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FREE 2008/09


Work Based Learning The Reflective Journal

Nothing Special Happened here today

The beauty and ugliness that we ignore or pretend not seeing

Hui Wen Hsu FdA Fine Art Skills & Practices Year 1 Flat 65 37 Queens Avenue London, N10 3PE +447588887039

Need a shelter?

Introduction - My WBL Reflective Journal

Last term I have made an ‘installation’ to be the final assessed representation, which was a combination of the projects during aforesaid time, such as ‘The Fold’, ‘Shelter’ and ‘Let us Build’… After discussing with tutors in the assessment feedback tutorial (and of course during the process and experiences), I found myself a stronger interest in sculpture and installation. Tutors suggested me to keep making work as my work based learning this term. Therefore, I decided to follow and work with artist Tonis Saadoja this term; Saadoja has done many pieces of sensitive artwork, which Ell and Ib thought would suit me, my own understanding was it will strength my development of work and help expanding my scope. However, Saadoja could not attend this WBL course due to illness issue. Fortunately, Elle made a good arrangement of another artist Lilah Fowler. 

Lilah is a young enthusiastic artist; moreover, her current work is all installation/sculpture, which is very helpful and greatly compatible with my predilection of arts. To be honesty, I love Lilah’s work more than Tonis’; although the form of her work is not what I am attempt to do currently, she still have given me much inspiration for future work. My subject has been around social issues and consumer culture since last term. It was unexpected; the idea of social concern was coming form the development of the Shelter Project last term. Before that myself and my work were self-reclusive relatively; even I did notice something, I did not take it further. The research and observation from work made me aspire to let off these feelings and vibration about this world to present to my audience, to make people see what I have see, feel what I might have felt, and think in their own ways. I just unconsciously went there and have been walking on. Sometimes I have to stand farther to see back what I have done and how I have gone to the present situation, so that I realised what I should keep doing or make some modification. I found dealing with thus could make me not only explore myself but also link with the world. So this subject was become my starting point for my installation with Lilah Fowler. This reflective journal is to record and arrange the diary of what I have learned and done through WBL. I will also expound my installation and each small work, trying to discuss the concept and background of them. The form of this report is intended to be simulation of pulp or ordinary food magazine, it is to integrate the theme of my work; however for some considerations, the layout would not be very alike spuriously. 

I see beauty everywhere. 

Lilah’s Brief Prior to the workshop: Upon arrival of the workshop, you should present: * A presentation of your past work to give the group an understanding of your practice.

Installation Art

- exploring space in and around artwork.

This workshop is aimed to focus on the use of space and material when making art work. We will look specifically at examples of installation art works that utilise space and material as an expressive element within the work. The aims of the workshop: - To encourage a greater consideration and awareness of the environment around your work. Understanding how the space will affect the perception of the work, or vice versa; how the work will affect how we view the space. - To be aware of how art work can relate to the viewer’s physical presence in the space. - To understand how a space can be used to provide your work with relevance, meaning and concept and context. - To experiment with your work, take risks and allow for mistakes to happen! - To use unfamiliar materials freely, with out pressure or importance placed on the end result. - To introduce the concept of space, intention, site and intervention via experimental approaches, materials and processes.


* An existing art work that we will deconstruct. * A large selection of materials, be they found, visual, everyday or sculptural materials. For example, wood, metal, plasticene, fibre, plastic, card, paper, foil, pens, charcoal, crayon. * Tools to construct and attach materials. For example, glue gun, tape, coloured tape, cotton, string, needle, thread, staples etc. THE MORE MATERIAL THAT YOU HAVE THE MORE CHOICES YOU WILL HAVE IN YOUR DECISION MAKING! * CRITICAL NOTEBOOK. As you are working, thoughts will occur to you regarding the exercise or drawing in general. Keep a notebook handy at all times to record these thoughts, however unformed or fantastic they might seem.

If you can try to visit Altermodern: Tate Triennial 2009 at the Tate Britain before it closes on Sunday 26th April. This should provide you with ideas and references for the workshop.

Day One: 10.30 am: Introductions. I will present an illustrated powerpoint of my work introducing my practice and the concepts behind my work. Following, each student will present their own work as powerpoint or photographs. This will allow for a better understanding of each other’s practice and motivations, helping us in later discussions.

12.15 pm: Introduction to the workshop theme. Brief talk about Installation art, showing examples of other artist’s works. 1.00 pm: Lunch. Opportunity to go out and source extra materials for the afternoon. 2.00 pm: Deconstruction exercise: Using your existing work that you have brought to the workshop as a starting point. You will deconstruct it or re-work and reproduce the work using its original materials and also the new materials that you have brought with you. You can also use the original work as a source point to work from. Throughout the session you will take an eclectic approach to making, accumulating source matter in unexpected manifestations. Try to freely use the space available to you; this is a spontaneous exercise to enjoy playing with the materials and to think about using the space in alternative ways. Spread out onto the walls, floor and ceiling. Think about 2D and 3D. If working with drawings let them grow from the one sheet of paper, spread around the walls or connect to other objects. Maybe there are additional materials that might be incorporated within the final work. These materials might be sourced from more unconventional sources. I.e. DIY materials, junkshops, charity shops or pound shops. Items that might translate a specific concept or idea that you are concerned with or that relates to the space in a certain way. In the construction of the work you might want to embody traditional art and model making materials with aspects of the everyday. You can think about how these materials will be fixed or sit together. Think about attachments and unexpected ways of fastening. This could be a type of electrical tape, or cable ties safety pins etc.

Consider: Scale, space, mass, form, extension, symmetry, surface, plane and volume. The unconventional use of material by hanging, lying flat, squashing, creasing, folding and tearing. Illusion or concept of space. How context effects how the viewer perceives the objects. Scale of the objects in relation to the environment. Composition and relationships between the objects.

Day Two:

Some useful artist references for this project:

10.30 pm – 4.30 pm:

Robert Smithson Sarah Sze Mike Nelson Martin Creed John Bock Isa Genzken Daria Martin Cornelia Parker Gabriel Orozco Anish Kapoor Anthony Gormley Bill Viola Joseph Beuys Iya Kabakov

Exhibition visit to shows exhibiting various examples of contemporary installation art. Followed by brief discussion. Possible show or shows to see: Whitechapel, Goshka Macuga and Iza Genzken Gagosian, Brittania Street, Richard Serra East London small galleries

References to Historical and Contemporary Art practice. Quality of mark making Narrative Truth, can spacial language be repre sented, are depictions and illustrations of space deceitful. Extend your existing works and ideas to develop original and creative solutions! Think creatively, have fun and experiment, your energy will translate through the work. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, take creative risks and explore a variety of possibilities using a wide range of media of your choice. 4.00 pm: Group discussion on finished works. Brief for own project handed out and discussed.


Note & Review: Altermodern Roni Horn aka Roni Horn

I went to Altermodern at the last open day of it. The day before visiting Tate the exhibition in Tate Britain, I went to Roni Horn’s at Tate Modern. To seek more inspiration for the installation project of WBL… These two exhibitions were very different, ‘contemporary’ may be the best common describing. When I arrived Tate Britain, it was already around 3~4 pm.; there were ‘too many’ pieces of artwork that I did not have enough time to watch each of them carefully. However, the most significant thing for me was that I found it amazing to display work freely, to choose material freely, and the form of art representation is totally set free, too.

They used to attempt deconstructing the old form of arts, and now, the ‘Altermodernist’, to me, they are not trying to explain what art is; instead they are making artwork by their methods. As the statement of Nietzche’s theory, I think it can also be interpreted as the art before altermodern appeared (if it really existed), the modern, postmodern age, they were attempting to become ‘lion’ from ‘camel’, and now we are now standing at ‘the time of Baby’ in art history. All the restraint is gone, we do not have to parasitise on philosophy, do not have to borrow anything; we use it as our individual intention, and we can keep ot or leave as we wish. We are free to make anything art.

It is not news that artists can use text, sound…etc, even concept, as material of their artwork, but Altemodern – this new word, has a strong ambition to make a whole new watershed in this generation of art history. It attempts to delimit Postmodern and the time we live today. Seeing the context of art history, earlier conceptual artists have been trying to discuss what art is, how we know or present things… etc., as art material.

It is not news that ‘Everyone is an artist’. However, it is not only a manifesto anymore, it is just what the world is today. It is as if the art world itself is an innocent simple child, when he has become a teenager, he must meet and go through the struggling of identification, and finally he is going to be what he is without confusion. We are seeing and presenting things individually within different cultures, contexts and souls… But the contradiction is always


there; I realised that I could never figure out what is the intrinsic of life, art and universe, that is why I am still doing art: art is the way I can pursue, dig and find out the meaning of everything. Sometimes I found it, and lost it in instant later because I question it. I found, I lost, and I am still finding. Although we can never find a correct answer of art or knowing, the world the word altermodern is somehow a newest cure of which we are allowed to stress on our difference of ideas of art; we do not have to make any manifestos because ‘alternative’ is the law: it allows us, it guarantees us. It may change in years, but now we know that we do not have to be frightfully serious or somber, we do not have to have anything must-do. The exhibition is named Altermodern, however, it still used a gallery space as the display container, it is fairly interesting and tricky to me. If only talking about what has happened inside of the gallery, I saw that the culture background was colourful; it is not minimal modern art, not rebellion of it, not an ‘Western rules!’ exhibition. The curation of this exhibition is ‘in a mess’, very difficult to follow any circulation; actually

there is no certain route to obey. This is in chorus of the title of show.

Bulff Life: water colour, crayon, and graphite on thirteen note cards.

This may be the inspiration of my installation project – to think about the relationship between artwork and space; the form of installation (video, photography, sound, smell…); the way they display: the whole and respectively; and what installation itself is & how it connect to viewers…

Soild forged. A sphere. Powder pigments and vanish on paper.

Some notes about Rorn Horn

In Room 10, I found myself lost. I was looking back repeatedly, because there were some images looked similar and seemed to be a pair or series, which means they all have some connection or relation but I did not know what and how that linked exactly, maybe the spots or noises on images; or the glance of portraits… Even there were some things that I thought the same (like the windows of sky-blue scenery), finally when I checked, I was wrong; they were not, not the same. And the owl showed again!

When I first saw the corn in Room 3, I did not noticed it much, and just took a quick look then past it. Yet when I went into Room 4 and saw the same object laying on the clean wood floor, I went back to Room 3 to see it again… Are they exactly the same? Why are they putting two may-be-the-same objects in different exhibition rooms? It is as a dream, as I am dreaming… The repetition of cut and paste; of material; of construction; of shape and scale; some similar but different drawings…

did not show. Through it, I saw the corn again. I did not get surprised because I have seen the sign of Room 10 when I walked through Room 3. However, the memory and impression of the corn repeated continuously while I was viewing the photographic…

Ant Farm 1974-5, reconstruction 2008: “Ant Farm is a culture. The audience for things created to be experienced is also a culture. So you have the one self-contained environment – and when you stop back you see that it is in another self-contained environment. And so on.”

The space is very tricky between Room 10 and Room 3. There is a short corridor, which the guide 13

Lilah’s Brief Personal Installation Project Brief

Create an installation based artwork or proposal using the current ideas and themes in your practice as a starting point. You can pick a chosen space to work with and make work that responds to the space, or you can create your own environment all together. Perhaps the installation will be about the relationship between the objects you have made and the space, and how you allow them to communicate. Taking into account the points discussed in the workshop, try to consider: The space / environment around the artwork. The impact of the space upon the objects you place in it. What you wish to communicate. How the artworks will relate to the viewer’s physical presence. Where the boundaries of the art work are. Do the surroundings impose unforeseen limitations on the way in which we can view the work? How can art work allow the viewer to discover the space? Is this important in the specific work? The relationships between architecture and object. The relationships between public and private in large-scale sculpture and architecture. The end result, how would you wish others to experience the work. Its permanence. Make a personal response or statement about the space. Give people an opportunity to see and experience a space in a different way or from another perspective. Many contemporary artists use unconventional tools and materials in their art-making practices, bringing innovative ideas to traditional methods and forms. By doing so, these artists blur the distinctions between traditional categories of art, and thus change the public’s perception of what art can be. Think about the materials you use and why, explore unusual materials, means, methods and resources. If choosing a particular site to work with find out as much as you can about the space. Research the factors which make it a place: e.g. shape, light, sound, materials, function, history, content, people who use it etc. 14

Installation art can often be temporary, emphasizing the important of considering its documentation. Often the work will only continue to exist in the form of a photograph or a film or a sound recording or in writing. This is an important aspect to consider when making the work, perhaps the impermanence of the work is important to its meaning? Perhaps the documentation is the most interesting part of the work and the aftermath selection portrays what is most interesting to you? Perhaps the work can only exist in the instant and will only be seen by a small number of people or by no one? There is an open end to the possibilities; the importance is that all the outcomes are considered and that your inspirations and motivations are taken into account. This will make it easier to learn from your work and decide whether or not you feel it was successful. It does not matter if it did not turn out how you expected, sometimes we find success in failures. We can also learn more from our mistakes, which is also why it is so important to take risks with our work. The installations you make can result in any medium that is relevant to your idea. Whether that is something sculptural, 2D, video, sound etc. Should your idea be too ambitious to make within your time and budget, make a proposal of models, photographs, digital impressions of how you would expect the work to look.


Lilah’s Brief Installation Art Installation Art Installation art is art that has been installed - arranged in a place - either by the artist or as specified by the artist. Installation art can often be temporary. It is essentially art that is dealing with space in a particular way and can be involve any kind of material. Installation art can use architecture, public art, film and video, performance, sound and sensory based, found objects, kinetic sculpture or photography. Visiting an installation is about being in something rather than looking at something. There is usually a physical experience of involvement, e.g. walking through the space. Installation often involve the viewer’s senses of smell, hearing, touch and sometimes, even taste. They can also be highly interactive and invite the audience to make things happen. The installation itself can guide this activity-or sometimes text can be provided to encourage exploration. With public sculpture or large scale work the artist’s practice becomes connected to the field of architecture and their concerns include how a viewer physically relates to the work. The artists address form and space in such a way as to create new experience for the viewer through large scale, public artworks. For example, walking within, around and through the monumental steel sculptures of Richard Serra, the viewer becomes physically aware of the shifting parameters of constructed space. Installation art is not about making one object, or one sculpture, instead it is about the relationships between objects, materials or things and the context (place) that they are in. An installation doesn’t have to be a big space that you can walk around or, it could be a desk, a box, a drawer, the palm of your hand-as long as the space you are using is considered part of the art work.


Brief background history to Installation Art The first time that the installation of an exhibition became such a dominant part of an art show was at The International Surrealist Exhibition, held in 1938. The symbolism of the individual objects in the show was not as important as the possibilities for the development of the imagination. The increasing use of the installation art raises questions of the artist taking over the curatorial role. Its function is to, on a basic level, immerse the viewer within the realm of the work, making them the voyeur and the central focus. It is constructed for the viewer’s viewpoint and they have the opportunity to take part at the same time feel a sense of unease, as if they are intruding on personal space and should not really be there. In the 1960s and ‘70s Land artists such as Robert Smithson rejected the exhibition spaces of museums and galleries as too limiting and prescriptive. As the predecessors to future artists who would also leave the confines of traditional exhibition spaces, these artists also worked outside of particular art media like painting and sculpture. Instead, the Land artist created “earthworks”-art that transformed an area of land using rock, soil, and other natural materials. These artists encouraged a new way of thinking about the parameters that define how art was made and where art should as Gordon Matta-Clarke who made site-specific works in abandoned buildings in which he removed sections of floors, ceilings, and walls. Artists have used the landscape as both a source of inspiration as well as an actual material or site of installation. A contemporary artist’s approach to the landscape is highly personal and idiosyncratic. Some, for example, will carefully observe, respond to, and record the world around them. Others will integrate the landscape as part of their art-making process and then alter and transform it into art. Still others consider the landscape subordinate to their art and will seek sites that enhance rather than inform their work. Since then this idea has not changed much in contemporary practice, the key difference though is that now the artworks require a response involving both perception and conception. It is notable if looking at the history of installation artists that the concern has become increasingly motivated towards activating the viewer politically. When using the word ‘political’ this is not only intended to represent the governmental and state or institutional power of authority but this also includes social and cultural issues. The political attributes to a space and the social situation of place can all affect the interpretation of it. The social relations that take place in a space continually set a new precedent for a new interpretation of it. 17

In the 1980’s at the start of major international exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale, Documenta or Sculptur, installation art was more heavily relied on to create a more memorable experience that produced a greater impact. Derelict and ex-industrial buildings have been increasingly used to house such events for creative backgrounds to new work. There is also now a common use of using artist communicate to attract a certain fashionable image to an area to help boost the community. Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim in Bilbao and The Turnine Hall at the Tate Modern are two strong examples, however, there are countless smaller generation projects taking place where artists and writers are commissioned to respond tp the are creatively. It is seen as a useful way of bridging the gap between communities so that feedback can be gained, as the artist’s presence can be a useful catalyst for involvement with the local communities.

Further reading Claire Bishop, Installation Art, Tate 2005 Gavin Wade, In the Midst of Things, Agust Media 2000 Marcus Miessen and Basar Shumon, Did Someone Say Participate? An Atlas of Spatial Practice, The MIT Press 2006 Nicholas Bourriard, Relational Aesthetics Les, Presses du Reel 2002 Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space, Beacon Press 1069 Jane Rendell Art and Architeture, A place Between, I.B Tauris 2006 M. Merleau-Ponty, The World of Perception-Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Routledge, London 2004 Land Art / Environment Art


Artists to look at: Gregor Schneider

Vito Acconci

Olafur Eliasson

Carsten Holler

Robert Smithson

Andrea Zittel

Mike Nelson

Mathew Barney

Cildo Meireles

Eva Hesse

Joseph Beuys

Bill Viola

Mark Dion

Spartacus Chetwynd

Kurt Schwitters: Merzbau

Nathaniel Mellors

Jeremy Deller

Simon Starling

Rachel Whiteread

Peter Coffin

Ernesto Neto

Bob and Roberta Smith

Helio Oiticica

Tracey Turrell Anish Kapoor


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Nothing Special happens here everyday! Isn’t that waht everybody dreams about? Here we present well-selected properties that you can trust. All you will see is laughter and smile in peaceful neighbourhood. There is nothing you have to worry about!

Happy Farm Estate 21

Note & Jotting:

176 Gallery, V22, East London Galleries Lilah took us visiting many galleries that are alternative and various. Most of them are in East London area. Because of the compact timetable of journal, I did not have enough time to take down every single thought and feedback about artists’ work and did not even have time to see them all. Just quickly noted something might be more helpful and inspiring to me for this project. The first gallery we visited that morning was the 176 Gallery, and then we left for V22 Presents. The exhibition in V22 was the most exciting one of those I have recently seen, whether the way artists present and display their work, the arrangement of gallery space, or the sculptures and installations themselves. (I have taken some photos by mobile camera, yet it was malfunctionedand in repair now. I scanned the map/guide of the exhibition and keep it as a backup resource, so that I can recollect and rearrange the information for further use.) In the afternoon after lunch break, we visited approximately five small galleries in East London. The atmospheres there were very impressive to me. Abundant and distinctive artistic characteristics fill in this ‘notorious’ area. Since I visited those galleries and Lilah’s studio in Hackney Wick, I started to love East London. I regret that I have missed so many fantastic art spaces there while I did not have the courage to visit East London. Besides the small art spaces, we also visited the Whitechapel Gallery. Although many of those galleries in East London are ‘small but beautiful’, the Whitechapel Gallery is sonorous and magnificent to stand above the others in location and architectural vantage. Then we still did not have chance to see all work in Whitechapel carefully either, while when I was touring around the exhibition, I noticed a piece of work which I have not had time to write the information of it down, until the revisiting of Whitechapel.


It is Anya Gallaccio’s ‘Preserved Beauty, 2003’, which was made from 500 Garbera and glass. The work I saw has begun to mildew. The vivid red and orange of flowers are no longer exist; it really draw my attention. I started to think: Is the mould a part of beauty? Can we consider disgusting things beauty? How do viewers be involved via thus experience? What is the relationship between this work and space? Is it buyable or preservable? ...? This is a important inspiration of my WBL project, especially my starting point.

Anya Gallaccio Preserved Beauty, 2003.

Two screens: the right one is youngsters jamming (in a studio room or something…), the other one is audience out of control (but not crazy for the people right there right then next screen). These two screens links different spaces and people. Let me reconsider the relationship between visual, sound, and between our eyes and brain… It is like a trick or conjuration.

Jason Salavon: Class of 1967, 1998. Digital C-prints. While walking on the hallway and seeing this work far away, I thought I can see it better and clearer, but when I reached the seeable distance, it was still blurred. The skill was not what I usually see, not just blurred pictures taken by poor shaking hands; it is like layers of spots on a transparency boards…

Cindy Sherman: Untitled (Film Still No. 41), 1979.

David Haines

Alex Morrison (HomeWrecker, 2001)

Matt Stooks: These are the

Dan Attoe


Catherine Opie (Lori, 1994)


Note & Jotting:

176 Gallery, V22, East London Galleries



Note & Jotting:

176 Gallery, V22, East London Galleries



Note & Jotting:

176 Gallery, V22, East London Galleries


Neue Galerie 49 Mowlem Street, London E2 9DG One in the Other 45 Vyner Street, London E2 9DQ Concrete Gallery, Wilkinson Gallery 50-58 Vyner Street, London E2 9DQ

Nettie Horn 25B Vyner Street, London E2 9DG Five Hundred Dollars 12 Vyner Street, London E2 9DG FRED 45 Vyner Street, London E2 9DQ Kate Macgarry 7a Vyner Street, London E2 9DG

Ibid Projects 21 Vyner Street, London E2 9DG

Supplement Gallery 31 Temple St, London E2 6QQ

Daniel Firman Grey Matters, 2009 Nettie Horn Gallery

Cell Project Space 258 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9DA


Do you really watch the road? Ben Wilson is an artist who creates tiny art works by painting onto chewing gum stuck to the pavement. I usually see him around where I live. He wears like a dirty labourer, the first time I didn’t know that he was painting... Have you notice something under your steps? 30





ased on the experiences and developments, I decided to keep dealing with the subject of social issues mainly.

I was considering making an installation that is about the ‘ordinary things’ we might ignore; for example the homeless people last term I tried to discuss. This installation is expected to make audience experience through physical interaction, such as smell or touch; and then question and think deeper of my intention. Lilah encouraged us to experiment and explore new materials and methods, so that I have been looking for some altermative ways of work making, like ready-made or found object. However, when I decided the primary direction, I was stuck on the way. The period that I was confused what and how to materialise this installation. During the struggling time, I was reading Marquis De Sade’s ‘120 Days of Sodom’. In the world of Sade’s creation, there are no moral restrictions; it is as an isolated system that only his imagination and self-confirmation command. Also, I was amazed by the question of ‘what is the real beauty and what is the ugliness?’ How do we judge? How can we see the beauty through ugliness, and contrariwise? 33

HAVE A GREASY DAY As the mould in ‘Preserved Beauty’ I first saw, the beauty and ugliness exist simultaneously, that is the truth of time and space - whether beauty or ugliness is all nature. But why do people including me usually ignore or pretend not seeing those? Sade’s literature gave me ‘afflatus’ at that time. I thought and searched materials that may be considered filthy or uncomfortable. The first thing came up with me was food. Food is the most basic need of everyday life. And I believe that even only a piece of bread or a bowl can be the Space for Installation. I used mould, animal blood, a found broken plastic soldier, and sexual lubricants to make the first piece of work; the space/site was bagel on a plate and a glass. The idea of text printing was not in my plan at the start; my interest of art writing has been increasing because of the cultural and contextual study in college. At the same time, I was reading ‘The Orgin and Development of Conceptual Art’ by Tang Hsiao Lan form self interests. This book explains profound theories in simple language, and its clear exposition of different text based artworks excited me to try to apply on my installation. After bringing my first piece - my starting point, and 34


HAVE A GREASY DAY having had conversation with Lilah and Elle in college, I had more confidence and thoughts about this installation project. Lilah and I were chatting about the dancing plastic bag in the film American Beauty with great relish. She also suggested me to put my work into context, such as ‘greasy café (pronounced greasy caf here)’… and think about other possibilities to install my work. I did more research about artists who work with everyday objects, uncomfortable materials, or text writing. Such as Oldenburg; Joseph Kosuth; Tracey Emin; Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ; Zhang Huan, for example one of his installation/performance was that he stitched fresh meat together and wore the suit he made; Gabriel Kuri’s ‘Black Beans in Hand’ and the ‘nonsenseness’ in many of his work; Tim Nobile and Sue Webster; Dan Graham’s ’March 31, 1966’; On Kawara… etc. Lilah recommended me to research Guy Debord and read Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s ‘The phenomenology of perception’; I have watched of Guy Debord’s video clips on the Internet, yet they ware hard to understand for me and did not have enough time to stick on doing this; I will spend time to do that in summer time. Also I was just starting to read ‘The phenomenology of perception’, thus it have not yet actually helped my work right now, nevertheless it would help after I finishing reading it. In addition to these artistically, philosophically and literarily studying, I watched a few films that might inspire during some dinnertimes; besides American Beauty, which I already have, I bought ‘A Clockwork Orange’ and ‘Quills’ to watch. Unacademic knowledge assimilation is also important, however, both of them, I seem to lack for. 36

HAVE A GREASY DAY Although ‘Quills’ was not a biography of Sade, it still helped me to understand him and his notions more easily. While I was searching Roland Barthes’ crit on Sade, I found this film mentioned in some other article; this fantastic film has some artistic similarity indeed, but still quite different; to me the most appalling part is how social consciousness and civilization of violence deprive our judgment ability. What most people take for granted may not be always true; it may just be an encroaching of individual’s will.


Hui Wen’s selection of this month



Big Issue sellers knocked the bell of spring; it got warmer. The sun is shining through green leaves, and fragrance of spliff is melting into the summer breeze… Let’s see what we select for you of this month. 39

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continued the attempt of everyday objects and text writing. I found it difficult to continuously produce text work, because it was not only writing something arising in my mind, but also had to fit the concept or situation of the objects I made and found. Therefore I wrote everything interesting or special happened around immediately everywhere. I pasted many post-its on the walls of my room, kitchen, bedside and bathroom; and I always kept a notepad with me on the bus, tube, college, and supermarkets. I selected some notes that I thought closely linked to myself. At the same time, I paid heed to the objects especially foods. I tried to make some change of each of them. It was designed to make viewer wonder what, how and why I made those changes, and I also attempt to make them look dirty, ugly and uncomfortable, and thereby discover the beauty in ugliness and observe the audience’s reaction. Elle and Lilah had reminded me to deliberate the context and the way of displaying. So I returned to think how to make ‘installation’ and what the definition of it is to me. Tutors gave me some interesting ideas, such as displaying my small pieces of work in a real café, printing texts on the tables or fridges… and so on. Eventually I decided to get a fridge to present my works, which was to make these works and the fridge not only separated works but also a whole and a series of installation. On the other hand, Lilah inspired me another idea of my installation: photography. Taking photos was not merely recording or documenting, photograph can be form or material of installation. Considering the contexts of my different pieces of work, I tried to put them into the original occasions – the text when I thought of, where it has happened or heard, and the places where I got those objects… etc. I returned to the scenes, put the ‘artwork’ back, and take photographs. There were two demands, one was to place in contexts and the other was to make spurious ordinary appearances that are easy to be ignored. 42

Our Products I returned to the scenes, put the ‘artwork’ back, and take photographs. There were two demands, one was to place in contexts and the other was to make spurious ordinary appearances that are easy to be ignored. For example, one of my work was fake mince beef made from shredded newspaper and pigment; people may or may not noticed the text/context of it, may or may not notice it was fake, they will not probably see the work at all. Before the crit, I was thinking about the representation and display of my work, and kept seeking the suitable second hand fridge. While I was looking for the materials such as water-expandable toy penis and animal models, I found a giant post-it in a shop in Central; I thought it might be my material too therefore I brought it home. Elle has given me some advice and suggestion of my text printing, like putting time, date and place. But at last I took that idea to another aspect which gives different meaning and impression. Instead of being together with printed text, I pasted those giant post-its with time and spaces on the wall. I tried to create contrasts: 1. the cold font of texts on those objects were what actually happened in the world, and the handwriting post-its only record time and places; 2. The confusion with sizes of post-its and fridge. By thus unrealistic experience, it was expected to build an emotionless impression of time and places in the ‘real world’. The fridge is seen as a selfcontained system in some way, it is a space to contain my installation. However when I present the fridge in the context of college studio, the ‘fridge’ should be considered as another installations: the college studio is a gallery, and the fridge is another gallery. The drawer of the fridge was another relative installation, which I was trying to create a scary scene like George Orwell’s Animal Farm. I love the idea of it; however, it was seem to be missed linked to my other pieces of work and confused some viewers, so this part should be left and reconsider if I had time to do more research. 43

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Mouldy Beagle. Bagle, coins and butter. “ Nothing special happened here today. �


Our Products Mince News. Shredded newspaper, red paint. “ Saw somoone selling Big Issue, and I walked passed. ”

Nyx Dyed Steak. Steak preserve with Chinese ink. “ She asked me must I take the sleeping aid? ”

Nike Salad. Chopped children’s Nike shoes. “ Be LOHAS, ate well today! ”


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Bloody Juice. Animal blood, found plastic soldier, lubricants. “ That busking was great, but I didnt have time to stop and see. A scary man borrowed cigarette from me. Saw sorrow news; closed page without reading. Watched funny clips on YouTube. We laughed and had sex. My friend asked if I smelled that guy. ‘Only your perfume.’ ‘OK, oh look, he didnt touch his Oyster card.’ “


Our Products Pickled Penises. Water-expandable toy penises, ink, water.

“ My best friend’s ex got married, with a guy! “ Urine Juice Urine in apple juice bottle. “ I was so ill, waiting for the GP appointment. ” Pickled Barbie. Chopped and dismembered dolls. “ Somebody threw an egg from a car at me, in a peaceful neighbourhood. ” Ash Salad Dressing Cigarette ash, car wax. “ Tried to give up smoking, again... ”


About the time ans places, are we in or on it?

Evaluation and Prospect The last day of WBL, we had a crit in the morning before visiting Lilah’s studio. Each of us had to give a ten-minute presentation. I have prepared the ‘manuscript’. But when the cirt started I had no chance of using of the script. Anyway the preparation of speech just eased a bit of my anxiety. Fortunately, the crit was in a cordial atmosphere and most of the fellows and tutors discussed enthusiastically. Even I could not explain my work completely, Lilah and classmates have encouraged me to speak with their patience. Not only within the crit, this term though we did not have many classes to spending time together, I found myself more confident and optimistic. I have attempted to explore and experiment different material of art. I really enjoyed all the process of it. Until that day Elle asked me what and how have my installation project linked to the skills and techniques we have learned so far, I saw that problem. I only take the experiences of researching, cultural and contextual study slightly further, however there was no skill based improved throughout this term. Of course I have learned and been inspired by fellows and Lilah through all that we have done in this project. But as Elle usually say to me: ‘not just thinking, making works!’ I might have spent too mush time to vain speculation. Working with Lilah is a valuable experience, especially when I am interested in sculpture and installation. I have reconsidered and explored some possibilities of installation by unacademic methods and materials this term. Next term I look forward to putting more emphasis on practical based skills to develop my work. It was a pity that Lilah could not be able to come to college to teach us more. This WBL group was more like an exploration or our self interests at sculpture and installation field than working as an employee. Due to the lack of actual work experience in arts, I applied for summer internship of MOCA Taipei to get broader education in art. Even though, the experience of being with Lilah made me treat myself and my work more seriously as an real artist. The practice of installing makes me more and more confident to represent works. I wish that Lilah would teach us next term and furthermore had chance to assistant her or see her working in workshop, studio and college; learning not only tutors’ (artists’) wisdoms but also technicalities.



FREE 2008/09


Work Based Learning The Reflective Journal

Nothing Special Happened here today

The beauty and ugliness that we ignore or pretend not seeing

wbl reflective journal  

my wbl reflective journal

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