The Kick off observation
As I reach 30 years on this planet. It occurs to me...whether I am still in the infantile stages of dreaming when I look around and I see everyone in their serious manner going about their lives and I wonder whether this is how we are driven by dreams.
Why do we frown at our computers? While it is an inanimate object, I believe it sees our real characteristics, our happiness, our rage, the quick temper hidden between the lines, for it is an inanimate object and we know that. Hence we are unafraid to exhibit our emotions when we react to it.
Observation of a working individual in the local library (2017)
This led to the curiosity on whether the working desk actually exhibits our real characteristics even more then our interactions with people.
Why the Working Desk?
The working desk is a deliberate pick because we consistently interact with it everyday while our minds are distracted with work, hence while we busy ourselves with ongoing work, our desk accumulates our habits and choices on things we hold dear.
Preliminary pen studies of various work stations around the office. These initial studies serve as reflective pieces for me to understand the person inhibiting the space. What kind of personalities can we observe when we study the space in which people interact with without facades or boundaries. The study was done in a series in an attempt to identify common trends across various work stations. Whether there was even a common trend across various tables? Do the personalities of the person shine through all the clutter of work and habits?
This came after the initial small scaled pen drawings of my colleagues desk, in order to get a better observation/ understanding of what I was trying to capture, I opted to go into deeper observation by drawing their desk on A1 papers, allowing me to enlarge even the smaller details on the desk. This process of slowing down the observation led to being able to better identify what stood out in the clutter of work.
The problem came after completing the large scale observations, they were great research individually but didn't say as much as a collective of images, at this juncture of the research I was actually pretty stuck. By chance I actually signed up for a course with a local experimental Ink Artist Yeo Shih Yun in a programme called INKPulse
Throughout the duration of INKpulse, many opportunities was given to the participants to experiment with ink through various means such as paper & silkscreen. These exercises enabled the participants to have fun and free their imaginations from the constrains of the need to have technical proficiency (occupational hazard).
Natural materials (2017)
Series of Two
Chinese Ink on Sumi Paper
This were some of the many initial experimentations that Shih Yun made us try out during the lessons. One of the most amazing things that I experienced during these sessions was her continuous encouragement towards experimenting with the materials. These experimentations were very useful in getting me to play with the material and subsequently understanding the material. Sometimes in the the midst of trying to be a teacher we forget or at least I forgot that learning can be fun and Art is probably one of the most fun subjects to learn when you are in school.
Interestingly the main method that was the base in which my final work was created was discovered through an accident. As we were doing one of the experimentation and I accidentally laid the Sumi paper on top of some dried ink from the previous day resulting in a smudge on the paper. Captivated by the effect and encouraged by Shih Yun to experiment further I experimented further and tried out various ways in which the smudge could be used and controlled.
WORKING SPACES (2018)
Ink and Acrylic on Sumi Paper, AEDGE Art Exhibition 2017.
Working spaces was a concluding statement after internalizing what I had before INKPULSE and what i learned from the week long programme. The final work exhibit how the working space is an imaginary space which we hold close to our heart, laced with animal instincts of being territorial and filled with the clutter in our minds. It is the most honest depiction of the working man as the desk is a reflection of himself and a prison to his person.