There is an unspoken quality in weathered walls and frayed edges that I am drawn to. For me, they are delightful yet quiet embodiments of time and memories.
In my work, I do not set forth to replicate anything representational. Instead, I focus on respecting the integrity, the inner life and harmony of materials to achieve a meditative stance. My enduring aspiration is not to just create beautiful objects but to shape forms enlivened with soul. Inspired by travel, archaeology and the Japanese aesthetics of wabi-sabi, my creations explore materiality through a variety of materials and structural forms created through a process of continual manipulation.
A series of intimate constructions akin to archaeological artefacts make up the first portion of this two-part composition. Working with different materials for these individual pieces involved a contemplative process of examination, reconstruction and discovery to find the delicate balance between tension and fluidity. The same concern flows into the larger hanging structure, which in turn forms the focal point of this work.
I enjoy working with materials and in my teaching, I try as much as possible to introduce a variety of media to my students. In addition to providing them with a knowledge of materials and honing their craftsmanship, I encourage my students to experiment and try out alternative ways in which materials can be handled differently or be combined. I often remind my students that creating an artwork is not about having the most expensive and an abundance of materials.
What I strive to cultivate is a sense of curiosity and a can do attitude to take something simple and use it in an interesting manner to express intentions. In addition, I encourage my students to observe the happenings in their own lives and to find inspiration from the seemingly mundane everyday. I believe in building up a sensitivity and awareness of the simple subtleties so as to appreciate the nuances in our everyday occurrences. Works don’t have to be huge and impressive, they can be quiet and understated, but whatever form the art takes, it must come from the heart.
Constructing a narrative through art is one particular project that I had done with my students. I had them tapped their memories and scout for relevant materials to create an artwork about their childhood. The results were exciting – one created a work using lego, one used a combination of materials to create a Chinese hutong, others created more abstract structures.
|| Low Sok Hui, Hwa Chong Institution