谭若瑜，马来西亚中国报，2009 年11月 21 日
“Left the homeland for many years, although he comes home to visit his family all these years but the rapid transformation of the city gave him a familiar as well as strange feeling. Does he feel more at home in his birthplace Kuala Lumpur or London? He thought for a moment and said that he was wandering the spaces between familiar and strange in both cities.” Tham YooYee, China Press Malaysia, 21 November 2009.
Refreshment was served during the private view
Fried Italian fusilli Malaysian style, a cooking performance on the private view evening
I also produced a piece of text for the exhibition that is published in the Strange/Familiar’s exhibition catalogue. The text is also published in an art magazine from Singapore called Nanyang Arts magazine (南洋艺术) later, alongside a special interview in their December 2009, issue 29 magazine. This is the text for the exhibition, and it was also being translated into Chinese:
Exhibition catalogue and guide
The seemingly extraordinary of our life can come from something quite ordinary. Therefore the strange can come from things that we are familiar with; they come along hand-in-hand, and exist in a contradictory structure that is simultaneously familiar and strange.
Visitors looking at the sculpture makes out of plastic mineral water bottles
Strange/Familiar is a self-curated exhibition, it is my first solo exhibition where I present a selection of my existing works as well as new works produced specifically for this exhibition. The exhibition contains cross disciplinary pieces including sculptures, installation, photographs, short film and audience interactive performance. The work chosen for the exhibition uses mundane objects and familiar situations that people are unlikely to devote a second thought to. Nevertheless, these pieces potentially greet the viewers with strange familiarity.
'Circumrotation' is another piece of work in the exhibition
My work is about devoting attentiveness to the everyday. The everyday is something ordinary, commonplace and familiar that surrounds us day in day out. Investigating the everyday compels us to confront the things and the totality of the world because the everyday is immanence, ever shifting, endlessly recurring and being. The everyday occurs in a cycle and interpenetrates; it is the beginning as well as the ending of each occurrence. It is endlessly building, deforming and reestablishing. The everyday includes everything, it is everywhere and nowhere simultaneously and one can never successfully draw a line where it starts and where it ends. It is everywhere when one looks at things and sees them, it is nowhere when one looks but sees nothing or trying to ignore. The everyday is present moment, it is right here, right now, and right in front when we are regardful and contemplating it, when our mind wander away the everyday treads past unnoticed.
'Every Corner of My Flat' consists a dust ball and a series of photograph
When we are trying to see something we are being attentive. We are being ignorance when we look but have no interest to see. The everyday in my work is the things that we often overlooked or have no interest to give a second thought.
Some visitors choose to interact with a floor projection piece called 'by the River of Windsor'
My art magnifies quotidian and shares living experience; these may be seen as the result of my interest on the matters of the everyday and Eastern thoughts. Exploring the as-it-is-ness of things, and interconnectedness between objects and people is fundamental to my work; my own cultural background and life experience are often revisited, examined, and evidenced in the work within this journey of exploration. They are not the representation of my life but the essence of my experience instead.
'Swan Cigarrete Folded into a Crane' is a tiny little sculpture
Socrates said that an unconsidered life is not worth living, what he meant is that we must observe important things in life that could enrich our life. I found simple pleasure in art making, like some people enjoy gardening, it enriches my life through observing and contemplating the everyday that is considered trivial rather than focusing solely on the important as suggested by Socrates. This is how my art became a form that relates to a space i.e. a space of self-development rather than self-complacence.
This is a less obvious piece stucks on the ceiling called 'Featherlite condom inflated with Helium'
This is a new piece makes out of used incense called 'BaoYou' (protectiveness)
A photograph piece called 'A single leaf trapped in Between Two pieces of Paving Stone over a Period of Thirty Days'
Visitors looking at the piece called 'Labelling Tags Attached to a Clothe'
A visitor spotted another less obvious piece called 'Assemblage of loosed Bristles from the Brush painted the Wall'
Delivering the artist talk
Another scene during the artist talk