There are a couple of works I've done in the past 3 years that I have not posted up yet. Most of these experiments were produced for specific exhibitions.
First of all, let me try to explain where I am coming from with these pieces. A few years ago, I was starting to feel bored with the straightforward way I work, and how the works are then limited to my own lack of hands-on skills. I wanted to venture out into more technically complicated works (some may call this 'new media') - particularly with common electronic devices that produce light, sound and even wind. This is an issue interesting to me; to stimulate these senses in the appreciation of visual arts.
However, knowing what I want without knowing how to get it is my life story. So i begin with a grand idea, and little by little the idea disintegrates in my own hands, leaving behind what is left of the initial concept. Another problem with this new fascination is that I tend to get so preoccupied with the new material that I forget about the conceptual reason for using these readymades in my work.
1. Boredom #01 (2 plastic bags & a fan) - 2006
*please click on image for YouTube video
After the Adaptorcons, I wanted to create other works that needed electricity. At that time, I was drawn to the common industrial floor fans. Something about the simplicity of its design and obvious function attracted me to it. Using 2 supermarket plastic bags (one from Bangsar Village, and the other from TMC-Teng's Mini Market Centre), my boredom then lead me to draw faces on them and attach them to the fan.
2. Subway Xpress - 2006/7 @ Gwngju/Seoul; Korea
At the beginning of winter, I was invited to Gwangju to participate in the 2006 Cultural Contents Creation Workshop. During my one-month residency there, I found an acrylic safety mirror that allows me to manipulate the size of video-projections. But the problem was what to do with this idea of projection? As the month comes to an end, again I was faced with the same problem of focusing too much on the material and fall short of the reason to do it. At the exhibition, I projected the front and back view of the local underground train system - shot simultaneously. Using two sets of projector+mirror dome, I was hoping to cover the entire room with one unified motion. The footage I shot in the train turned out quite nicely, but reflected off the mirror surface, the final projection had compromised its quality.
3. Doolby Surround Sound - 2009 @ Osage Gallery, HK
10 artists,mainly from South-East Asia, were each assigned a space of roughly 25 sq m in the beautiful warehouse gallery of Osage, Kwun Tung. All artists were paired up with a curator in developing a new comission for the Some Rooms exhibition. Tintin Wulia (Indonesia) and I had the pleasure of working with Eva McGovern.
With this piece, I wanted to engage with the issue of technology in art again. By using lo-fi/mono megaphones, I wanted to re-create the sophisticated Dolby Surround Sound, that is synonymous with the development of stereo sound used to enhance the cinematic experience.
Working in collaboration with Eugene Chin of Pertama Music, KL; the sound was recreated by finding and recreating the different sound/notes that were used in the original sonic commercial. After going through hundreds - if not thousands - of pads (that's what they call a particular digital sound quality), we settled on two types of strings, two different laser sounds, the rumblings of a train and some cymbals. Each megaphone is then assigned a sound and playbacked on a 10-sec loop (an existing feature of the megaphone). A projected blue screen is also left on a 10-sec fade-in/out.
check out the video:
Thanks to everyone at Osage Gallery HK, Eugene Tan, Eva McGovern and Eugene Chin (Pertama Music).
*documentation by Osage Gallery, HK.