2010-2011 我的陌生住所 Views From A Drawer to A Room

During the time of moving from one place to another I always try to create a " my own room" in which I could feel familiar and warm. When I put my belongings in a new room, it seems that nothing is wrong with their position with the first glance, and then somehow, the feeling stars to be strange or awkward. The belongings begin to seem unreal. They settle down in a way that I do not recognize. Sometimes the strangeness of seeing familiar objects in an unfamiliar space (environment, room) seems funny. I tried to explore and create this kind of playful sense of space. In my paintings 2011, the structure of space is not easy to define. My room painting is like an unreadable story.

 

Sacle-Small / Big and Narrative

My work was based on an idea of interior spaces. If a drawer is a container, then a room could be another larger container which contained the drawer. If the container is divided into sections then there are multiple surfaces. ( If I keep dividing the drawer, I get more and more sections. This feels like it could go on forever to infinity.) In addition to seeing the small drawer 'container' in the larger room 'container' - like a box within a box- I am also interested in where objects are placed within my painting. Objects that might be found in the drawer or in the room are moved to unexpected places, for instance, I might place a tiny object in a huge room or take a large object and build a story around it. In my imagination how I see a drawer in a room not only depends on he view, but also depends on the placement of objects around it or inside it.

In Junichiro Tanizaki's book " In Praise if Shadows"*, he mentioned the darkness and shadows exist in Japanese interiors, food and clothes in a poetics way. The sense of beauty is depends upon shadows and is inseparable from darkness. He said " A light room would no doubt have been more convenient for us, too, than a dark room. The quality that we call baeuty, however, must always grow from the realities of life, and our ancestors, forced to live in dark rooms, presently came to dicover beautyin shadows, ultimately to guide shadows towards beauty's end. And so it has come to be that the beauty of a Japanese room depends on a variation of shadows heavy shadows against light shadows- it has nothing else."

Tanizaki described his own views of a sense of beauty whithin objects in spaces, in a unique and sensitive way. I feel touched by his version of a moment of mystery which might also called a memonet of trance. To me, the armosphere of darkness is a form of narrative. In my paintings I was working to bring together several stories at the same time. I discover these new spaces through the process of working on my painting. Perspective, strangeness of perspective, scale and colour work together to create a new imagined space. This space is made up of several spaces each with their own story yet exist within one painting. These spaces and stories work together to create a larger story.

 

Private to Public / Intimate to Exposed

In Matthias Weischer's paintings, they are views od interiors. There is no windows, no doors, just few decorations and there is no person to be seen in any of them. " The interior shows a private, intimate space clearly closed off from the outside world, from public life in bars and parks. We are all familiar with the desire to look into other people's room, to take part in the private lives of others, to look through the walls of houses." "As staged depictions of privte home life, interiors provide insight into the specific contruction of priate sphere and of private life worlds at various points in history. Furthermore, the interior painting was always a genre for artistic experiment, in which artists tested the limits and possibilities of their painterly means. At a third level, interiors have always been seen as an extension of the inner, spiritual life into exterior space, as a mirror of inner world and as a psychogram of the individule of a social group."- From Matthias Weischer: Simultan, Everyone carries a room inside them, Hatje Cantz.*

In Gaston Bachelard's book "The Poetics of Space"*, he mentions "Now we must return to our studies of imagination, all of them positive. With the theme of drawers, chests, locks and wardrobes, we shall resume contact with the unfathomable store of daydreams of intimacy. Wardrobes with their shelves, desks with their drawers, and chests with their false bottoms are veritable organs of the secret psychological life. Indeed without these "objects" and a few others in equally high favor, our intimate life would lack a model of intimacy." They are hybrid objects, subject objects. Like us, through us and for us, they have a quality of intimacy." In another chaper, he mentioned "every secret has its little casket, and this absolute, well-guarded secret is independent of all dynamism. Here the intimate life achieves a synthesis of Memory and Will." - Gaston Bachelard, Poetcts of Space, 1994, Beacon Press.

The viewer can rationally understand the space by objects but they are emotionally affected by the atmosphere by how the painting has been created. I would like to make a contrast in the painting between intimacy and the personal and strangeness and ambiguity. 

 

Objects and Their Setting

Objects placed in the interior room space of the paintings do not just sit there. They inhabit a specific place in relation to the viewer. I would like to create a strangeness which is hard to find in the real world. These objects exist in a place in my imagination. The positioning of the objstcs in my painting is not correct which creates a strangeness- we see objects that do not belong to the space. This strange combination of objects and space begin to stir the imagination of the viewer. This idea of incongruity comes from my experience of moving my home and my belongings many times. It is hard to feel comfortable and familiar with the surroundings. In the paintings, I try to create a playful space through arranging objects in the 'room'. As I paint, the 'room' keeps changing and it feels that no matter how many objects I put in the room, it still feels empty. My "me" extends comfortably into the space. The value of the objects in a way I can show the negatively prefixed "me". The "un-me" is when I do not feel comfortable in a space. The feeling I set from "un-me" is strange and arounsing.  

 

 

 

*Junichiro Tanizaki, " In Praise of Shadows", Vintage Books, London, p.29-p.30, 2001

*Matthias Weischer: Simultan, " Everyone carries a room inside them", Hatje Cantz, 2005

*Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space, Beacon Press, United States of America, 1994