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THE SUR-BLIME


Distillation


Assignment A(5) ::: the Abbotsford Convent


Distillation from Assignment 1-6

Keyword: Drawing 4 Aspects: Performative Void Substances Encounter Audience Behaviour


Drawing / Surface


Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) ::: Entrance


Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) The vortex shape of audience route takes control of audience’s viewing experience. Driven from my idea of performative process, the mutual wall between Gallery 1 and Gallery 3 becomes my site in CCP project. For it provides a natural partition between the “stage”(Gallery 1) and the “viewing area”(Gallery 3).

Floor plan, site Proposal for Gallery 1 & 3


Sol LeWitt and the Wall Drawings

“In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work… If the artist carries through his idea and makes it into visible form, then all the steps in the process are of importance. The idea itself, even if not made visible, is as much a work of art as any finished product. All intervening steps-scribbles, sketches, drawings,failed works, models, studies, thoughts conversations-are of interest. Those that show the thought process of the artist are sometimes more interesting than the final product.” Sol LeWitt ::: Paragraphs on Conceptual Art

Sol LeWit’s wall drawings and “sculptures”gave me most inspiration in his method of curating the works on the wall. According to the principle of his work, LeWitt’s wall drawings are usually executed by people other than the artist himself, for “each person draws a line differently and each person understands words differently”. Sol LeWitt’s idea of drawings instructed by artist and executed by others is fairly related to my concern about audience involvement. And the idea directly led me to the design of an apparatus made of rows of pins on the wall surface for audience to put elastic bands on them. The visual layout was imitating strokes on drawing canvas, and audience is involved in the whole drawing process. By limiting the standing area where people draw in, the patterns shown on the wall shift within time and will gradually generate a form implicating body scale and shape. Here, the drawing consists 2 simple materials; happens on the surface and reflects the audience behaviour towards the wall.


John Carlin ::: Sol LeWitt Wall Drawings: 1968-1981


Model on wall ::: black pins and elastic bands

Proposal for Gallery 1 Proposal for Gallery 3 Pattern on wall step 1 Pattern on wall step 2 Pattern on wall step 3


“Drawing is something where you have a really direct, immediate relationship with the material, with the paper and pencil in front of you. So you make a mark, and then you make another mark in relation to that mark, whereas with a lot of my sculpture, I have a concept, and then it’s a labour. With drawing, you’re in the present. In drawing you take physical energy out of your body and put it directly onto a page.” Kiki Smith

“Sometimes you would sit down with no idea at all, and at some point you’d see something in the doodling, scribbling… and from then on you could enclose the idea… When one is young there are lots of possibilities that one hasn’t tried out; drawing is a means of finding your way about things…” Henry Moore


Drawing? Photography?

Technical drawings of inner wall constructions & Proposed effects on the wall


Different from my keyword Drawing, CCP is a gallery for photography, which holds different definition no matter in the technique, the information, or the ideas penetrated by artists. Therefore in order to come out with a more site-specific and strong-inidea proposal, the relationship between drawing and photograph regarding surface and site was put into consideration.

What’s the similarity of those two media? Can a piece of drawing artwork be made of photos or can a piece of photography contains drawings? Today, digital photos can be considered as the layout of pixels. So I enlarged each pixel into a certain scale and substitute each of them with a small dot, in which drawing appears. So, there are pieces of small drawings lining intensively on the wall, while in a general view, the surface represents a huge

piece of digital photo.


Drawing Out / Sublime


“Once the wall became an esthetic force, it modified anything shown on it. The wall, the context of the art, had become rich in a context it subtly donated to the art.” “Modernist space redefines the observer’s status, tinkers with his self-image….Space now is not just where things happen; things make space happen.” Brian O’Doherty ::: Inside the White Cube: Ideology of the Gallery Space


Looking for the Perfect Fit

On this stage of the project, the design moved from the generation of ideas to the test out of possibilities and different techniques were applied. Models made by all kinds of materials were made to test out the effects on both sides of the wall.


For the first test of material, I cut cotton cloth into square pieces and saw the edge of each piece on the round board. The fabric responded well to the lighting change and its shape and shadow shift when viewed from different angles. However the modal was only made only for one side of the wall. https://vimeo.com/42819061


The second test was with the same fabric but sawing on the edge of the middle line of the rectangle cloth so that the pieces were fixed on the board while both sides can be seen and it allowed light to go through too. But the view from any side of the wall was hard to inspect. https://vimeo.com/42953914


Testing of model structure (less fabric pieces) ::: Cupboard and cotton cloth


By imitating the structure of shutters that in certain angles, the view from one side of the wall can be limited while not on the other side, several models in the same shape were made by card paper. Although the function worked out well, the material was too stiff.

material oard and cotton sheet (from Gallery 3)

Testing of material ::: Form board and cotton sheet (from Gallery 1)


“Something rushes in and we are profoundly altered. And so, in looking at the relevance of the concept to contemporary art, we are also addressing an experience with implications that go far beyond aesthetics.� Simon Morley


Since the lighting effect has gradually shown its importance. I ran a small test which abandoned the idea of using additional material but purely changing the structure of the wall. A round hole was dig out of the wall and the relic was left hanging, supported by wood sticks. The lighting effect was unexpectedly well presented for the different of brightness on both sides were significant and the movement of light from only one side can be seen from the other. https://vimeo.com/42954227#


Through testing out various materials, structures and lighting conditions, the configuration and outcome of the final project became visually clearer and clearer. Additionally, within the feeling from models, I perceived that the idea of drawing should be understood more than just a behaviour happens on and forms the surface, it’s the whole period of time that the viewer gets involved; it’s the whole space wherever the vision reaches; it’s the whole process of audience drawing out the site; it’s the whole experience; It’s the sublime.


Let There be Light

“In the beginning, there was light, simply light. For followers of the Bible, the words “Let there be light” marked the beginning of everything. Science tells us that light initiated life on earth; plants and animals could not exist without it. Whatever one’s philosophical inclination, light is intrinsic to our physical and spiritual selves. It gives us the power of vision so that looking and consequent ‘seeing’ is possible. Because the evolution of human intelligence is primarily based on information we have gathered through vision, light has come to mean illumination and enlightenment, a possession of the mind. Not only does it reveal what is around us, it also makes known that which is inside us. That illumination is often spiritual in nature, applied both to God as the source of Divine light and to individuals who manifest it.” Lynn M, Herbert ::: Spirit and Light and the Immensity Within


In terms of different lighting conditions, artificial lighting was designed to cope with different weather especially when the natural light is not significant. Effects in both gallery were shown accordance to each situation. Projected light: https://vimeo.com/43432821 (Abandoned for lacking subtleness and gentleness) Natural light: https://vimeo.com/43438797 Inadequate natural light: https://vimeo.com/43435084 (Warm tone light carried by audience)


Drawing - Drawing Out / Surface - Sublime


“As we move around that space, looking at the walls, avoiding things on the floor, we become aware that that gallery also contains a wandering phantom frequently mentioned in avant-garde dispatches - the Spectator.” Brian O’Doherty ::: Inside the White Cube: Ideology of the Gallery Space


“Since the subject moves around (in a space), there should be no doubt regarding our ability to orient ourselves not only in the near past and future, but also in the space we will enter in a moment - or that exists on a map of yesterday’s activities.” Olafur Eliasson ::: The Weather Forecast and Now


Final Proposal


From left to right: Final floor plan Final wall elevation Wall structure section Wall structure detail


::: It was a sunny day ::: I crossed a street and stood for a couple of seconds in front of the CCP ::: Not a lot could be seen from outside of the sliding door ::: While stepping into the gate and walking into the dark, my eyes gradually adapted to the dim light ::: And things started to occur ::: I noticed I’m standing in a tunnel-like corridor, on my left hand side is a weird-structured wall ::: I’m not sure if the exhibition starts from the wall, so I took a close look to it ::: The holes were deliberately dug and nothing on the other side of the wall can be inspected ::: I started to move . ::: Whenever I turned my hand, looked up and down, or slowly pushed my body forward, the wall seemed to move with me, the circles were like frames but shifting the inside images all the time ::: And then I stepped away from the wall, it calmed down and became still again ::: There were no titles or labels, no information available ::: I found my way to the next room


::: Still with the impression of exhibits from last room, I walked through a narrow corridor and found a dark room ::: It’s an empty place ::: But it’s not hard to figure out the dominant illuminating wall ::: The circular lights penetrated from outside of that wall gave the room a mysterious atmosphere ::: It’s a quite and peaceful place ::: Something moved slowly and stopped ::: Not sure what that was, so I waited ::: The movement happened again and this time I see it ::: It was the shadow from behind the lighting “screen” ::: I moved closer and closer, the feeling got more and more overwhelming ::: Until I looked into the void, I saw fragments of a rather familiar space ::: Memory seemed to come back to me, behind the wall should be the room close to the entrance, where I stood and saw the wall


::: It’s 8 o’clock in the evening ::: I took a walk around and accidentally run into this white block building ::: There were lights inside ::: Out of curiosity, I went inside ::: The lights were all put on the ground close to a weird-shaped wall, so I lift up one of them and had a close look at the wall ::: The holes in the wall were deliberately dug and nothing on the other side of the wall can be inspected ::: I started to move the light around, the shadows stared to shift. ::: No, not only the shape of the one circle, but all the circles. ::: Within my movement, the wall came to life ::: And then I stepped away, the whole wall got illuminated and calmed down ::: There were no titles or labels, no information available ::: I put down the light and found my way to the next room


::: Still with the impression of exhibits from last room, I walked through a narrow corridor and found a dark room ::: It’s an empty place ::: But it’s not hard to figure out the dominant illuminating wall ::: The circular lights penetrated from outside of that wall gave the room a warm and sacred atmosphere ::: The lighting was uneven on the wall, occasional transition of bright and dark took place, slow and gentle ::: It’s not a still place, but a quite and peaceful one ::: I moved closer and closer to the wall, the feeling got more and more overwhelming ::: Until I looked into the light, I saw fragments of a rather familiar space ::: Memory seemed to come back to me, behind the wall should be the room close to the entrance, where I carried a light and saw the wall


::: Notes The Sur-blime

Main Idea: Time Present ::: Memory + Present + Future Gallery 1 ::: A tour starts from Gallery 1, ends in Gallery 3 Space Surface ::: Surface + Sublime Wall ::: Wall + Lighting, Shadow Perception Drawing ::: Drawing out Tracings/mappings on the wall ::: observing and exploring the wall + locating the self in space and atmosphere

::: Yan Ping (Amy) CCP Project How to Encounter Smudges, Surfaces and Sublime


Design Progress: Distillation Distillation from Assignment 1-6 Keyword - Drawing Surface Centre for Contemporary Photography (CCP) Site visit Sol LeWitt and the Wall Drawings Precedent Drawing? Photography? Site-specific idea Sublime Looking for the Perfect Fit Tests for materials Let There be Light Tests for lighting Sur-blime Final Proposal Final outcome



The Sur-blime