Moodrings, Crystals and Opal Coloured Stones

Xa, Zadie
Working with performance, moving image, textiles and painting, Zadie Xa playfully interrogates the cultures that inform her experience within the Asian diaspora. She is interested in creating non-linear narratives that centralise around powerful archetypes, which are often female. Moodrings, Crystals and Opal-coloured Stones, 2016 focuses on the central character of a Korean shaman, and channels the artist’s interest in magic, witchcraft and astrology. Fuelled by her research into female mudangs (or shaman) she develops a performance in which she acts out their rituals. Xa considers herself an ‘amateur’ in her understanding of Korean culture and identity, and therefore uses strategies of mimicry in attempts to perform or attain authenticity. In this video work, the artist wears SVN Stacks/Moon Marauder, 2015, an intricate, hand-sewn garment. Her textile works often combine references from contemporary streetwear, such as Western-style varsity athletic jackets, and traditional Korean folkloric clothing. The “G” logo on this work references “Ganggangsullae”, an ancient Korean women’s folk dance that was performed under the brightest full moon. It also features familiar symbols used to identify Asian bodies as ‘other’: the commodified yin-yang symbol, lucky numbers and ‘monolid’ eyes. Her work’s deployment of these exaggerated motifs challenges perceptions of Asian identities, while creating new alternatives.
  • Artwork Details: running time: 21 minutes
  • Edition: 1 of 3 + 1AP
  • Material description: HD video
  • Credit line: © the artist
  • Theme:
  • Medium: Film and Audio Visual
  • Accession number: ACC1/2018



The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.