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Artist of the Month - Ronald Ventura...
“The skin of his subjects can become an expressive surface, with tattoo drawings adding a new layer of meaning. Over the years he has developed a menagerie of what he calls “zoomanities” — human subjects with animal attributes, and vice versa — based on early 17th-century etchings of humanized animals he once saw.” - Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop from the New York Times Ronald Ventura has established himself in the last decade as one of the most prominent Contemporary Southeast Asian artists. Since his record breaking sale of “Graygound”, which sold for USD $1.1 million at the Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction in 2011, the Filipino artist has continued to produce works of art composed of figurative motifs, using his multi-layering style which is unique to him. Point of Know Return 1 by Ronald Ventura Lithography and oil base paint on aluminium sheet, Lightbox 2012 70cm x 90cm / 27.6″ x 35.5″ Edition of 3  USD $11,200 Partnership with STPI   Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. ...

September 24, 2015

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Artists in their Studios...
The Artling features a curated selection of artworks by artists living and working in over 20 different countries. With a majority of works produced in Asia or by Asian artists, we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate 10 artists across different countries within the region working in their studios.  Ketna working on the ‘The Last Asian Supper'  Working on 'The Fall of Venus'  Image: Artist’s Pinterest       Image: John Martono Image: John Martono       Farhad Moshiri in his studio in Tehran, 2008 Image: ArtAsiaPacific, photo by Shirin Aliabadi      Image: Cassette    Image: TrendsNow       Image: Artist’s Instagram   Image: Artist’s Pinterest     Chandraguptha Thenuwara working on ‘Spaces Giving Shade’ Image: GSA   Image: Geotamil       Image: Gridcrosser       Image: Amy Goodwin       Image: The Star   Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. *Note: If any of these images belong to you and would like to be referenced, please do not hesitate to let know and we will happily make the appropriate changes. ...

September 24, 2015

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Artists Collectives in Yogyakarta...
Find out more about three of the top artist collectives in Jogjakarta: Cemeti Art House, Mes56 and Forum Ceblang Ceblung....

August 26, 2015

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Five Artists Art Lovers Should Follow on Instagram...
Are you addicted to Instagram? Art-up your feed with our picks of artists to follow....

August 12, 2015

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The Archivist Project...
The Artling recently visited The Archivist, an artist-run gallery and screenprinting studio in Bangkok. About a fifteen-minute drive out of Bangkok’s city centre, The Archivist’s screenprinting studio is small, but packed with small wonders and beautifully-designed graphic works fill the space. The founders of The Archivist, Minchaya Chayosumrit & Kanaporn Phasuk, gave us a tour of the space and showed us some works-in-progress.  Display cabinet filled with past exhibition materials and art supplies Santi Lawrachawee’s Memorandum of Understanding, 3-colour screenprint and TNOP’s A Conversation with Jean Arp, 6-layer screenprint The Archivist founders & artist Santi Lawrachawee in their studio!   Detail view of Minchaya Chayosumrit’s A visual sleep diary The numerous colours used for The Archivist’s hand-pulled screenprints   The exterior of The Archivist’s studio     If you’re in Bangkok and are interested in The Archivist, their space is open to the public and they host regular screenprinting workshops teaching the basics of the medium. Learn more here.    See more works from The Archivist here. ————————————————————————————————————–   Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. ...

July 09, 2015

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Yogyakarta | Artist Collective Visit | Mes56 | Indonesian Contemporary Photography ...
Featuring the work of Agan Harahap, Akiq AW, Angki Purbandono,Bujangan Urban, Edwin Roseno Kurniawan, Jim Allen Abel aka Jimbo, Wimo A Bayang, Wok The Rock, Yannick Cormier, Yaya Sung, Yudha Kusuma Fehung, & Yusuf Ismail.    Yaya Sung, Study of Sanity; Flexibility 130515 (body chart A), 2015   Jim Allen Abel, Alun-Alun Kidul, Yogyakarta, 2015, Digital Print on Metallic Paper.   Angki Purbadono, Out of The Box #1, 2015, Print on paper and light box.   Agan Harahap, Semoga Selamat Sampai Tujuan, 2015, Digital Print on Paper   Wok The Rok, Lie Project, 2015, Screen print on paper   Wimo A Bayang and his works!   ————————————————————————————————————–   Any views or opinions in the post are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. ...

June 16, 2015

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Interview with Ernest Goh...
The Artling caught up with artist Ernest Goh ahead of the opening of Breakfast at 8, Jungle at 9, an exhibition featuring new photography works and an interactive art installation.  In the past, you have mostly worked in photography. What brought you to include this installation work for Breakfast at 8, Jungle at 9? I was taught by renowned potter Iskandar Jalil in art and design. The influence of his pottery was very strong so the urge to create sculptural works has always been at the back of my head. What was your inspiration for making this installation work interactive? I am big admirer of Yayoi Kusama and her work The Obliteration Room made a huge impression on me. The interactivity of Time To Wrap Up is a combination of paying a little homage to Kusama as well as an invitation to people to join me in wrapping things up in nature. What do you hope the audience will take away from the work? To better appreciate our delicate natural environment. For a few of your previous series, such as Chickens or Fish, your focus is on the animal and its sentience, allowing it to interact with the world around it. For this exhibition, however, you are using the animals and bugs as specimens, like in a lab. Why this change in depiction of the animals, from live to dead?   The animals photographed this time are specimens from the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum. Some of them more than 90 years old.  I hardly differentiate them between dead or alive when I photograph them. The beauty of the animal is still very much intact in fact death enhances the beauty.  Ernest Goh, B9J9- No. 004, 2015, DIASEC-mounted print   What brought you away from the animal portraits to this more scientific depiction of the animals? I approach the animal the same way. It is still very much a portrait of the animal. So I see no difference in the process.  What is your process for finding these specific animals – do you seek them out on your own?  As a trained taxidermist I have worked with dead specimens of animals and know what to look out for. I also worked with the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum’s staff closely to select the animals.  Dr Tan Swee Hee is one of them. His insight as a scientist was crucial when it came selecting the animals. ————————————————————————————————————– Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors. See more works by Ernest Goh here!...

June 08, 2015

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Interview with Jane Lee...
Internationally-renowned artist Jane Lee was recently at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute for the first part of her artist residency at the STPI workshop. The Singaporean artist is most well-known for her three-dimensional use of paint. The Artling had the opportunity to chat with her and see the works-in-progress, to see how Lee has been incorporating her unconventional use of materials into the print and paper-making process.  This is your first residency at STPI, how have you found it so far? I’m very excited. This is my last day, I extended two more days when it was actually only supposed to be two weeks. What have you found to be one of the challenges of working with paper or print, since you usually work with paint? Paper is a lot more dry. I’ve been working with paint, exploring paint as a medium. Paint is wet, and naturally turns solid. For me to start with this, it’s actually less of a hassle. It’s another, new experience. It’s interest to see how I can push and how much I can do with dry media. I’m trying to get away from painting. I’ve been practicing and exploring the possibilities of painting for a decade, but for me, this is like a new start. It’s a new start for me, a good excuse to get away from painting. Image courtesy of the artist & STPI   Do you think you’ll continue moving away from painting after this residency? Not really, I’ll still work with painting, but perhaps for another area I’ll look into working with other media. Like for these works, we are also going to incorporate some video and sound into the work, it’s more narrative this time. What is this body of work? Basically it’s like I’m playing with the birds. It’s about being trapped and finding freedom. Here, I’m pulling down the color from the bird. But the colors will not be shown through painting, it will be through paper. It will become a long landscape, but a landscape created through the color of the bird.   What drew you to working with the imagery of birds for this series? As I mentioned, the subject matter for this show is mainly playing with being trapped, confinement and freedom. Paper is related to nature, and the environment includes birds. Image courtesy of the artist & STPI Your works often have a very tactile quality, like your paintings and even the works you are creating here… I think I don’t do it consciously. People tend to want to touch it, but that’s not something I think about before. You actually have quite a range of ideas within these works created at STPI, but they all essentially relate to nature… Yes, we actually came up with 10 ideas when I first started. Did you end up creating all ten? No, that would be too much to show! What were some of the other ideas that came up? Well, we’ll keep it for another project… Image courtesy of the artist & STPI   In some of these works that I’ve seen you use very rich, deep hues of blue and purple. You use similarly vibrant colors in your other works, is there a reason for this? For painting I use a lot of very intense colors. For this series of works, I’m trying to move away from that. For example, I’m using some clear materials and we’re keeping the transparency for some. Although I guess I can’t totally get away from colors, even if I try. What brought you to the themes of being trapped and freedom for this body of work? Look around in our society, everyone is working day and night. No one has time for each other anymore, because you have to work, you have to earn a living. So everybody is a bit trapped in what they’re doing. How do you get to this freedom that you are depicting? Freedom? Well, to me, freedom is very important. I meditate, I pray, I believe in God. So that spiritual part, when you get in touch with God, that is freedom. I want to present that idea. I don’t know if it will happen or not, but I want to try. Image courtesy of the artist & STPI   What drew you to painting as a medium initially? I started as a painter. The first thing that attracted me to paint was the quality of the paint as a medium. When I started, I just stuck to the medium and tried to push it. It has been so many years, but there’s still so much more room for me to push the boundaries. But after ten over years, perhaps it’s time to for me to start thinking of trying something else. Hopefully this is a good start for me to get away from painting. It’s always hard for me to find a reason to get away from it. Do you have any ideas on what you want to try next? For now, my paintings are moving more into site-specific installations. I’m trying to incorporate architecture, everything, into the painting. Everything gels into one. I’m trying to break the boundaries, no longer just 2D, no longer 3D, beyond that. Any possibility that I can push. Image courtesy of the artist & STPI   With these works – coiled strips of paper –and even with your paintings with the strips of canvas, they all seem like the works are caught in mid-movement, it feels like they are still unraveling. What do you hope to convey with that mid-movement tension? I’ll keep that free for interpretation! You’re one of the most in-demand artists in Asia right now, do you have any advice for young artists? Work really hard. Don’t think about other stuff so much. I guess the most important thing is that you need to have passion for what you’re doing, that’s all. The rest is beyond our control, whether people accept you, whether people like your work or don’t like your work, you can’t be concerned with that. Any views or opinions in the interview are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the company or contributors....

April 21, 2015

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Interview with Heri Dono...
One of Indonesia’s most well-known contemporary artists, Heri Dono, was recently at STPI for his first artist residency at the Singapore institution. The Artling interviewed him to find out more about his creative process during the residency and his upcoming single-artist installation at the Indonesia Pavilion for the Venice Biennale. This is your first residency at STPI, how have you found it so far? What have you found to be some of the challenges of working with paper and printmaking? I know you use it for some of your other works, but how have you incorporated this into your works created at STPI? I’ve known of thisstudio since 2003, but this is my first time of the residency program here. Thisis a new experience to explore not just print but also explore three-dimensionalprints, with the different kinds of paper – like you can create very thick orvery thin paper. I have also explored combining paper and prints with metal, or different media. So you are bringing in your mixed media aspects that you use in your other works into these paper ones? Yes, it’s been a very interesting aspect that the people here [at STPI] and myself have tried to explore as much as possible. There are many possibilities to create through both conventional and unconventional methods. What has been your process from coming into the studio – did you come in with ideas from the beginning on what you wanted to create or did you come up with ideas as you talked to the printmakers? I started my residency with an idea, but I also try to work in an organic way. From one sketch, we can develop to other possibilities – it can be a three-dimensional work, or two-dimensional, or a mix of all of them. The schematics develop as there are different techniques and preparations for the works. Heri Dono with Chief Printer Eitaro Ogawa in the STPI artist studio. Image courtesy of the artist & STPI   What do you think is the importance of residencies like STPI in evolving the arts scene in Asia? I think it is important because people only know about etchings or lithography, the conventional ways of print. But the meaning of print is a lot more complex. You can create three-dimensional prints, and it is not only about the texture or the form, but also about the paper itself. I think in this area, in Southeast Asia, paper is very important. But in the hierarchy, it has become like a caste – paper gets a lower quality than canvas or other materials. A residency like this is important so that people know that in the history of art, paper and print has always been important. It existed 1,000 years ago, and people can still continue to keep it and collect artworks on paper. You were one of the first Southeast Asian artists to break onto the global arts scene. How have you seen the perception of Southeast Asian art change over the years?  Southeast Asia has developed a lot, not just in the arts but it has also progressed in its economic situation. Many countries in the world now look at Southeast Asia, and can see the meaning of economic creativity. In Southeast Asia it is very important – the idea is now of value, so we have to respect the ideas. In this situation in Southeast Asia, I think people started from respect for the level of technique in the art, to the level of the philosophy of the art, and now it goes into the respect of intellectual property – to respect all ideas of artists. A lot of your works have very strong Indonesian motifs, like wayang kulit, and other political themes that relate to the country. Your works have also shown very broadly overseas, how have international audiences reacted to that? Do you think that they understand it or do you feel that you need to give them some background to the works so that they understand the different layers?  Well, actually no one can avoid sociopolitical issues. If the price becomes higher, we have to accept it because of the sociopolitical issues. No one can avoid that. From the Ramayana and Mahabharata stories, they also have a context of the sociopolitical issues between the two kingdoms of Pandavas and Kauravas. A lot of folklore also has sociopolitical issues in their content. For the international audience, many other countries also have sociopolitical issues – like the Occupy movement. Now in Europe, they ask the artists to be concerned with their situation, not only to make abstract works. They have to be concerned and involved in their situation. Many artists have already made minimalist works, so we have to ask the artists to give consciousness to the people to make life better. So they can understand the content, or the symbols when I create the works. Heri Dono at the STPI artist studio. Image courtesy of the artist & STPI   So you think that it shows through, because the audience can relate to those different aspects, even if they don’t know the specific situation in Indonesia?  Yes, I think they can relate to the symbols of the artwork. I think if the artist gets their ideas from sociopolitical issues, it is not necessarily propaganda. But the symbols can send a message from the artist – not in political practice, but in the political consciousness. The exploration becomes a symbol – like Mahatma Gandhi became a symbol. The symbol becomes universal afterward because the symbol is not meant to reflect life separately. Art is a medium that people can be united under, from different religions, from different races. Artists are about egalite – they accept many different cultures, in an equalizing way. You have a great sense of irony in your works: you juxtapose the playfulness of your cartoon and comic book characters, with the social commentary that you are making underneath. What role does that irony play in your works?  Well actually, if you see in the traditional theatre or culture, the playful role is the servant or the clown. They can communicate with the king or the landlord in every traditional form. In Indonesia we have Punakawan [characters in wayang kulit], like Semar, Petruk, Bagong, or Gareng – they are all clowns. But they are gods as well. They transform as humans, and they look ugly in form but they can communicate with many levels of people. So they can listen directly from the people, and they can also criticize their king. They are on the level of gods but transformed as humans. So artists are like the metaphor of that. The ideas are not human, they are from our ancestors, and we give this message to the people. But we do not force people to follow this. We just give the platform and information that there is such a matter, and offer a solution. You started with painting, and have now moved on to the installation works that you are probably most well known for. What made you switch between media?  When I was a student in 1980s, I tried to see the formula in Asia. They have the concept of Mandala – in Mandala there is no perspective about subject and object, no distance between subject and object. In Asia it only exists between subject and subject, because the distance between the macrocosmos and microcosmos does not exist – the elements (water, air, fire, earth) exist in both. The concept of colonialism always starts from the distance between subject and object. In Europe they have the concept they call Terra Nullius where they try to discover regions beyond their continent. But when Admiral Cheng Ho travelled all over the world, he didn’t conquer any countries. He wanted to share, because all are equal, all are subjects. So from painting in two dimensions, I started to create works in three-dimensions and create installations. The issue of installation works is the atmosphere. The art and the audience are in the same space – it’s like Mandala. The concept is not separate. I think if Asian artists create installation works, it doesn’t mean that they are following the trend of contemporary art to create installations, but it is more based in the Mandala perspective. Heri Dono in the STPI workshop. Image courtesy of the artist & STPI   Your works were just announced to be shown in the Venice Biennale for a one-man show for the Indonesian Pavilion, congratulations! Can you tell me a bit more about the Trokomod? Yes, they are all completed and are now on the way to Venice! The Trokomod is the acronym of ‘Trojan Komodo.’ The story of the Trojan horse from ancient Greece – where they tried to attack the fortress from inside by hiding soldiers inside the statue. Now, the Trojan horse has become the issue not to give war, but to give knowledge. In this work, it is like how Southeast Asia is sometimes. There is a lot of misunderstanding in global issues. When people talk about East and West, in Europe, they don’t talk about East and West from a geographical globe, but from the geopolitical perspective of capitalist or socialist countries. In Southeast Asia, we are like a blank spot for modern or contemporary art – we are only seen as traditional, classic, or even primitive. That is not a fair perspective. So I put the Trokomod in the Arsenale in Venice. In the beginning, the Arsenale was used to create weapons. It was also used to store spices in Venice – after the fall of Constantinople, Europeans started to trade directly with Southeast Asia, instead of getting their spices from Turkey. At that point, Asia had already contributed to Europe’s development by introducing machinery and agricultural tools, noodles, gunpowder, etc.  The Trokomod is not about creating war, but about understanding. It has a periscope, so people can go inside. About 5-8 people can go inside, and see the atmosphere around the work. There are 9 boats floating on the ceiling of the space. There is a gamelan in every boat, and some lanterns with the heads of angels. It is about the maritime culture in Southeast Asia. It was the beginning, and how we built ourselves up. There is also a running text in the chest of the Trokomod – and in the cockpit there are two pilots in the head of the Trokomod. There is batik on the ceiling inside the Trokomod, and there are symbols of many religions, to show it as uniting. There are also artifacts from Western culture like the wigs (the artificial hair for the judge) and an early version of the pistol, and a few books from Karl Marx and many different things. Westerners used to always see Asia as an ethnographic region, but these are the European artifacts. And these are all your own collection? Yes. When I was in Europe I used to collect. For me, when I was there in 1990, I saw an artifact as an ethnographical object, a part of history. And now I’m bringing them all back to Europe. You’re very active in the contemporary arts scene, are there any young Indonesian contemporary artists that we should look out for? Yes, there are many young Indonesian artists that explore art and more that are becoming interested in the context of sociopolitical issues. There are too many to list!    ...

April 09, 2015

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Interview with Do Ho Suh...
The Artling had the opportunity to speak to internationally-acclaimed artist Do Ho Suh while he was in Singapore working on his residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute (STPI). We found out more about his new body of work and his plans for the upcoming year.   You’ve just completed a second artist residency at STPI, can you tell us more about your approach to your works this time around? This is my second residency at STPI, I already had an exhibition in 2011. The idea of using thread for the drawing came when I did the first residency, literally the first visit. I had three weeks here, and for two weeks we were just exploring different things, and I actually didn’t know where my work was going to go. They [the STPI staff] suggested many different things. And the idea of using thread came up because I’ve used fabric in a lot of my other works. That’s how it started, and it worked really well. We have ended up actually doing a lot of thread drawings since then. The scale & the complexity of the image has increased this time though. The images got more complex, as well as the color, and it has evolved quite a bit in my mind. And the way they also saw the drawing has been changed, or advanced in a way. All of a sudden, I have tons of ideas for making thread drawings. It’s been quite successful in many ways for STPI and me, with the thread drawings. I’ve come several times for this residency. Sometimes I can stay longer, like three weeks, or sometimes it’s 3 days or 5 days. I try to accomplish as much as possible during my residency. We’ve been working day and night. Imagery-wise, I had an archive of images from my drawing that have been sitting in my sketchbook.  From how far back? From way, way back. It was kind of doodling, and never realized as a work of art. They turned into the thread drawings. The thread and the way the thread reacts to the water and the wet paper, creates a very peculiar quality of line and appearance. The drawings that I made in the sketchbooks over the years, they are very simple line drawings, and I realized they would work well with this particular technique.  But those thread drawings are often technical drawings for my larger scale installation work. Most of them are sort of accents on my thoughts or interest in very profound philosophical questions that I had at the moment.  Do Ho Suh, Myselves, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist & STPI. © Do Ho Suh What kind of philosophical questions?  Like for this piece – I was thinking about how we are all interconnected and also the idea of reincarnation and karma. I was thinking about people I would meet or I have met throughout my life. If you believe in reincarnation then the people that you know and that you meet in your present life, you knew them before. For different reasons, and they all reincarnate. Not always 100% but a lot of them are reincarnated in the same area. Hindus believe that you get to know roughly 3,000 people in your lifetime. I’m very intrigued by the fact that they came up with this number – how did they do that? If you read the Hindu literature or philosophy, they often come up with very specific numbers. But then, the strange thing was… I started to collect the signatures from family, relatives, friends, and also – I think it goes back maybe 20 years ago – I had guestbooks for my exhibitions. I asked the audience who visited my exhibition to sign it, so they were somehow connected to me through my work, even though I hadn’t met them.  I started to work with these signatures, and incidentally, there were 3,000 signatures. These are all coincidences, it wasn’t done on purpose. Sometimes these people in your life help you to get somewhere, but at the same time you can have a problem with them. Whether it’s good or bad, you feel connected to these people, and sometimes it’s kind of tangled in human relationships. That’s what life is all about. So I’m trying to visualize and think about the rather difficult questions, and that’s what my sketch is about.  I use the word ‘entangled,’ when you think about it, they are entangled threads. A web of relationships.  Yes, it’s a perfect way to express the idea of ‘inter-connectedness'… Exactly. A lot of accidents happen as you work on the thread, when it goes onto the paper as well. That works perfectly with this idea. I’ve been using a lot of linear elements in the drawings, lots of lines. For these drawings, the lines are either progressing and suggests a direction that goes up or is coming down. It’s a figure but it’s kind of botanical like a tree so it grows. That suggests a sort of progression of life. It also suggests the life before me, which is the heritage, the history, the culture and the knowledge that has been passed on to me from generation to generation which you cannot visualize. You can’t see it, and you always think you’re an independent person or being. But I try to show things that aren’t really visible. This is the human relationship I try to visualize with the lines.  My question has always been how can I make invisibility visible. That is an overarching interest of mine, I’m a visual artist so I have to make something visually.  Various other themes come in, that generates these images. At the STPI residency, I have made a few architectural pieces, but most of them are figurative.  A lot of your works created during your residency do seem far more figurative than the rest of your works, is there a reason for this change?  Yes. As you go and as you develop different techniques and vocabularies, you just try to make it differently. Unlike a painting… Well that’s what I like about drawing – if you paint on the canvas, you can always scrape off and go over it – but with drawing it’s only the one layer. And thread drawing is almost like that. You put a lot of effort into it, but once it’s on the paper, you can’t change it.  The sewing stage is quite different from when it’s transferred to the paper. When the thread is transferred to the paper, the thread comes together. It’s hard to prevent, and I know what’s going to happen to some degree.  Do you anticipate it and adjust your schematic drawings? Or do you want it to be by chance? Yes, I try to control the thickness of the line. But this sort of loop, you can’t control on the sewing machine. Once it’s transferred to paper, it also looks different as it’s darker when it’s soaked in the water. When it’s completely dry, it gets lighter. So you have several layers that you have to predict how the work changes.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes it brings happy accidents. A lot of times it looks different from what you anticipated. So with the same image I try to do what I originally wanted to do, but sometimes the happy accidents can lead to some other directions.  We’ve been very productive. I’m very excited about the next exhibition, it’s going to be quite different. A lot of the new body of work, and the scale is much bigger and the images are going to be much more complex.  Detail view of Suh’s work in progress. Image courtesy of the artist & STPI. © Do Ho Suh What makes you work with fabric and thread in so many of your works? It came from the necessity, I have to say that I didn’t have any particular reason that I liked using fabric. It was more of a conceptual decision to use the fabric in order to create something three-dimensionally.  It was a conceptual decision to make transportable, translucent architectural space. That has a reference to clothing. Fabric works really well for so many reasons.  Thread I haven’t given that much thought, because I just automatically use it. Like I said, STPI people saw it and they are coming from a different angle, so they sort of separated fabric and the thread and suggested that I work on that. Sometimes you work on such a material for such a long time, you don’t really think about it and then realize that you use the material all the time.  Can we talk about your new paper works? This is the new body of works created at STPI. I have been wrapping space with fabric, and for several years I have also been doing wrapping of space with paper and actually rubbing it.  Those fabric and rubbing pieces are my personal spaces that I’ve lived in, either Korea, New York or London. But I’ve been to Singapore, and in particular STPI, many times already and stayed in the same apartment upstairs, so it’s familiar. Slowly I’ve started to see the space differently and it really became part of my life and part of my existence.  You spend so much time here and make works that are part of you. So I think my last visit I decided to do something like this in the STPI space, so these are the objects that are coming out of the wall in the studio and the objects that you may touch every day in order to get in and out of the space.  I’ve been doing this with my New York apartment and my Korean house, and it’s called the “Specimen Series”. It’s not the entire space, it’s just small elements. As the title explains, it’s a kind of scientific approach – like a pseudo-science as if I go out in the field and collect insects. And then you name it, and you collect insects and make a specimen. There’s a formula on the label, when and where it was collected and by whom.  This space is a shared space, it’s not just my own studio. There are so many artists that come and go, and everyday many times a day they touch these things – to flip a switch, to turn the lights on. There are probably many layers of history on the surface of these objects. I want to bring these invisible connections or memories that these daily objects possess.  How do you usually do the ‘rubbing’ of the objects? Is it while the paper is still molded onto the shape? Yes, these are just test samples. I’ve been using pencils and crayons for my other rubbings, but we’re trying to use the spices from local markets. You can almost smell it. The light switch is a light switch, it could be the same anywhere. It’s a gesture to bring a local element to the work. At the end of the residency, hopefully I can have this sort of collection of objects. And for me, it is a sort of gateway to visualize the space without being here. It’s almost the same as my desire to carry my spaces with me.  Do Ho Suh, Flowers, 2014. Image courtesy of the artist & STPI. © Do Ho Suh You’ve moved around a lot… Do you feel rooted to any particular place, after being in New York for so long but also growing up in Seoul? Yes, it’s interesting because it’s been 5 years since I moved to London from New York. I’d been living in New York for nearly 20 years. The move was not based on my career, it was for personal reasons. It was quite difficult, I’m still not completely comfortable. But having family and children makes everything so different. I feel like London is my home, but whenever I go back to New York, the minute I arrive in my neighborhood in New York City it’s so instant. You remember it? No, it’s not so much remembering… I don’t know how you feel about it, but when you go somewhere you have to pack and mentally prepare yourself to go to different places. I’ve been travelling to so many places throughout my life. Still, you have to shift your gear when you go somewhere else. For example, if I go to Paris, I have a little anxiety. Most of the time it’s a good thing, but you have to be mentally prepared for it. But New York, it doesn’t happen. Even Seoul, because it changes so fast, it feels quite foreign and it takes a few days to adjust. But in New York…. That’s the beauty of New York – no matter how much it changes the sense of it is the same, isn’t it? Yes! I don’t know what it is. The people are the same, they’re so neurotic. And you start to see the differences. There is a certain thing that New York offers you, they are a very welcoming city to strangers and guests.  Because of having my family in London, I feel London is sort of the traditional notion of home in my mind. Getting married and having a child, it coincided with my move to London. It’s a lot of change, but still I hardly go out beyond where we live. My studio is in the same building as my apartment. I was actually thinking about that the other night.  I was completely new to London, and my daughter was born. And by pushing her pram, we both started to explore and learn the neighborhood at the same time. So that might be an interesting idea for my next project as well. It has taken me much longer for me than I expected to get familiar with the surroundings.  I have experienced London in a different way than I did in New York. New York was right after grad school, where my career started and I was in my 30s. It was a different time and place. But London is for family, so I see the space in a different way. Also through the eyes of my children.  Have you created anything of your London home yet? Well I finally found a corner or part of my studio and apartment that I find interesting enough to turn into fabric architecture. It’s not the entire space, more a fragment of it. It’s kind of like an entrance area, it’s not like a lobby – I mean, it’s a small apartment – so it’s like an entrance area. I decided to call it ‘Hub’ – so you go in and you can go to the living room, the bathroom, the utility room or upstairs. It’s a small space, you feel isolated, but every wall is actually a door.  I’ve been interested in these spaces, like doors, staircases and things like that. It’s less obvious than the other elements that I have worked with before, but after living in the space for five years I start to see that. They’re slightly different configurations, even though the studio and the flat are in the same building. The entrance of the space, so that’s going to turn into the fabric of the piece.  For smaller projects, it started as a play or some kind of device that I used to play with my daughters: that might be something interesting to turn into a work of art. My life is slowly guiding to a new body of work.  Do you have any projects coming up? I constantly have exhibitions and projects, and I have a couple of museum exhibitions this year. I have a solo show in Cleveland coming up, and I have quite a large group show in Lyon, France. And then early next year I have another museum exhibition in Cincinnati. I may come back here [to STPI] in late June or July. I’m leaving tomorrow after two weeks here. I just saw some of the works that we’ve made during this residency in frames. They look really different in frames than before. I am very excited for the rest of the works.    ...

March 06, 2015

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