How it begins?
I studied ICT (Information and Communications Technology) and design during secondary school, and realised that they can go hand in hand. Although media art was not a thing back then, I learned coding in computer class, engaged in woodworking, and fell for installation art. Subsequently, I thought of combining these disciplines, and forged my way forward in this direction.
Why installation art?
I am good at observing, but less so in talking. Sometimes, words may not be sufficient to fully express my thoughts, and I sense that my feelings are often confined by words. On the contrary, installation can break these constraints, allowing more space for expression, and more time for the audience to comprehend the message that I wish to convey, unlike daily conversations.
Besides, installation art is full of surprises in its details. Artists may not spill the beans, but you can uncover their secrets through hidden traces on the materials and setting. I especially admire Greek artist Takis’ installations. I came across his exhibition at Tate Modern in the UK for the first time. The way in which his work Magnetic Wall (Flying Fields) is set beyond its size, had me reflect on the sense of space in installation art.
What does art creation mean to you? And what are your sources of inspiration?
I am particularly sensitive to interpersonal relationships and sounds, which consequently became elements in my creations. For example, my 2019 graduation work Connection Disturbance came from my observation of an arguing couple on the street. I attempted to comprehend the vague content in their conversation from a third person perspective by analysing their body language. Through three pairs of object-to-object interactions, I concretised their change in attitude, emotion and volume, as well as the relationship between passive and aggressive.
For my works, I pay special attention to ambience, hoping that the audience can feel the connection between the works, space and me. Putting aside academic considerations, I create to convey my inner thoughts with the most suitable medium.
Do you feel more inclined towards being rational or emotional? Any usual habits?
Media art cannot be too far-fetched. No matter how sensitive I am, I need to be sensible to realise my ideas. From sourcing materials to carrying out the plan, it all relies on rationality. Compared to other art disciplines, media art creations are rarely improvised. Each work can take up to two months to complete after a long process of trial and error.
I am accustomed to recording my thoughts with words and sketches, to avoid my original ideas slipping my mind.
Installation | 2022
Can you tell us more about “Loop in Allergy and Rest”, your upcoming exhibition at PMQ?
About two years ago, I suffered from skin allergy. Initially, I thought it was nothing serious, but the problem persisted even after taking medication. My body felt tired, numb and temporarily detached from the world with medication. This afforded me, however, the opportunity to look at myself as an outsider, and contemplate on my relationship with the environment, vicissitudes of life, and society; thereby adjusting myself and adapting to my sensitivity.
Later on, I came to realise that allergic reactions flare up when I am under a stressful or emotional condition. Ironic is the fact that, as an artist, we need to amplify our perceptions. Being sensitive is a good thing, but when this sensitivity becomes an allergen and wreaks havoc on the body then that is a different story. Through this exhibition, I wish to share my reflection, experience and progression with the audience.
Does your work have a certain domain or timestamp?
I believe my work has a timestamp, as it marks the different ideas I had at certain stages. For example, I did a social experiment and created FUTURE (SYM.) in 2017, inviting passer-by of all ages to draw a symbol that represents the future. This captures their imagination towards the “future” then.
Any plans coming ahead?
My works are relatively experimental and each creation is a new attempt. In the future, I wish to maintain this spirit of innovation, continue to explore my inner self through artistic means, and elevate myself both technically and spiritually.