• Li An Li

'Very Little' - my second internal show

It is the third week of term and it was my turn with three others to put on a show based on the title ‘very little’. There were two main things I learnt outside of the artwork itself; Communication and Curation.

Initially in the excitement of the moment the three of us that were present formed an idea. We had all contributed parts to an artwork and decisively started to action it, this perhaps we shouldn’t have done without the whole team being present (I must admit in hindsight the work lacked layers) however once we included our fourth and very lovely team worker we realised that our idea was not feasible. In my opinion, it did not matter much, works come and go just as ideas do and holding on too preciously to and idea will eventually lead to its crumbling. I must say our fourth member is rather wise and heading her opinion I think a good idea.

I must tell you about how I came about this particular work, it is not something I would normal do. I have never done a sculpture. I have thought about them and dreamed of them but I have never really made and assembled one. Our tutor had directed us to do something we had not done. I feel i accomplished that rather well. In the previous work ‘Generations and Nations’ I had been playing with hair and resin, which had led me to play with blood. While doing that I had left over resin and as playing goes I made these little men and the idea of giving them each a little heart was just too cute to resist.

One of the biggest mottos I have picked up so far is ‘DO’. So that is what I have been doing. Just doing, doing without fear, doing without intent, doing with the purpose to play. As I do I keep thinking and processing letting my mind wonder and noting down as many side thought as possible so I don’t forget them. The conception for this work was actually discovered during a moment of group meditation, as I stood there the idea appeared and i analysed it from many angles and saw that the metaphors worked so well. I could hardly write fast enough as idea after idea appeared. Since that point quiet a few idea changed, the men were going to be regimented, the umbilical cord was going to be a single red string, there was not going to be any cells on the bottom. See the lego men and the idea all melted into one work seamlessly. I feel so encouraged that if I keep meditating and I keep doing the works will flow.

Actually this was the second time this work had been displayed. The day before I took it to a group meeting and the worked tied in seamlessly to what was being said. I was even invited to give a short talk about it to fifty people. I was encouraged when several people stopped me afterward to encourage or to tell me that they found the work powerful and personal to them. It means alot to me that my work help provide insight for the viewer. I want my work to add something to their lives, provide insight into a situation or something personal that the viewer may have been previously struggling with.

The show in Farnham was good and being able to gain feedback from colleagues and lecturers was great. From a curatorial view point, my work could do with improvement. I had placed it on a plinth on a briefcase like lightbox. It did not look much appealing and actually it was not low enough for the viewer to crouch down to see it and yet not high enough for the viewer to see details. Some viewers even thought the lightbox was as an intentional choice suggesting the idea of transient misconception of love. There was alot of scope for growth in the project, making it life-size, using magnets to get the proper effect, different stands. Other unintended interpretations included the idea that the balloon being filled with helium would eventually deflate similar to love, to me this was a shocking notion and one of the most opposite idea I wanted conveyed. Of course it allows me the learning curve to know that I need to thing through the metaphor further so that such conclusions are not drawn, or at least limited as much as possible. I personally believe that love is a choice that we choose to enact, and even when we do not feel love we can still choose to act love out. So the notion that love can deflate is possible but more so we should be intentionally topping it up or acting to top it up. I think I digress and that this thought is perhaps for a more in-depth separate project.

Key words used to describe the work: Microbiological, pea tree dish (sorry cant spell it), connection, examination, transient, jovial, tension, beguiling, commodity, hot-air, salesman, blood run, spiritual, precious, tai shani

I have run out of time so I must do a blog about the curation of the work soon.

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