Eat A Chili: A Photo Novella In this hybrid fiction, the human consumption of chili pepper has surged beyond the culinary indulgence of spice. Beginning with an explosion of pepper grenades hijacking a bakery, Eat A Chili interweaves a disparate cast of thrill seekers, veering between language and image to reveal a cross-border feast blending the uncanny and emotional synesthesia of the everyday. The result is a science fiction ode to the pleasurable burns kindled by the spiciest of all.
Eat a Chili is the debut publication by visual artist Wei Weng, borne from a disturbingly spicy meal in her adopted home of Copenhagen. Synesthetically struck by the fiery onslaught of spice with a wicked vision, Weng began to sprinkle visual fragments from her photo archive with a blend of short stories, much like the multi-sensory layers of heat emanating and reverberating from human taste receptors. Within this re-staging a series of surreal encounters, Weng worked in close collaboration with photographer Jan Rosseel to sift through a decade of her photographic work, tracing the experience of metaphorical and physical burn through time and place. Eat a Chili is a bilingual publication that can be read in two languages and in two directions. The result can therefore be read visually and textually both from left to right, but also right to left, challenging the usual linearity of the western cultural imagination. With a compilation of images from China, Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, the United States, and Denmark, Eat a Chili feast upon the ways in which image-making crosses culture and constructs meaning.
The book’s intertwined narrative is reflective of Weng’s personal roots shaped by migration, and the result is a science fiction ode to the wonders of capsaicin—a hardly ascetic meditation upon the uncanny and emotional synesthesia of the everyday.