The Day in Front, the Day Behind
The world is made of matter, some of it is perceptual, some is abstract and mysterious to our senses.
A painting can be presentative, illustrative, illusionary or expressive. It is an assemblage of various components that work with physical factors like light, shape and time. When we talk about the materiality of painting, what are we talking about?
In this experiment, I made a painting that is not only for humans to see, but also for nature to interact with. Can animals perceive a painting? And do they interact with it?
Many animals can sense color – color acts as a core component of painting. It is often ignored that animals have different ways to perceive their nature compared to us humans.
Bees for example are able to see yellow, blue and UV light, yet they cannot see the color red. Insects such as ants usually don’t see well, but are guided by their smell. Most land snails are not able to see color but have a quite good ability to resolve the black and white pictures they see.
We humans also can not perceive everything around us. UV light has a high energetic wave and is invisible for us. But it is visible and essential for many other animals.
Some pigments have the physical ability to reflect UV light. The edges of the canvas were primed with titan white. It turns the canvas into a sphere wrapped by a high-energy wavelength – a shining target for insects and animals that can perceive UV light.
A finished painting can never be finished.
I paint, I control my brushes, I build something, present a body, a female from my imagination. I stop. After finishing the paintings, I take each piece and put it in different environments and locations. river, rock, grass, ferns, mud, bushes, and trees. Nature continues each parts individual completion process, which is beyond my control.
Animals of all kinds will slowly eat away what they desire, leaving traces of their feast. Water, rain, and humidity dissolve and wash away sugar and pigments. The weather directs who and how many take part in the feast. Snails appear when its wet, ants when its dry.
In the end, each canvas looked almost blank, but nothing like what it looked before. What was left or what exists, is the history I made, and the history nature made, folded into each other.
The painting at the beginning and the painting at the end are the same pieces, in between a story directed by time. Construction and deconstruction may be the same thing. My work may represent a female body for humans, but at the same time is only a feast for nature. It might be the same thing.
Sound Theater, 2021
sound Installation in the tunnel, 2021
There are many invisible boundaries in the city, language is one of them. When we walk in the street, stand in the subway or sit in a restaurant, some foreign languages always reach our ears. Stuttgart is a city where almost half of the inhabitants come from somewhere else. Different languages construct dynamic boundaries on the map. Lebabbabel unfolds these boundaries in an underpass.
Subalterns cannot represent themselves but are often represented by others. This phenomenon is invisible but widespread in our society. It can also be observed in the supermarket. Among similar kinds of products, the cheap and low-quality ones are often found on the bottom shelves where there is always less light – it is difficult for them to get attention and to be grabbed by the costumers. Meanwhile, the objects on the top shelves get more lighting and are closer to consumers’ eyes. These products, which usually are better in quality and more expensive, represent the whole category of similar products on the shelves. It is a comparable structure to our society. The subalterns: the poor class, the minorities, the LGBTQIA, etc. are hidden somewhere in the shadows, somewhere where no one would pay attention to them. They are not able to represent themselves, not because they cannot express themselves, but because of their position in society. It is also true for the items on the lowest shelves in the supermarket.
For me our society structure is comparable to a body, each group of people plays its role, like organs in an organism do. If they are displaced or mispositioned, it creates an ectopic phenomenon, then the organism may not function properly.
In Ectopia, I designed eight products and labeled them with different subaltern groups, and put them on bottom shelves in a local supermarket. As a client, I record my odyssey to acquire these products.
The Study of Gilles Deleuze’s Fold
The Fold: The Baroque invents the infinite work or operation. The problem is not how to finish a fold, but how to continue it, make it go through the roof, take it to infinity. For the fold affects not only all kinds of materials, which thus become matter of expression in accordance with different scales and speeds and vectors (the mountains and the waters, papers, fabrics, living tissues, the brain), but it also determines and brings form into being and into appearance, it makes of it a form of expression, Gestaltung, the genetic element or the line of infinite inflexion, the curve of a single variable. “(Gilles Deleuze, “The Fold”)
The Fold is an essential idea that Deleuze developed from Leibniz and Baroque. He considers that the universe is constructed by the folds of time, space, and movements。 The Fold, according to Deleuze, has two types, coils are for the material, folds are for the soul. In his “Baroque House,” he use the strings to connect the soul (upper floor, dark private room) and body (down floor, common room) to explain the relations between the empirical world and the metaphysic world.
I interpret his idea and use the notion of fold to experiment the structure and relations among soul, body, and space.