Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Private/Public at Gallery 320, 20 - 25 Sep 2010

The cover for the invitation card. Image by: Ting-Ting Cheng


In July 2010, I came across the information of ‘call for submission’ for Private/Public exhibition and met Ting-Ting Cheng, artist and the curator for the exhibition. Tingting works with photography, and use everyday objects as the subject for her images. For example, in her ‘Invisible’ piece, she picked up discarded objects from the streets, placed them on the plinth and photographed them. Her practice “focus[es] on the relationship between objects, places and people’s emotion toward them” and “celebrates the banality of everyday life”.

At the entrance of the gallery


Private/Public was a group exhibition “scrutinizes the idea of domestic place in our everyday life”, and explores the concept of private space in public gallery context. Twelve artists including Hannah Forbes Black, Ting-Ting Cheng, Yin-Hua Chu, Sarah Churlish, Gerard Cuartero, Milena Galli, Denise Hickey, Steve Hines, Sule Kemanci, Katherine Lubar, Clare Motte and myself, “using various mediums to turn the gallery space into domestic, oscillating between private and public” said Tingting. The exhibition encourages raising questions on: “How does the domestic place mean to us? And what is the relationship between them? How does it reflect our personal history and everyday routine? And, how do artists reveal the residents by exploring the space? Furthermore, when the private becomes public in the contemporary art exhibition, what has been changed?”

A scene from the private view

I presented ‘Every Corner of my Flat’ for the exhibition, the piece inspired by the dust accumulates in my living space. Started in 2009 and ongoing, I use photography to document the process when I clear the dust, they are being rolled into a ball shape and continue to grow. The process provides a chance for me to scrutiny more intensely about my own living space. Along the way I observe, familiarize and recollect myself when going through my belongings.

'Every Corner of my Flat' in the exhibition. Image by Tingting Cheng.

'Every Corner of the Flat' (Archived image from Strange/Familiar exhibition)

The piece motivated by the relationship between objects, spaces, man and his behaviour and examines how they influence each other, it reflects how a space affects its inhabitant and the way we arrange our inhabit spaces to suit our needs. It is one of many potentials to ‘draw a portrait’ of a person, or to describe the character in his habitant space. The endless repetitive and accumulative activities manifest a sense of infinity and meditative quality that reflects in some of my work. In a separate thought, dust reminds me of two Buddhist poems:

The body is the Bodhi Tree;
The mind is like a bright mirror standing.
Take care to wipe it all the time,
And allow no dust to cling.
Shen Hsiu

There never was a Bodhi Tree
Nor bright mirror standing.
Fundamentally, not one thing exists,
So where is the dust to cling?
Hui Neng

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I am Solitary I am an Army, 31 Aug – 11 Sep 2010

Image from the invitation card


“The approach for the exhibition was to remove expectancy away from work dealing with an exclusively figurative approach to the exhibition’s theme; as a result, the work in I Am Solitary encompasses a more conceptual and abstract understanding of ideas around ‘identity’ and ‘individuality’. The works included comment on the relation to the individualistic moment of creation, the solitary subject, the remote instance, or even the viewer’s relationship to the work.” Beer Lambert contemporary

Entrance to the exhibition

Invited by Surface gallery in Nottingham, Beers Lambert curated ‘I am Solitary I am an Army’, an exhibition of “emergent contemporary art”. The 20 artists features in the exhibition were from over 13 different countries including Turkey, Israel, Malaysia, Greece, Australia, South Africa, Canada, the US, and the UK. The exhibition, according to Beers Lambert, “explores current and progressive trends and pathways in international emergent art”, and “each of the artists’ work responds to questions of identity and individuality, and each artist can be seen as shaping the direction of international and contemporary painting, sculpture, video, and photography”.

A scene from the private view

My work ‘Circumratation' was selected for the exhibition, other artists in the exhibition are: Joshua Bilton ● Lindsey Bull ● Tom Butler ● Dionisis Christofilogiannis ● BJ & Richelle Formento ● Joshua Hagler ● Aaron Head ● David-Ashley Kerr ● Grace Kim ● Carla Liesching ● Tom Nolan ● Sarah Pager ● Charlie Penrose ● Andrew Salgado ● Yael Schmidt ● Lyndsey Searle ● Berndnaut Smilde ● David A Smith

My work'Circumrotation' in the exhibition


'Circumrotation' initially took part in ‘The Affluenza Exhibition’ in 2009; that responded to Oliver James’s book called ‘Affluenza’. James argued that the recent financial crisis is the consequence of materialism and people’s dogged pursuit of external gains. The piece explores a sense of ‘trapped’ in human living conditions. On one hand, it responds to the life of many who imprisoned themselves in persuading power, wealth, or possession unaware that they trapped in a circle which has no beginning and no end, and no sense of first and last. On the other hand, it portrays people and things are interconnected that life revolves in causality, what goes round comes around.

Another scene fom the private view

Beers Lambert Contemporary Art was founded in Vancouver, Canada with the intention of supporting and advancing the careers of exceptionally talented young artists. They currently operate out of Vancouver; London, England; and Berlin, Germany, representing some of the most talented emerging artists from around the world.
Works by other artists


A cataogue was published for the exhibition. The dsign of the cover.


Artsdepot Open 2010, 23 Jul - 5 Sep 2010

Image by: Artdepot


artsdepot is at the heart of Tally Ho Corner in North Finchley, the art centre was conceived by the local community in 1996 through a conference called Barnet 2000. What emerged from that conference was an overwhelming need for more professional arts facilities in Barnet. The London Borough of Barnet then put the project in motion and teamed up with developers Taylor Woodrow and The Bull Arts Centre to develop plans for North Finchley’s regeneration and what was to become artsdepot. The art centre which includes a gallery called Arthorp Gallery, was opened to the public for the first time on Saturday 23 October 2004.

artsdepot Open is suggested as “a vibrant exhibition showcasing some of the best visual art talent around” and “an annual celebration of creativity”. It was in its sixth year returns to the Arthorp Gallery in 2010, and shortlisted artist include: Helen Maria Alveranga, Katja Angeli, Trevor Atwood, Patricia Bidi, Leszek Blyszczynski, Joo-hee Chun, Anthony Day, Jacob Eiseman-Renyard, Susan Eyre, Jamie Gordon, Veronica Grassi, Richard Greaves, Andrew Hladky, Jane Boyett Judd, Nick Judd, Myra Lawson, Paola Leonardi, Jane Lushy, Helen Michael, Sasha Morris, Alice Peillon, Paul Regan, Jacqueline Rudd, Flora Teh-Morris and David Waller, Celestine Thomas, Ian Thomson, Richard Treister, Taymaz Valley, Ben Walker, David T Waller, Christine Watson.

Initially my works ‘Circumrotation’ and ‘Whole, Semi and Skimmed’ were selected for the exhibition. However, due to space limitation and technical difficulties, the curator and her team decided to show the latter. ‘Whole, Semi and Skimmed’ was originally commissioned by Brent Artists Resources for Respect Art Festival 2009. It uses solely plastic milk bottles from one of the Brent’s recycling centre to construct into a flock of sheep. The piece took courage from remembering the toys I used to make when I was a child; it embraces mixed elements of build, play and time. It suggests a light-hearted aspect of art making and a meditative process of creation and recreation. It relates object with environment and demonstrates one of the many sustainable possibilities by rejuvenating the discarded into something ambiguous for appreciation.The following images are the documentation from the exhibition.

Image by: Chong Boon Pok Copyright: Chong Boon Pok

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.