In the words of Catherine Malabou: “intelligence is nothing, and at the same time it is everything. It is the pure disposition, the ability to everything without having a being. This is what a gift is.”
I started articulating my thesis project when I got engaged in the process of making. For me an idea is not something that already exists, but the process in which my mind tunes in with the space. I let the space tell me what to do, as I discover different aspects of it that are not apparent at first glance. My time spent in the space engenders and develops the work, which becomes more specific as the making overlaps with the process of tuning. The potential of the gift/disposition lies precisely in this process.
In traditional cinema, the narrative develops sequentially as time passes. The mind travels to distant locations, and oscillates between past, present and future, while the body of the viewer remains still. In contrast, in the exhibition space the viewer navigates the content of the work at their own freely chosen, or directed by the artist, spatial trajectory. Thus, by considering the very nature of the exhibition space, I hope to take the advantage of this nature as much as possible.
As a traveller/artist, I try to carry as little baggage as possible, so that I can focus on observing and reflecting. As I find myself caught into the game of appearances, I try to delve into it so that I can focus on the incompleteness that can suspend and enhance my thinking. Anything that helps me apply this conceptual program could be my medium.
The project I would like to develop during residency would be a continuation of the previous project “Gift”. It is easy to expect, of the new project, the variation on material/content/message in terms of the change on space/time, even on social/political circumstances. But still, what I will hold onto is the very potential of the idea “gift” being tuned to the thinking process.
Here is the description of the previous project “Gift”:
When you enter the gallery there is a huge ground floor space in front of a staircase, all the pieces of work that constitute the thesis project are embedded into every corner of this huge empty space. A video projected on the floor oscillates between different scenes, the camera slowly moving around two buildings (the old Hunter MFA building and the current Hunter MFA building). On the wall under the staircase there is a projected still black and white image of a city scene, also from under the staircase there is a constant recurring daily sound/noise (freight handling, phone ringing…). On the other side of the space, by the corner of the small window, there is a screen playing a translated poem, the reciting voice coming from the ceiling. A painting with the same image as the one projected under the stairs is leaning by the window, on a specially built shelf embedded in the architecture. One can take the shelf as a peculiar feature of the existing architecture, itself rich on odd nooks and crannies. By the side of the big window, there is a pipe hanging down from the ceiling and there is sound/song coming out of it. When standing around the pipe, looking out of the window there is a cart on the sidewalk containing a monitor that plays a video with two parts (Part 1 outside of old Hunter MFA building on West 41st Street – Part 2 inside of current Hunter MFA studio spaces); looking up at the ceiling from a point close to the pipe one can see a mirror reflecting the cart on the sidewalk. All these senses are embedded in the existing architecture and can be missed or neglected at first. Not before some process of walking, looking and listening do they become more visible and start to connect. The more time one spends in the space the more their tuning gradually happens.
M FA, Hunter College, New York
BA, China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing
Exchange Program at California College of the Arts, San Francisco