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doorways to spring + the genesis of a universe

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Mar. 26th, 2012 | 02:07 pm



I'm applying to this as part of a collective. Info to come. 
If you want to play Voyeur and glimpse a correspondence about the ongoing brain-spilling process, look below. If not, don't. You have been warned!

Part I:

"For my solo show in 2013, I want to create a mirror world full of faceless creatures with projections of my drawings superimposed upon them. A seemingly sterile desert of half-formed beings would transform into a shadowy realm of things-in-the-becoming when the lights are turned off. The space itself would, ideally, be manipulated to resemble a womb-like blank slate containing sculptures of faces, bodies, cats, and creatures (with some parts exposed so you can see the wiring underneath) in-the-process-of-becoming. The white sculptures would ordinarily blend into the walls, subsumed by the claustrophobic, desert-like space. However, animated, a shadow world would come to life full of creatures in various states of metamorphosis. I'd also install crystals (in cave-like fashion) at selected angles into the sculptures and around selected parts of the room so the ceiling would be cast full of iridescent rainbows. The contrast between the still faceless, blank slates of the sculptures and  the moving, constantly fluxing shadow universe would truly make for an uncanny experience. Think Sylvia Plath's "The Three Muses" and their balloon heads. The show ill be accompanied by an ambient soundtrack full of watery, forest sounds by Justin Lassen. It will also hold a participatory element, in which visitors will have to go through a 'tattoo'-initiation rite (basically buying tickets and getting their hands stamped. But tickets can be bought by barter- by bringing in something pertaining to the theme of the show) in order to gain admission to the world the space encapsulates."

part ii:

"

Details of the project I have in mind are rough because I am hoping to conceive it with consideration for the exhibition space and locale, but I have a strong idea of the things I am interested in exploring and am excited to tell you more about them. 2013 marks the year I will be graduating, so I think it will be a nice opportunity to try and blend together my academic background and artistic practice.

To give a rough verbal sketch, I definitely am still slightly obsessed with the space of memory, and the spatial and cognitive relations between what is imagined and the changing present-as-is. I also recently finished "The Cave of Forgotten Dreams" by Werner Herzog and it got me thinking on a deeper level on how we construct ourselves as individuals through our interactions with the spaces about us, and what survives/disappears with time. You should give that documentary a watch if you haven't! 

After seeing that documentary, I was also struck by how similar it was to the vision I had for a possible 2013 show both thematically and aesthetically. Thematically, I'm interested in the vestiges of history, and the emergence of identity from time (my mummy series deals with this: http://www.coatcheckgallery.ca/goh#mummy) .On an aesthetic level, how cool would it be to recreate the same effect- dancing illuminations, shadow plays of my inky drawings projected upon curved surfaces, crystallites perched on top of half-formed skulls and figurines- for my 2013 Substation show? Additional images I had in mind: a world emerging from a nebulous realm of beings-becoming as sunlight gradually unveils a sun-stunned world of half-formed beings; a  soundtrack of organic sounds, flutes, humming, heartbeats; words, snuck into crevices and scribbled onto inside-spaces, hiding poems revealing subjective realities. 

"

part iii:

I just got an idea after doing a Wellcome Collection museum votive project I did illustrations for (http://www.wellcomecollection.org/whats-on/exhibitions/infinitas-gracias/inspire-a-votive.aspx) and hearing a friend's research project. I know I'm planning to collect the stories of my immediate and more obscure branches of my family. I have a rather colourful family history, and I've always been slightly obsessed with genealogy and my connection to the more eccentric part of my family that was 'broken off". I think I will start my project by getting close family members to tell me stories surrounding old family relics, when I return to Singapore this July.

Perhaps I can transcribe their accounts and cast them visually into the insides of the sculptures in the show. It would be cool if people had to crawl into the papier marche statues themselves and read those narratives. Justin also requested rabbits, and I thought it would be cool if we had a chain of running black rabbits animated across the backdrop. They would be the only truly animated entities in the show. The rest of the projections would function more like floating, stunted images and words.

part iv:


"As an additional element, it would be uncanny to have a band of live masked musicians at the opening playing live music. They will blend into the crowd, or be cloistered in a corner (much like the band of masked musicians in Dave Mckean's Mirrormask). The idea is to cross the distance between artist/audience, self/environment, artwork/viewer in order to create a truly immersive experience. 

The sculptures within the show will also be hollow so the public will be able to crawl into these womb-like spaces and read the stories projected (and at times inter-lapping so sentences are indistinguishable) on the walls. The stories themselves will be collected by me when I return to Singapore and told by different people. I will also intersperse some poetry; I am as yet not sure of the relation between poetic, literary and personal narratives but I definitely want to make people conscious of the fact all stories are constructions. The music that accompanies this will be something primordial, but not prelapsarian- think heartbeats, melodic curves that move from a slightly unnerving stasis to an orchestra of sound to something more muted (perhaps have it mirror the seasons in consistency, and how life fluxes and flows). The idea is to fulfill the childhood idea that stories are written into the landscape itself and has to be discovered by crawling into cracks and crannies."

A further update from another correspondence with Debbie Ding, who works on interesting work with the Substation on maps, cartographies, and the stories hidden behind natural structures.

"The art show I linked to is currently a work in progress. Ideally, I would like it to be a 'travelling' (through SEA) art show in which I erect the sculptures form whatever materials I find on-site, so the universe changes each time I 'migrate'. At this point, it really depends on funds, and the team I will assemble together.

I want to add a documentary element, as well, not unlike your work on the Singapore river. I love how you utilize your computer science background to compute a 'program' colelcting stories, btw! That's ingenious. Personally, I'm rather obsessed with the layers of stories that form part of a topography's 'soul' over time- the gradual incremental process of 'identity-accumulation'. It would be interesting to think of what the psyche of a place consists of on a collective level.

I'm obsessed with what gets left behind- the 'trace' or haunting that I personally feel in certain pieces of Singapore architecture as I wandered through it after a 6 year absence.On a personal level, it felt like constantly encountering past versions of myself, not all of which I remembered. If I myself find such uncanny resonances in seemingly mundane features- a stairwell, a green-tinted glass window, certain staircases, etc-, what about a country so rapidly fixated on speed, progress, the future? What is the 'trace' that gets left behind? Anyway, that's a very brief summary of where the project is heading to since I wrote that blog entry I hope half of it is coherent!"




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