MARKING TIME

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

 

Site-informed Video

The end of night

Or the beginning of day

Should you get up and start the day

Or fall asleep at once

高緯度的冬天大概有三分之二的時間都是黑夜,睡不著的我總會睜著眼等待黎明到來,好像天沒亮之前都還留在前一天似的,但事實上今天與昨天從來不是一瞬間的變換。我用縮時攝影拍下自己在工作室等待黎明的過程,但播出時依照實際的時間,每20秒換一張。如果觀眾想看到太陽升起,就得跟我一起等,而且無法知道會等多久。過程中我看似靜靜坐著等待,其實觀眾無法知道每張照片之間的20秒鐘我有沒有做些什麼。我們從間隔中創造連續,但又在真實的連續中尋求間隔;影片所帶給人的時間經驗,是千百張靜態影格,經過大腦的計算所形成,而我們對世界的認知也是透過大腦的歸納,並非世界真正的樣貌。

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.

Receipt of Now

 

Performance/Installation, Woodcut Printing on Receipt Paper

(W:10cm, H:19cm for each receipt)

Every second spent

Is a souvenir of the passing moment

Which will never come back

在生活中我們的時間不斷流逝,如果我們所花的每一刻都能得到一張收據,那我們的花費換取而來的可以說是我們自身對於存在的體驗。我以2秒作為單位蓋下自動跳號數字章,以人類的邏輯製造了可以被計算的時間收據,然而當無數的時刻轉換到紙上時,並不會成為真正購買行為所得到的收據,它們不可能換回我們付出的時間,它們是一疊無法退換的過去,僅僅作為已逝的當下的紀念品,而我依舊不斷地蓋章、不斷地用此刻製造曾經。

This work emphasises on the concept of passing moment. It was presented as a performance and became an installation afterward. In the performance I stamped on a roll of receipt paper every two seconds (due to my physical ability) with autonumbering stamp, until the receipt paper ran out at no. 265. Receipt is the prove of purchasing, which in this work stands for the time we spent in exchange of our sense of existence. Moreover, receipt is not the thing we buy, and that thing can never be returned as what we had spent. Every number I stamped is merely a vague figure to create an idea of the amount of moments, which again, is a unit we invented to describe and separate “now.”

A Drop of Water

Sound Installation (Collected Items+Water [Solid/Liquid] )

How long does it take?

For a drop of water to drop

 

How long does it take?

For an ice to melt

 

How long does it take?

For a river to arrive to an ocean

 

How long does it take?

For H and O to bond

 

What does that time sound like?

我們已經習慣精確而統一的時間,甚至不太記得沒有時鐘之前我們是如何觀察自然韻律來感受時間。水滴的形成是集合熱、重力、表面張力等許多物理力量的現象,由於環境是隨時變動的,因此冰融化、水落下的速度也是無法精準預測的,許多環境變因都能改變理想中應該要固定的韻律。我將冰塊放在網袋中,正下方地面上放置墊有金屬片的塑膠容器,當冰逐漸融化之時,水滴就會隨機滴落敲擊金屬片,如同緩慢且難以預測位置的雨聲。

We are overly used to live by the clock time, so much that we may not even remember the spontaneous rhythms. The forming of a water drop is one of the earliest ways to measure time, long before people invented a standardised construction time for every worker who cannot be late. Unlike the clock, water dropping is the joint force of natural elements such as temperature, gravity, and surface tension, therefore it is not as controllable as one expect although ideally it should be. This work is a use from the inaccuracy of natural material. As the melting of ice cube is influenced by multiple effects, the sound of dropping water turn into an unpredictable tune, just like raining.