Self-Practice:
Quiescence

2019

Site-informed Video, Letterpress Printing on Tracing Paper

(W:8cm, H:multiple length)

"EMERGENCE", Tent Gallery, Edinburgh, UK 

Year by year, I have grown in familiarity with them all.

But if the whole truth of them is to be told as I have found it, I too am involved.

I have been the instrument of my own discovering; and to govern the stops of the instrument needs learning too.

Thus the senses must be trained and disciplined, the eye to look, the ear to listen, the body must be trained to move with the right harmonies.

 

I can teach my body many skills by which to learn the nature of the mountain.

 

One of the most compelling is quiescence.

 

 

The Living Mountain,

Nan Shepherd (1977)

In this work, I threw myself into the environment which I wished to build connection to, in this case was the dark gallery space. I lied down on the floor of gallery space and stay there no doing anything but breath, for as long as I can. This process is universal but same time specific according to different place or landscape. The gallery is a relatively neutral space which makes this practice almost like meditation, also emphasizes on the process itself. The process of calming takes time. I can’t reach quiescence unless I don’t do anything. I have to de-function myself in every way until I have waited long enough. When I think about Nan Shepherd’s word “to govern the stops of the instrument,” I realize that govern means the ability to retreat my own thoughts and release my senses. The perception does not come from the centre of my mind, on the contrary, it comes from every ends of my nerves.

Restriction is the point to the execution in both self-practice projects. When I was lying on the floor, or filming the salmon ladder, I couldn’t even move a little. I started estimating how long it had passed. After a while, I lost the sense of time. I knew it was unlikely to have anything happened, the only thing I was expecting is the end. Waiting is a passive action; it is an action to let time pass through, but it doesn’t mean nothing changed. Everything is changing during the whole time regardless inner or outer, and waiting is my probe to make it emerge. At last, “When can I stop?” became the ultimate question of whole process. During waiting, I was in fact making decision at every single moment, and I never knew at which moment I would finally yield. The act of waiting is to find a point that would change the original status of waiting, to end the status of waiting, or to initiate a new segment of waiting.

這是一個關於「沈默」的練習,我讀到蘇格蘭作家娜恩.雪柏德(Nan Shepherd)在《山之生》(The Living Mountain)一書中提到真正認識一座山所需要的「靜止的力量」,才發現山中之所以安靜,是因為我腦中的聲音之大,蓋過了周遭的資訊。於是我嘗試在空蕩的展間中躺下,什麼也不做,什麼也不想,使自己除了呼吸以外各方面都停止動作。這是一個漫長的過程,然而在逐漸失去時間感的同時,身體,包含腦袋,似乎不再是自我的一部分。當思緒的嘈雜褪去時,各種感官刺激朝我湧來,此時的我是一個載體,像浸入水中的海綿;一旦開始意識到自己的存在,一切便會立刻被阻斷,我就變成只是一個荒謬地躺在地上動都不動、旁邊還駕著攝影機拍攝自己的人。