A playful exhibition at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum made me contemplate my process as an artist-musician. The exhibition titled “Collections and so on” is an interactive installation which invites viewers to participate and contribute to the outcome of the exhibition. Viewers can interact with the exhibition through assembling a number of personal belongings on an allocated surface. A picture can then be taken by pressing a huge red button mounted into the counter top. Once the image is processed, your collection forms part of a series of images projected on a screen during the exhibition.
The items assembled for my “collection” included most of the gadgets I use to gather source material when I go hiking and explore in nature. My collection include; a notebook and pen, a smartphone (which I used to take the image), a mini tripod (not included is a selfie stick I can mount on top of the mini tripod and a clip-on wide angle lens for smartphones), a USB cable and adapter, a 5000 power bank with an extra USB cable, a USB for extra storage and a set of headphones.
Over the years, I have learned to constructively deal with intense emotions by immersing myself in nature. The combination of exercise and beautiful natural surroundings create a space where I can easily work through these emotions. In the process, I project my emotional state onto the landscape. To make sense of these emotions, I make connections between my emotional state and natural elements or phenomena in nature through associations and metaphors.
Nature invigorates me. The natural flow in nature always reminds me to stay in the moment. I seek wisdom and comfort in nature. Trees grounded steady while swaying in the wind, teaches me about the ambiguity of personal growth. Water flowing gracefully sometimes viciously, teaches me about the flow of equanimity. Seasonal changes, life and death, light and dark, all represents the binary nature of being human. Opposites intrigue me.
I try to capture natural elements or phenomena in nature through video and photographic images. The gadgets I use are easy to manage when I go hiking and fit comfortably in my small backpack. Even though a sufficient outdoor camera will provide better quality, I prefer using my smartphone at the moment. Images and videos are spontaneously captured as I actively yet mindfully explore nature. I try to capture my surroundings as close as possible to how I perceive it when I make mental and emotional connections.
The visuals represent elements or phenomena in nature that correlates with my inner state and emotions. Besides making mental associations, emotions are being translated through music on the piano. Through a combination of video and piano compositions emotions are conveyed. As a performer, I am interested in the “transmission” of emotions between images and music as well as the “exchange” of meaning between live performance and an audience.
The “gadgets” in the photograph above (with the title ‘processing’) represent processes which begin with an emotional state. The emotions are then made comprehensible through a cognitive process. The mental association are processed through music composition and performance. Essentially, it is about making the inner world transparent. It is about turning the inner towards the outside, bringing the inner chaos to the surface and rearranging in into a comprehensible whole.
For me, these processes are never concluded. It will always be in process, in-between, moving back and forth, stuck between performer and audience. Perhaps this “in-between processing” is the correlation between opposites. It is never the one or the other; it is always the one becoming the other.