Wednesday, March 26, 2008

'Nice to Meet You' in 'Paradise Stories' exhibition

My shadow tracing project called ‘Nice to Meet You’ was in an exhibition entitled ‘Paradise Stories’, the exhibition was organised by Kai-Oi Jay Yung in the quest of what constitute the notion of paradise. It took place in the International Gallery, Liverpool between 4th and 21st March 2008.

Brushes and different tones of grey paints were prepared for the event

What is paradise? There are three interpretations to this in Oxford English Dictionary: 1. (In some religions) heaven as the place wher the good live after death. 2. The Garden of Eden. 3. An ideal or idyllic place or state. Personally, I see paradise exists in our mental space, it is when a person letting go of all things, being free and living in a calm state of mind.

Audiences were tracing each other's shadow during the exhibition

In ‘Nice to Meet You’, I wanted to experiment a drawing and installation through the interaction between audiences tracing each other’s shadows. It sets up in a room with a single light bulb hanging down from the middle of the ceiling. The shadows of the audiences were cast on the wall as they entered the room, to allow them to interact and trace the shadows of the people next to them with the brushes and paint provided.

Audiences were tracing each other's shadow during the exhibition

In drawing, when we make marks we situate ourselves within a drawing in relation to what we see. Hence in ‘Nice to Meet You’, when the audiences trace a human shadow they situate themselves in relation to the person they were tracing that constitute what is present to us as we are – a web of transient and fluxional interrelationship. Paradise may be found in a web of interconnection that is made up of calm, peaceful and friendly individual.

A scene in the room where audiences left their marks

A closer scene

Welcome to the ground

Thank you for stopping over. The Ground We Share evolves from my research study where I make a comparative study between the concepts of the everyday in art practice and Zen.

My art practice may be seen as the result of my interest on the matters of the everyday and Eastern thoughts. Over the years, I have produced a body of cross-disciplinary work that explores the as-it-is-ness of things, and interconnectedness between objects and people. My own cultural background and life experience are often revisited, examined and evidenced in the work within this journey of exploration.

In Zen tradition, mindfulness to everyday trivial is important in their spiritual pratice, my research relates this notion of attentiveness from my work to this tradition. Historically, many important twentieth century artists and art groups who expanded Duchamp’s theory of the ready-made and the everyday were also influenced by Zen teaching from D.T. Suzuki and Shunryu Suzuki that can also be related to this research.

In contrast to the Western sociological perspective on the study of the everyday from important thinkers like Henri Lefebvre and Michel de Certeau; I look at it from a different perspective - through the prism of a contemporary artist that comes from an Eastern background.

This blog provides a space to share my activities and information arising from my work and research. You are welcome to be part of this interconnection by posting your valuable experience, thoughts and comments.