Monday, July 6, 2009

'Whole, Semi and Skimmed' in Brent's Respect Festival 2009

My project ‘Whole, Semi and Skimmed’ was selected and commissioned by the Brent Artists Resources to be shown at the Brent’s Respect Festival 2009 on 5 July. In responding to the green theme of the festival, the project was to create an awareness of environmental issues rather than offering solutions. It demonstrates one of the many sustainable possibilities for the discarded.

Overall view of the installation

My aim was to deliver a light-hearted idea - to provide a temporary ‘English countryside experience’ to Roundwood Park. From a wider perspective, the project subtly indicates that things are interconnected and how a chain reaction started by a milk bottle can affect our living environment.

Brent Artists resources was calling for submission

The project solely uses plastic milk bottles in various sizes, allowing the viewer to take a new look at how the mundane can be turned into something extra-ordinary, and the familiar can be transformed and appreciated as something new or ambiguous.

The project makes up of a total of 48 sheep uses approximately 960 bottles to construct the body, and 1,300 of the bottle handles to construct the legs. The bottles are mainly collected from Brent’s Reuse and Recycling Centre in Park Royal (at least once) in a weekly basis from 5th May 2009 onward, but also through contributions from friends and colleagues.

The plastic milk bottles were mainly collected from Brent's Reuse and Recycling Centre

I visited the centre at least once a week to dip into their bin to find the bottles

My friend Leslie helped me to transport the work to the site

At the site, hot melt glue was used to assemble the legs together

The festival crew gave a helping hand to transport the work in the park

Using bamboo sticks to stabilize the sheep

It took around 2 hours to install a total of 48 sheep

Some of the sheep were requested to be installed at the Green market

The views from the higher ground where people relaxing, taking picture and having a closer look

A couple of views from the lower ground by the flower bed

Some of the viewers choose to interact with the piece

My wife and some friends were helping me to de-install the work


BAR (Brent Artists Resources): Lorenzo Belengeur.
Brent Council: Sophie Rigg, Vashti Waite, Radhika Silvapulle
Brent Reuse and Recycling Centre: Mr Brean and the team
Respect Festival 09: Crews and Security team
Soho Cafe (in Hendon Library): Monica
Hendon Library: Georgia, Maria, Ann Messere and others who contributed the bottles
Royal Free Hospital: to all staff who brought me the bottles
Friends & Relative: Leslie Ngu, Adam Tipple, Dong Won, Lai & Ti, Mui & Jack, and Estee & Kevin, and my Wife.

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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.