Previously I had mostly focus on the framework around Abstract Expressionism, Minimalis, Post-minimalism and non-representational art. The list of artists references I had chosen was the reflection of my practice, which I tried to position myself between them. I would say that’s the safety zone of my art practice which I have been reading for the last couple of years. From the second round of dossier, I can see the precedents I have selected had changed. They remind me of my real interest in organic form and nature, but I find it ever so hard to put it into my practice.
Herman De Vries, Anya Gallacio and Chris Drury, together with the previous collection Andy Goldsworth and Richard Long they are all dealing with organic materials. It is one of my desire to engage my art practice with nature. I genuinely admire their practice. They are all related to land art and mostly dealing with ephemeral assemblies of natural materials; their works are aesthetic in the sense of impermanence and imperfect. Carol Lee and Anya Gallacio’s work carry the uncertain and time factor in their work. Kazuma Nagano, Yu-Fang Chi, and Agnes Martin help me to articulate the repetitive gesture of my practice. Rosalind Krauss’ text about Grid helps me to understand the historical side as well as a deeper meaning of grids. They all form an essential part of my latest art practice and inspire my work in a different way.
Keeping dossier alive seems to have become one of my habits at the moment; it helps me to archive the referencing ideas and concepts. It is fascinating to see the links and common qualities between the selection of precedents. It is useful for me to identify the transformation of my art practice.
Anya mostly use organic materials results in a natural processes of transformation and decay, her work change over time and unable to predict the result. There are several things about her work I really like. Firstly, I found purity in her work, without alter the nature of the material showing the most pure side of the object. Secondly, her work remind me of the Japanese philosophy Wabi-Sabi, nothing last in the universe, the process is the most beautiful part. I also love the transformation of her work which change over time and the only thing lives is the memory of those that saw and experienced it.
In an interview in 2000 she stated that: ‘[w]e experience so much of the world at a mediated and sanitised distance, so I try to make art that is not complicit with this structure’ (Gallaccio 2000, p.3). I can’t agree anymore !
The edge is the division What is known is always from the past. Through knowledge the new is a reworking of the old. The sum total of knowledge is culture. Culture is the veil through which we describe nature. The process of nature continues despite our analysis. Our analysis is a part of the process of nature. The process of nature must include the actions of man whether or not they are destructive. Man's description of "nature' as something separate - between "nature and "Culture", is an illusion. "Nature" and "culture" are the same thing. There is no division.
Both of Chris’s works and writings are beautiful, I have read it many times. I love his work because he didn’t intention to romanticize the nature, nor to send any message from his art practice. He is concerted how certain types of encounter with the material world give insight to our “inner nature”. From his work I can see his respect to the nature, I can see his trace and process, with minimal touch of the material to present the truth. One of my favorite is “Tidelines”, the way he presents work is like given the material a open narrative.
Dr. Yu Fang is my supervisor and I have seen her work in an exhibition recently.
Repetition is essential to my creative process so I have been interesting to look at other artists work in similar way. Yu Fang’s work through the movement of weaving twisting and sewing, she mentioned on her statement she immerse herself in the rhythm of working and contemplating. When she produce, intervene and rethink her acts. She applies the same gesture made land art on a field during her residence by twisting and weaving the long grass together. I have the same feeling, repetitive gesture enable me to enter an meditative and calm state.
Herman De Vries does not seek to alternate the nature environment or to leave a trace. It is satisfied for him with a collection of all types of elements that compose and specify a place. It is inspiring to look at his work, I love the space he gives each element to vibe in the most natural way, it’s poetic and sensitive. I have watched several videos and interviews showing his time in the studio and wander around the forest. I have lots of admiration on what he is doing and respect his respect to the nature. Specially love the way his presenting nature in its original purity.