2020 February - March
Art, Space and Nature MFA 2nd year solo project
Tent Gallery, Edinburgh, UK
The act of waiting is to find a point that would change the original status of waiting, to end the waiting, or to initiate a new segment of waiting.
In our perception of reality, time is a continuing process which we split into countless segments. In order to make the endless process productive (or bearable), people mark periods at almost every moment and constantly look forward to crossing them. When we go to bed, we wait to fall asleep; when we sleep, we wait to wake up. We create these cycles, we follow them, until our eventual death. The restriction of human limited time not only makes our lives meaningful; it also outstands the subjective cognition of now, which constitutes the concept of duration, and of temporality.
The exhibition Marking Time (2020) is a review to various ways to approach or define the character of time. The works are presented as various media such as prints, sound/space installation, video, or performance, and all followed with a piece of letterpress printing poem alongside.
Five works are created in this project, each of them stands for a unit of time, which can indicate a complete cycle or a certain duration, such as a day, a week, a second, or a sentence, a drop of water.
The juxtaposition of the works creates a context between constructed time frame and our present conscious. By making audiences to wait or spend or waste their time at the exhibition site in a non-productive way, these processes to experiencing durations tackle our interpretation of time.
Documentation Photos Credit: Harmony Jane Bury
Waiting for Dawn
The end of night
Or the beginning of day
Should you get up and start the day
Or fall asleep at once
Waiting for Dawn (2020) is a video piece which shows me sitting in the gallery and wait for sunrise. It was shot with time-lapse photography but played in the speed of real time. Just like me in the video, the audiences wouldn’t know how much time there is before dawn when they start to watch the video, and they have to wait with me if they really want to see the dawn. The so-called video is actually hundreds of pictures change every twenty seconds. During the twenty seconds, audiences couldn’t know what exactly I was doing until next picture. That waiting process is formed by hundreds of static images and the calculation of our own brain, which then create the experience of real time. The form of this work implies the way we deduce our world, but not what the world is really like.
Every Wednesday Is a Brand New Day
Collected Items, Letterpress Printing on Craft Paper
(A4, W:29.7cm, H:21cm for each piece)
There is a short moment on Wednesday morning
Everything is spotless clean
Until someone take the first step out
Then we start to wait
For the next Wednesday
Every Wednesday morning, a piece of paper is slipped into my mailbox claiming the cleanliness of stairs in my building. If I leave my flat early enough, I get to sniff the smell of surface cleaner and step onto the damp floor. Week after week, I start to look forward to these small papers and the upcoming of a spotless stairway. This work is a restructuring of common items such as the tags from cleaning company, A4 craft papers, and cotton threads that hold them together. By combining these items, I attempt to change the meaning they represent. A tag can be the official announcement of a new time cycle, and the date printed on A4 paper can be the mark of art time.