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In the Belly of the Beast: Finding Sanctuary in the Art of Pan Daijing.

We all search for a haven, a place where we can shed our masks and truly be ourselves. But the path to sanctuary often leads us straight into the heart of our deepest fears. Trauma can be a double-edged sword—a force capable of both destruction and profound transformation.


These ideas resonated deeply during my experience with Pan Daijing, the Berlin-based artist originally from China.


Her work is a tapestry of storytelling, raw and experimental, defying easy definition.


It’s more than just grit and endurance; it’s a raw vulnerability, a powerful presence that channels poetic aggression into an abstract yet strangely comforting space.


Pan's artistic journey began with a brave leap from her homeland, blossoming into a multi-disciplinary odyssey. Her repertoire is as vast as it is captivating—performance art, evocative installations, minimalist dance exploring the silent language of bodies in space, and a passionate exploration of noise in all its forms. Through her lens, noise—traditionally harsh and confrontational—becomes a pathway to stillness, offering a cathartic release and a journey of self-discovery.


Musically, Pan navigates the dark corners of ambient music, industrial soundscapes, and electronica with an intimate touch. Her textured sonic collages are like a balm, soothing and releasing, while acknowledging the inherent duality of every moment. She rejects the sugary nostalgia of the past, instead focusing on fleeting moments, the delicate balance between the temporary and the timeless. Rooted in her past yet constantly evolving, she finds beauty in the act of slowing down, cherishing the process over the final product.


Pan's improvisational approach is the very soul of her work. It grounds her while propelling her forward, allowing her to navigate the treacherous terrain of doubts and anxieties with unwavering confidence and intuition. Her art thrives on interaction, a literal and metaphorical exchange with her audience. It’s a perpetual motion machine, fueled by the feedback and energy it absorbs from those who participate.


Through her immersive compositions, Pan creates a space for vulnerability, unearthing and addressing the messy, untamed desires that reside within us all. Her ability to convey her deepest emotions through sound is a testament to her dedication to vulnerability. It’s a brave choice, fraught with the possibility of rejection, but it ultimately enriches the audience through a process of osmosis, a sharing of raw experience.

At the heart of Pan’s work lies an unwavering moral compass—a belief in sacrifice. She offers her art freely, without expectation, baring her soul and expanding her horizons for all to see. This absence of force or manipulation leaves no choice but to shed our own pretenses and truly engage with the work.


Guided by intuition, spontaneity, and an insatiable curiosity, Pan's artistry has matured from the raw charm of impromptu performances to a more seasoned and precise expression. Her ongoing explorations with operatic voices, psychoacoustics, and raw vocalizations are a testament to her relentless pursuit of new creative avenues.


By relentlessly pushing her own boundaries and focusing on self-improvement, Pan invites her audience to perceive reality through a new lens, an extrasensory experience. She ignites the imagination of her willing participants, drawing on their energy to further fuel her own artistic fire.


In this dance between extremes, Pan Daijing guides us through the darkness, fostering resilience and understanding in the face of life’s profound contradictions. We may face our fears in the belly of the beast, but it’s there, within the crucible of vulnerability, that we discover the strength and resilience to truly find sanctuary.


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Words by AW.

Photos courtesy of Pan Daijing.

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