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© Lee Mok Yee

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© Lee Mok Yee

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© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

© Laura Porter

© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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To conclude the residency I really wanted to make some work that summarised some of the conversations I've had with Mok Yee, especially around about the use of cork wood in his work, and how the language of this particular material is important to him. It seemed that the transformation, from natural material, to broken down fragments, to an almost invisible, practice material, was really important to how he interacted with the wood. Tearing, stacking, shaping - Mok Yee subverts the hard lines and functional nature of the material to something that is more suggestive of its origins. I found this scrap OSB board, which is a sheet material made by compressing layers of fragments of wood, and sealing them with resin adhesive. The fragments of wood are placed in certain orientations to make the wood as strong as possible, with the internal strips laying perpendicular to the external strips. Most commonly used in construction. A lot of my work uses clothing as the core structural material, and I often push and manipulate clothing to test its material properties, whilst still trying to stay true to the familial characteristics of clothing. Here, I wanted to play with the structure of clothing, whilst also marrying this to the wood form. Using clothing to create these soft, coloured edges (much like how clothing covered parts of our own bodily forms) but leaving the OSB wood exposed (where it would normally be covered up), I attempt to find a tension between their functionalities, whilst also finding a common language between the two. The textured OSB board also made me think of skin, with all its marks and imperfections, and almost porous appearance, and instead of clothing engulfing our bodies, here, the fabric simply frames the flat shapes. Drawn from outlines of clothes that hung limply, or simply lay on the floor, I like to think of the objects as in a state of 'waiting', in a moment before they move from one thing to another. Working with found/reclaimed/discarded/waste materials and objects, this moment is important for me: the moment that something goes from a functional item to not wanted - an excess. When talking about how my practice reflects my culture, I think it's in the idea of excess. We are surrounded by excess. - LP

PHASE FIVE: CONCLUSION

 

The LTHT Community of Practice at the Historic Dockyard Chatham Rope Walk inspired by the Bow Gamelan & Paul Burwell Archive - three boxes containing various records, sketches and ephemera performed with Burwell, including David Toop, Stephen Cripps, Christopher Small, Richard Deacon and Bob Cobbing. 

Ropery Songs took place on Monday 29th May 2017and introduced visitors to readings from the Bow Gamelan & Paul Burwell Archive – a selection of 12 reproduced archival sheets. These were juxtapositioned with corresponding projections from LTHT events, improvised sound, gamelan and interactions, a student-designed performance by Chase Coley (MA Sound Arts LCC) in the hope to find ‘slack’ within the rich visual and sound interrelations.

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Installation, stone, wood Gill Shreeve 2

 

 

'My work explores the active dynamic between perceptual and motor relations with the world, between mind and matter, inner and outer - where one flows into the other. It responds to our experiential relationship with space, light and materials, the relative and transparence. A sense of the provisional feels important for maintaining this active dynamic between sight and site, surface and structure, material and immaterial, conscious and unconscious - allowing gaps for observer and the emerging to enter. While studying for my Master of Fine Art (MFA) at Newcastle University, between 2016 and 2018, I became interested in eastern approaches to relationships between materials and the spatial. Similarly, my practice research draws on architectural use of materials, light and transparence for creating a sense of the immersive. These interests continue to inform my work, following my first visit to Japan in 2019, and have influenced recent work exploring relationships between interior and exterior, outdoors and gallery creating arrangements across a variety of materials and working between two and three dimensions.'

Gill Shreeve

© Gill Shreeve

© Gill Shreeve

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© Laura Porter

The practicalities of weaving on a fence were harder than I expected. I kept stinging myself on the stinging nettles, and I sometimes struggled to get my weaving needles through the small gaps next to the metal. Grass would get tangled in the fabric, and my knees got damp and muddy. And then I realised that these things were necessary. 

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

Weaving has been a common thread throughout the residency for me, as I attempt to connect material and space. Here, I use a man-made, outdoor construction as a loom on which to weave onto. The colours and textures are a contrast to the environment in which it sits, whilst the metal of the boundary fencing becomes part of the weave. The fabric follows the contours of the fence, and there is the tension between the pre-existing and new structures, which is accompanied by the tension of the warp and weft. - LP

On environment:

My process of art-making is consciously slow, labor intensive and repetitive. I do this everyday that it has become my ritual. I do this as a counterpoint to the fast-paced, modern lifestyle we live in, which is unsustainable and exhausting our natural resources at an alarming rate. Only when we slow down; look, touch and feel, does an alternate life reveal itself to us.

I like to explore the symbolic and alchemistic meaning in common, everyday materials and imageries I found around me, even materials that are considered to be useless and thrown away. I transform them into ‘magical’ objects that encourage contemplation and reflection about the normal things in life and their relationship to our private memories and collective experiences. Materials contain within them histories, be it natural or cultural, that could be unleashed and re-arranged to form new ways of retelling old stories of universal

© Chang Yoong Chia

Chang Yoong Chia

2010 Chang Yoong Chia, Orang Belanda I,I
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There's construction at my residential area since two years back and it's going to continue another two years. 

They are building the highway which we don't know where it leads to and who benefits from the highway. Recently, they were 4 men were killed in the incident. 

Kuala Lumpur is full of construction this few years which most of the project was not necessary and didn't plan well. The collusion and corruption between government and developer is something we can't deny. - MY

© Lee Mok Yee

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© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

Creating and combine environment by using reflective materials.  - MY

© Lee Mok Yee

Kian Tan

Kian examines the interplay between folk customs and contemporary religious issues through installation, video and painting. His long-term practices are a series of rubbing project works with various ancient tombstones, and war monuments which delve into personal and collective memories; probing postcolonial condition, immigration and the ambiguous position of the Chinese diaspora. His works poetically deal with the reconstruction of monumental spatiality, home, and displacement.

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Lorna Johnson

'My instinct as an artist is to cherrypick and I see this as part of my role as an artist. I am drawn to objects and materials where the monetary value is questionable: materials, objects, trades etc. that could be perceived as more disposable and non-precious i.e. it’s not made of gold, something else can replace it, not usually kept for long, there’s only a scrap left. Visually this is explored through the combinations of materials and quantities of items that I choose to use and make, and the association’s people may have with both material and object.’

Following on from their talk ‘On Material’ with Kim Ng and Sharon Haward, Lee Mok Yee and Laura Porter are talking with Kian Tan and Lorna Johnson for their next conversation ‘On Object’. Exploring the role of the ‘object’ in contemporary art practice, we will discuss production and the act of making an art object, the cultural significance of objects, and the relationship between material and object.

 

‘The study of objects through the prism of art, and through the words of artists, allows one to see how complex the world of ordinary and less ordinary objects and things truly is.’

- Antony Hudek

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© Laura Porter

dried palm leaves found on my daily walk - LP

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© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

© Laura Porter

Being and Circumstance

Robert Irwin, 1985

 

4. Site conditioned/determined

Here the sculptural response draws all of its cues (reasons for being) from its surroundings. This requires the process to being with an intimate, hands-on reading of the site. This means sitting, watching and walking through the site, the surrounding areas (where you will enter from and exit to), the city at large or the countryside. Here there are numerous things to consider: what is the site’s relation to applied and implied schemes of organization and systems of order, relation, architecture, uses, distances, sense of scale? For example, are we dealing with New York verticals or big sky Montana? What kinds of natural events affect the site - snow, wind, sun angles, sunrise, water, etc.? What is the physical and people density? The sound and visual density (quiet, next-to-quiet, or busy)? What are the qualities of surface, sound, movement, light, etc.? What are the qualities of detail, levels of finish, craft? What are the histories of prior and current uses, present desires, etc.? A quiet distillation of all of this - while directly experiencing the site - determines all the facets of the ‘sculptural response’: aesthetic sensibility, levels and kinds of physicality, gesture, dimensions, materials, kind and level finish, details, etc.: whether the response should be monumental of ephemeral, aggressive or gentle, useful or useless, sculptural, architectural, or simply the planting of a tree, or maybe even doing nothing at all. 

 

Here, with this fourth category of site-conditioned art, the process of recognition and understanding breaks with the conventions of abstract referencing of content, historical lineage, oeuvre of the artist, style, etc., implicit in the other three categories, and crosses the conventional boundaries of art vis-a-vis architecture, landscape, city planning, utility, and so forth, reducing such quantitative recognitions (measures and categories) to a secondary importance. 

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'Temporary fencing, as the name suggests, is a free standing, self-supporting fence panel, the panels are held together with couplers that interlock panels together making it portable and flexible for a wide range of applications. A common type of temporary fencing is Heras fencing. Fence panels are supported with counter-weighted feet, have a wide variety of accessories including gates, handrails, feet and bracing depending on the application. Fence panels are commonly constructed of either chain link or weld mesh.'

- Wikipedia

© Laura Porter

© Laura Porter

© Laura Porter

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I arrive at my studio every day at 8:00am. At the same time a small white van, a pick-up truck, and a slightly bigger white van arrive to work on the building opposite.

 

We all negotiate the limited driveway, reversing and creeping past each other, and dodging the maze of Heras fencing surrounding the building site. I find it hard to spot the orange cones that are dotted about. Where I park, I can't access the side or back door of my van, so I keep everything I need for the day in the front cab with me. Some days I just have my rucksack, other days I'm carrying an assortment of bulky, awkward items that I juggle as I clamber out of the driver's seat, and then have to put everything down as I search my bag for the keys to the wooden doors of my studio. 

I spend most of the day listening to the banging and drilling of the building work. It's an old workshop that's being converted into a flat. 'Perfect for an artist - with the workshop underneath and a living space upstairs', the owner told me. It would be nice, I agree. 

First the scaffolding went up, and a large metal beam went into the side. More scaffolding went up, and the roof tiles came off. A timber structure came jutting out, and then cladding covered it. The roof tiles went back on - they looked the same as before. 

When it rains, no-one's there. 

The scaffolding has started to come down, section by section. The cordoned off section of Heras fencing is getting smaller and smaller. Most of the fencing panels are just propped up by a wall. Metal posts and spare materials lay piled up next to the building, and fewer people turn up each day. I guess it's nearly finished. -LP

Molly Rooke is a multi-disciplinary artist and educator, living and working in the South West of England. She explores themes of preservation and restoration through coastal geography and heritage.

On environment:
'The environment has slowly crept into my practice over the past couple of years. Having always been interested in the seaside and coastal locations, it was inevitable that the dangers of climate change were going to start to become more and more pressing. Seeing the constant threat of coastal erosion near my home town, along the coast of West Somerset, I became more and more intrigued by the ways we as humans try and prevent and fix the problem. Using traditional, domestic methods of fixing in my practice, such as darning stitches, I use objects from the coastline to highlight the ongoing push-pull relationship we have with the coast, constantly trying to slow an inevitable degradation which might be bigger than human intervention.'

Molly Rooke

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© Molly Rooke

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I like modifying a material and placing it back in the place I found it, in some way. I'm interested in the juxtaposing sense that something belongs and doesn't belong at the same time. Showing work in a non-art setting and showing the work in a 'white cube' space always alters the feel of the piece, and the materials talk to each other in a completely different way. I like the challenges that take away an element of control when exhibiting in different environments. I photographed this work on a windy day and as a result the work became tangled and distorted as it danced with the wind. - LP

© Laura Porter

© Laura Porter

'The primary distinction I wish to make concerns two notions of site: a literal site and a functional site. The literal site is, as Joseph Kosuth would say, in situ; it is an actual location, a singular place. The artist's intervention conforms to the physical constraints of this situation, even if (or precisely when) it would subject this to critique. The work's formal outcome is thus determined by a physical place, by an understanding of the place as actual. Reflecting a perception of the site as unique, the work is itself 'unique'. It is thus a kind of monument, a public work commissioned for the site.'

- The Functional Site, or, The Transformation of Site Specificity, James Meyer, 1995

 

PHASE FOUR: ENVIRONMENT

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Yen Sum predominantly works with textiles when creating her ever-evolving installations and explores the concepts of relationships and interconnectivity, between us as a society, our practices and interactions with our environment. 

On repetition:

I like repeating small units of artworks in a large format, because whole structures such as these allow us to feel the process of life, making us want to get closer to it. In addition to the visual language, repetitiveness also represents the repetition of body movements. Making each line is a record that is a result of a trace left by the movement of our body.  Piecing together each piece of thin black thread by weaving them together and breaking and re-linking them reflects the continuity of the thread of life. Every motion records my life, these lines are like the lines that connect people and memories to one another. As time goes by and our bodies move, they become thicker and deeper.

© Yen Sum

Yen Sum

Kim Ng

Kim Ng is an artist and art educator based in Kuala Lumpur. He works with a variety of media and art forms such as mixed media painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, and installation work.

Working as a multidisciplinary artist, Kim Ng explores his concern on memory, relocation and dislocation, social phenomenon and human conducts through various materials, methods and artistic style.

 

Through collecting information and material from the place we live, Kim Ng works with the direct fact that happens around us through various resources to define who we are and projecting the issues and questions in the course of the visual language that associates with each individual’s experience. His practice reflects the subjective way of seeing and thinking in the process of art-making, building up a vocabulary of feelings through materials and its visual representation. Kim Ng’s works never settled into one way making, the variation in materials, art forms and methods of making keeps him stimulated and engaged with his art-making.

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© Kim Ng

On Material, presented by Reciprocal Space Residency, is a talk between UK-based artists Laura Porter and Sharon Haward, and Malaysia-based artists Lee Mok Yee and Kim Ng, discussing the role of material in the making process, the significance of non-traditional art materials, and the ethics of material choice.

Sharon Haward

Sharon is interested in the way that architecture shapes our experience of space through its interaction with the body. She is drawn to the way that the scale of a building, the materials it is made from and the surfaces we come into contact with can affect our physical and psychological sense of place.

Her practice focuses on creating 2D and sculptural artworks that are informed by specific architectural structures and features, their materiality and their relationship to the human form. Recent developments feature an arrangement of grids, openings, printed and painted surfaces that suggest a combination of hard, rational, exteriors and softer, folded, interior spaces. Buildings to get wrapped up in perhaps!

 

An important part of her practice is a 'thinking through making' process, which enables ideas to grow and develop as she responds to different concepts, materials and spaces in an instinctive way. Recent painted fabric pieces have evolved through a kind of unplanned dance between painted and sewn fragments and the creation of larger impromptu fields of painting and collage, always referring back to the urban spaces and buildings. Haward's focus is often based on exploring how these objects interact with the space they are shown in so they both interact with the space around them and become embedded in it.

© Sharon Haward

© Lee Mok Yee

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I believe that a repetitive act is able to transform an object or create a different characteristic of the materials.  

In part of the repetition theme, I am interested how object transformed when there exist in an unusual form and exist without the original function. The repeating act can be an unconscious mind without knowing when to stop. - MY

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

When does a repetitive act end? What are the limitations? What rules must be put in place? How do you organise something so that it fulfils the criteria of repetition? - LP

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© Laura Porter

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Agnes Lau experiments with the mind and its conscious/subconscious state.

On repetition:

'The way I make my works is very alike to a computer program in an imperfect approach. I came up with a certain system or rule and started doing it until it's completed, even if it meant having several layers on the same canvas. The rule that is set at the beginning would give control to the entire work, and that made it interesting, as I could never get to imagine how the final work would look. Whatever happens, happens ... When one continuously does something, even if it's meaningless, for a prolonged time, automation creeps in and the mind runs on its own. However, when one is continuously doing meaningless things for a prolonged time, the process determines its value and time is interpreted.'

Agnes Lau

© Agnes Lau

© Agnes Lau

'The formal values of machine-made objects [...] are quire distinct from the formal values of hand-made objects; and to match the virtues of precision and abstraction in the form of machine-made objects, we need precision and abstraction in the ornamnt. And these qualities the machine can provide. The impression or inclusion of lines, hachures, punches - any repeated or continuous pattern - is an appropriate function of the machine.'

- Herbert Read, Art and Industry, 1934

There is something satisfying about systematically arranging something. 

Off-cut wood is something that stacks up in my studio and takes up space, but I hold onto it because I know it'll be used. 

As part of our repetition theme I'm interested in how we perform mundane, utilised tasks, and the meditative, repetitive actions become self-conscious but also puts a magnifying scope on seemingly uninteresting or basic objects/actions. - LP

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© Laura Porter

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© Lee Mok Yee

Repetitive form of Basin Strainers - MY

'If materials could be presented in such a manner as not to overwhelmed or belied by form, it might possible to introduce into art a new kind of truth'

- Philip Leider, 1969

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

Richard started his optical work in 1975 in direct response to his early exposure to the work of Joseph Albers and Bridget Riley. His exploration of the Hexagonal grid originates from an early interest in the role of geometric patterns as symbols of the divine. 

 

On repetition:

‘I constantly return to repeated patterns that can be both precise and irregular, playing with frequency and resolution, to create work in which you can be lost, for a moment, between specific observation and universal perception.’

The mediative moment of time between visual impulses has been a perpetual theme in Richard’s abstract work and emanates from his experience of observing water. His interest in how and why we perceive patterns in the way that we do has an emotional and physical connection to our ancient heritage as hunter gatherers. Richard is a keen observer of how this connection continues to play out and seek expression in our contemporary lives.'

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Richard Gregory

© Richard Gregory

© Richard Gregory

'Let us consider some possible definitions of handicraft, or hand-work, or work done by hand. 'Done by hand' as distinct from work done by what? By tools? Some things actually can be made without tools it is true, but the definition is going to be rather exclusive for it will take in baskets and coiled pottery, and that is about all! Let us try something wider and say 'done by hand-cools as distinct from work done by machines'. [...]  'Handicraft' and 'Hand-made' are historical or social terms, not technical ones

Is Anything Done by Hand? David Pye, 1968

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Connor's work is an enquiry into the nature of maleness through the use of dichotomous materials such as steel, knitted wool and fabrics. These materials act as signifiers of traditional binary associations with gender and working class industries.

On repetition:

‘Repetition exists within the processes I use. The accumulation of knots and loops. The manipulation of the material. It exists within the repeated therapeutic motions used when making. Knit one, purl one, repeat.'

Connor Shields

© Connor Shields

© Connor Shields

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Systematic deconstruction is a  big part of my practice - whether it's cutting out the seams of clothing, cutting strips to use as yarn, cutting scraps into tiny pieces, or using specific fabric for its individual qualities. Here, I've cut the sleeves out of eighteen items of clothing. Sleeves are instantly recognisable as individual objects, and put together they create an eery mass of bodily forms. - LP 

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I have often used craft techniques such as knitting, crochet, embroidery and weaving in my practice. I like to see how structures build gradually from the same repetitive processes. There is an endless quality. - LP 

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© Laura Porter

Michelangelo Pistoletto's use of fabric remnants and rags in his work goes back to 1968, when cultural values were being questioned throughout the world. At that time repressive social structures, that also dictated every artist's image, werenegated and the corpses of appearances came to light - the ghosts of an imperial doctrine that aimed to subsume the world under one single concept both in the East and the West. A unanimous aesthetic brought everything down to the same level in the name of reduction and repetition. Accordingly the artist, just like the worker or the student, would have to engage in endless repetition to become a metaphor of production together with his signature creation of style of visual composition, whether it be a comic strip, a cube or a fluorescent tube, etc.

- Germano Celant on Michelangelo Pistoletti, 1982

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© Laura Porter

PHASE THREE: REPETITION

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Manish Nai represents the hierarchies of artistic media and Indian social structures using cheap, commonplace materials, such as jute, old clothing and newspaper, in his large-scale sculptures

 

The complex arrangements form organised, regulated structures, and the abstracted materials go through systematic changes to create something new. 

 

By under-taking the process of compressing, twisting, stacking, folding, arranging and cutting, Nai’s sculptures are imposing in their simplicity, and always hark back to a sense of identity and place; growing up in India, where his parents worked in the textiles industry. 

We visited the virtual exhibition of 'Form and Void' at the Richard Taittinger Gallery here

Manish Nai

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richardtaittinger.com/exhibition/form-and-void

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© Lee Mok Yee

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© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

'Recently, materials other than rigid industrial ones have begun to show up. Oldenburg was one of the first to use such materials. A direct investigation of the properties of the materials is in process. This involves a reconsideration of the use of tools of relation to material. In some cases these investigations move from the making of things to the making of material itself. Sometimes a direct manipulation of a given material without the us of any tool is made.' 

- Anti Form, Robert Morris, 1968

Jack Hirons

Jack explores the relationship between depiction and material. 

© Jack Hirons

On Transformation:

I guess it’s everything in a way especially in the Bone Black paintings because I'm taking chicken bones and turning them into paint. And I guess I’m looking for the audience to really acknowledge this transformation in order to know that they are looking at chicken not just as a depiction but also physically, the particles that make up the image were part of a chicken not all that long ago. 

© Jack Hirons

Using the glycerine-alginate-glue combination, I used a paper-making mesh frame to create a new sheet-material, with the fabric - in order to mirror Mok Yee's use of cork wood, made from breaking down the wood of a cork oak tree into a dust-like state. 

I was able to drill into the material, and it was rigid enough to hold its own weight - paralleling many properties of wood, as demonstrated with the nuts and bolts that. 

Whilst the structure is rigid, the softness of the fabric is still apparent to touch, and the structure could be broken down once against and cast into a new formation. 

The new material effectively embraces the characteristics of two juxtaposing materials simultaneously, whilst questioning the function and role of these materials as separate from one another. - LP

© Laura Porter

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As part of our transformation theme, I wanted to make a new 'substance' using the clothing I usually deconstruct in my practice. Here, I hand cut fabric into basic fibres and tried different methods of altering the material.

The glycerine and alginate hardened the fabric enough to make a strong object whilst maintaining the characteristics of fabric, but there was substantial shrinkage.

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My first trial was using resin, but I felt it changed the fabric too much, and it lost all sense of the fabric's character

transformation of material - LP

The flour substance was successful as a hardener but caused discolouration of the material. 

Due to how cold it is in my studio, it was taking a long time for the water-based substances to dry. 

The glue and water combination kept the fabric soft, and created a good shape, but the structure was very brittle.

Next I looked for more organic ways to cast the matrials into a solid object without losing the essence of fabric. 

Cast: base of vase

Combination of glycerine, alginate, glue and the result was good - solid structure and the fabric is still soft

Cast: vase

Higher ratio of glue to water and the object is more solid but altered the fabric too much and darkened colours

Cast: square brick

Glue and water on a larger scale. Although it took too long to dry, I liked the eroded corner where the structure broke.

© Laura Porter

© Laura Porter

© Laura Porter

© Jannis Kounellis

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© Jannis Kounellis

Inspired by Mok Yee's use of incense, and its temporal existence by design - despite the often intricate work that goes into the smell, colour, and shape - I decided to burn some of the woven fabric I had been created; wrapping it around reclaimed wood, and carving the end to mirror the fine wood of traditional incense sticks. The fire takes on the role of paint - marking the material and blackening the original colour of the fabric. 

Much of my work is inspired by the Arte Povera movement, who often linked nature and culture by juxtaposing mundane, manufactured materials (like cloth, or glass) with organic materials or elements (like fire, earth or water). 

Jannis Kounellis, associated with Arte Povera, used fire in his exhibition at the Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art in London, in 2013. The work included empty shelves where scorched objects had once sat - exposing the back by-product on the gallery wall.

 

He combines inanimate and animate objects, often with a sense of performance, and explores heritage and culture through individual and collective experience. - LP

fire as paint / medium / mark-making / process / substance / tool / means

© Laura Porter

Tan Kian Ming

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On Transformation:

The transformation of site-specificity and transportability is a crucial concern in my work, especially when making a connection or a connotation to displacement or diasporic topic, which the function is able to move particular object like tombs to different places. Foil paper is currently my main materiel that seek to apply it to engage with particular issues like identity, funeral custom or even the thread of Chinese immigrant in Malaysia. As an art material, I also wonder how can possibly experiment it as a skin or rather a medium between dual aspects, like the connection between present-life and after-life/ the contrast of soft material & heavy historical thread.

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Kian is a Malaysia-based artist who examines the interplay between folk customs and contemporary religious issues through installation, video, and painting.

© Tan Kian Ming

© Tan Kian Ming

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​Chinese Lantern (Tang Lung) is a very significant symbol in Chinese Culture. It can be seen in any Chinese Festive or occasion. I collected the Lantern and replace the Red fabric with a Construction safety net. The work transformed the cultural symbol and imitate the construction site which cover the scaffolding with green safety net. - MY

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© Lee Mok Yee

The idea that trash is merely 'matter out of place' is commonly references and was used by the anthropologist Mary Douglas in her classic study, Purity and Danger. She discusses the point in relation t 'dirt', in a passage in which she examines 'dirt-rejecting' and 'dirt-affirming' philosophies and cultures. All dirt is relative. Clearly, 'matter out of place' is 'trash' in one diverse modality of living - and treasure - or matter in place - in a different interlinked, coeval one. Generally, at the point of 'dislocation', stuff usually consists of leftovers or remainders - wast or unwanted material - from some activity or process. 

- Junk: Art and the Politics of Trash, Gillian Whitely, 2011

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Inverting the purpose of discarded objects to functional art materials - a picture rail from an old house becomes a loom, or frame, or both. Wood found on the beach becomes a canvas. Rusted nails and chipped paint don't detract from the imagery but contributes to it, and becomes a mechanism for portraying a message. There is a relationship between the material imperfections and the shapes of the fabric that have been manipulated by the objects. - LP

Art and idea and art as action: 'In the first case, matter is denied, as sensation has been converted into concept; in the second case, matter has been transformed into energy and time-motion.'

- Lucy R. Lippard and John Chandler, The Dematerialization of Art, 1968

© Laura Porter

© Laura Porter

PHASE TWO: TRANSFORMATION

'The decision to collect garbage satisfies the aspiration towards exceptionality  inherent in the commission for selection of exceptional valuables, but in essence your activity is democratic, since this garbage could belong to anyone.'

- Ilya Kabakov, On Garbage: In Conversation with Boris Groys, 1995 

Ben Hartley

Ben Hartley is an eco-anxious artist based in Bristol, concerned with the environmental impact of the art world and it’s obsession with material perfection. 

On chance:

          'My sculptural works are beholden to chance and subject to serendipity, whether this is in the chance encounters with material in the urban environment, or accidental composition within the studio.'

 

© Ben Hartley

© Ben Hartley

'Certain art is now using as its beginning and as its means, stuff, substances in many states - from chunks to particles, to slime, to whatever - and prethought images are neither necessary nor possible. Alongside this approach is chance, contingency, interdeterminacy - in short, the entire area of process. Ends and means are brought together in a way that never existed before in art.'

- Notes on Sculpture, Part 4, Robert Morris, 1969 

© Laura Porter

chance / balance / lay / hang / unknown / placed / precarious / unframed / framed

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© Lee Mok Yee

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chance / combination / variation / recompose / found object / form

"The material is allowed to appear as material; it does not merely resist the imprint of form"

- Niklas Luhmann

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© Lee Mok Yee

Stack and build the wood cork piece by piece, breaking the window glass by chance. The work explores a combination of materials and making process. - MY

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Wallen Mapondera

Wallen Mapondera is a multi-disciplinary artist from Zimbabwe who is currently based in South Africa. 

He creates complex structures using cardboard and textiles; ordinary materials that are transfigured into precious, textured visual puzzles. The compositions explore the lineage of time and history. 

     

'We handle or see about us ballpoint pens, paper-cutters, clocks, books, eyeglasses, refrigerators, scooters, jets, pots, etc., all of which doubtless condition us in an almost absolute manner towards a certain formal orientation.'

Gilla Dorfles, The Man-Made Object, 1966

Letting the shape of the object take the lead, the tension of the fabric tied around the rebar plays on the robustness of the concrete structure - LP

© Laura Porter

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Mark works with photography, drawing, and printmaking,

where his various configurations become sensory fragments that investigate the methodologies of mark-making.

On chance:

               'As covid-19 struck, and multiple restrictions were imposed, I perceived this as a hindrance. I started expressing these restrictions through lines, creating marks with paint, ink and graphite, resulting in new encounters  leading to future possibilities. '

Mark Tan

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© Mark Tan

Fifty Helpful Hints on the Art of the Everyday. 

Allen Ruppersberg, 1985

 

General

The individual search for the secret of life and death. That is the inspiration and the key. 

The reality of impressions and the impression of reality. 

The ordinary event leads to the beauty and understanding of the world. 

Start out and go in. 

Each work is singular, unique and resists any stylistic or linear analysis. Each work is one of a kind. 

Personal, eccentric, peculiar, quirky, idiosyncratic, queer. 

The presentation of a real thing. 

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© Lee Mok Yee

T-shirt

jeans

wood offcuts

metal found on the beach

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© Laura Porter

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© Lee Mok Yee

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© Lee Mok Yee

I'm interested in the materials I find in my immediate environment; items that have had an intimate relationship with the body, or that contribute to building our domestic spaces - LP

'[Phyllida Barlow] called herself a 'thoughtless artist' in that things often happen in the studio 'without thinking', through the process of making, itself.'

p.24 Cul-de-Sac, Alastair Sooke

© Laura Porter

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© Laura Porter

Using the leftover wooden pieces found in my studio, I make myself respond quickly to the leftover part of the wood in different shapes and sizes. The sculptures are made using the surface and structure of the residue materials. For me, it's an opportunity to make decisions less precisely and more quickly - MY

© Lee Mok Yee

© Lee Mok Yee

'Accident, as a trigger of the unconscious and, occasionally, of real freedom, is a common enough feature in much of the art of the twentieth century  - but within limits. In current art it looms very large. An artist ostensibly involved with Change may actually be tangling with chance. Change is closely bound up with Chance but it is not the same thing; for while Chance may palpably reveal, some aspect of Chance, the latter may also be regularized to exclude the former. If employing Change in one's work is risky  at this time because of a probably high percentage of artistic failure due to nothing more than a lack of cooperation from a public invited to participate in the activity of transformation, a conscious use of chance bypasses failure by building non-control into the work as a  desideratum. Whatever happens by definition happens as it should. Theoretically, every occurrence is as 'good' as every other.'

- Chance Imagery, George Brecht, 1957

'Part of human life escapes from work and reaches freedom. This is the part of play that is controlled by reason, but, within reason's limits, determines the brief possibilities of a leap beyond those limits. Play, which is as fascinating as catastrophe, allows you positively to glimpse the giddy seductiveness of chance'

Georges Bataille, Chance, 1944

I like that Mok Yee uses organic shapes to suggest where the artificial, man-made substances come from originally. Here, I've collected items that demonstrate the natural processes that have manipulated the materials - LP

Gathering materials is a large part of my practice; normally collecting things that I find when I'm walking to work or the shops, or as part of 'daily exercise'. Chance and circumstance, therefore, informs the direction of my practice, and I try to keep intention as a secondary action.

It always intrigues me how rusted metal begins to look like twigs and bark from trees; even breaking and peeling in the way wood does. The metal eventually succumbs to nature. 

PHASE ONE: CHANCE

In Conversation: Introduction

Artists Mok Yee and Laura talk candidly about their practice and ways of working