Kiss It Better

concept & performance: River Lin

Manifesta Biennial 11, July, 2016
Rapid Pulse International Performance Art Festival, June, 2016
Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, April, 2016 
Chetham's Library, Manchester,
 July, 2015
1012 Gallery, Brussels, July, 2015
7.5 Club, Paris, June, 2015
Buzzcut Festival, Glasgow
, March 2015
SOMA Gallery, Berlin, December 2014 (work-in-progress version) 

Kiss It Better 

'A reminder of the hurt but also the healing' ––– Lyn Gardner, The Guardian. 


How do you consider kissing as social interaction in everyday experience?

Conventionally, when you kiss a part of a child’s body that hurts, you tend to make it feel better by kissing it, saying as the idiom ‘kiss it better’. Kissing thus seems to be considered an action to end pain meanwhile bridging something contrary. However, can a wound be removed by kissing, and what if the pain is invisible emotionally? 



Kiss it Better aims to explore the meaning behind the cultural convention itself. It is an one-on-one performance revolving around a question posed to the audience: which part of your body has been recently hurting, feeling uncomfortable, or injured PHYSICALLY or EMOTIONALLY? While the audience member points out the specific part, River Lin drinks the merbromin and give it a kiss with his blood-red lips.  

During the process, the boundary of intimacy and public between the performer and the audience has been shifted, the connection of emotional and physical pain has been reviewed, and the invisible pain of one’s own has been marked as the visible wound after receiving this kissing treatment.