct new research and experiments for my ongoing body of work Baibai Research Group (BBRG), a transdisciplinary art platform at the intersections of spirituality, ancestry and relationality, as well as one of its manifestations, the Ancestor Dream Visitation Repository.

The polyphonic growth of BBRG has been guided by a mix of embodied work anchored in self, alongside public engagement where different modes of research and collaboration birth new layers of meaning, especially in touching the mysterious energies of ancestry, grief and other-than-human kinship.

I’ll explore the Bay Area Chinese diaspora’s relationship to lineal practices of ancestor worship and ritual, organize ancestor dreaming circles, edit an experimental multilingual essay, and work on an interactive performance-ritual connecting land, sea, and the descendant’s body.

Work Sample

Trailer for The Inside Show, variety show made in collaboration with incarcerated individuals at Columbia River Correctional Institution, Portland OR, 2019