by Lu Zhang
A Boat Date is a NEW dating experience that takes over Lu Zhang's artist studio during her residency at NARS Foundation in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. In each date, two participants who have signed up for the same time slot, will meet on a traditional Chinese river boat installation in the artists studio for a date lasting for a maximum of one hour. The project creates a unique environment and framework for connection, romantic or otherwise.
Inspired by the Chinese proverb "十年修得同船渡" translated as “it takes ten years practice to be on the same boat,” the project builds the concept of yuánfèn in which one's good deeds in past lives will lead to the "fateful coincidence" of meeting another person in this current life, whether as friends, lovers or acquaintances. The proverb also implies that we be open, patient and appreciative of moments when we encounter each other.
In the current moment, and especially in big cities, it is common for love and friendships to be fleeting and transactional, even as we're connecting and meeting each other more and more through the convenience of technology. This connectivity, including dating apps, is predicated on data analysis and algorithms. Decisions on whether to swipe right, message, or meet someone are made based on a single image or information gleaned from a digital profile. For people who believe in the chemistry and energy of physical presence swiping and matching becomes a mindless neurochemical reward and connection elusive.
The date will not be recorded and participants' information will not be made public.
Sign up at the project site: www.ittakestenyearspracticetobeonthesameboat.com
“It Takes Ten Years Practice to be on the Same Boat” is a project by Wildman Clab. In 2017, Lu Zhang created Wildman CLAB, a lab/club for researching and proving the existence of primitive individuals. By providing activities and experiences within specific environments, WC explores the unknown and unexplainable part of human relationships.