WHITE NIGHT

#installation #movingimage #video #dystopia #city #dreamscape

Still image from video Out of Xanax (2017)

BACKGROUND

The work began with an exercise to stretch the materialist and intermedia possibilities of videos and spatialisation.  The subject and concept was not predetermined at first, but slowly unveiled throughout the creative process.  This work is probably an unconscious respond to my concern about inner conditions, sleeps, dreams and nightmares.

STATEMENT

Is the night not darkened, or is the day overspread?

In a city that does not sleep where does tranquility lie?  White Night is the sensuous world of a city dweller trapped in limbo, experiencing the sleepless night and the drowsy day at the same time.  The objects and moving images of the installation are set up to invent an immersive spatial painting that invites bystanders to step into an insomniac’s realities.

Installation view

DEVELOPMENT

[Installation]

The installation includes 4 sets of moving images (a main projection on wall, a TV, an iPad, a projection on hanging cloth), one light projection and some objects (mirrors, chair, blank canvas, frames and drapes).

The development of the installation is almost like to create a painting in space.  I am concerned about how the moving images, objects and the space communicate – how the projections contrast, how blue, black and white sync, how the clouds and drapes react; the way waves in different materials echo,  how the drapes, windows, rectangular frames and canvas respond to the presence of each other…

[Videos]

There are two videos played in the main projection – Out of Xanax (2′) and Lullaby for the Insomniacs (3′).

Out of Xanax is a journey for viewers to swim in a stack of still images, by looking through a square frame. This work evolves in a square frame that symbolise a window, to unfold an experience of navigating through at a series of closeups and image surfaces.

The images behind the frame are moved from left to right, top to bottom, magnified and diminished to create illusions of perspectives change. Viewers are directed to follow a preset direction – from outdoor to indoor, zoom into outdoor and back out to the indoor… Throughout the work, the external and internal compete to be in the frame, but the struggle is worthless, the frame chooses to make viewers feel disoriented and diffuse the difference between interior and exterior.

Still image from video Out of Xanax (2017)

Lullaby for the Insomniacs creates a nocturnal excursion through indoor, outdoor and the psychological. The work transports viewers to and from different spaces – for a second we observe the lights and moon through a window, the next moment we drift to the outdoor, and drown in the past, then back inside… Extending from the dialogue between the lights and the moon, another time-space are added to the conversation. The work translates an experience of urban living, with a lot of movement – but it is difficult to tell whether we are progressing or reversing.

Still image from video Lullaby for the Insomniacs (2017)

Floating Island (2’31”) and Floating Box (2′) shown in the TV set provide a contemplative moment, a quiet contrast to the main projection.

Still image from video Floating box (2017)
Still image from video Floating island (2017)

On the Road (1’34”) is a city that won’t sleep at night, projected onto a white drape.

Still image from video On the road (2017)

 

[Sound]

Apart from the sound in the video, 1 portable speaker is added next to the drape with projection, with a very low volume of rain and thunder.

Reflection 001 – Dialogue: Moon-Light of Tseung Kwan O

Reflection 002 – Out of Xanax

Reflection 003 – Lullaby for the Insomniacs

Reflection 004 – Spatialization

Reflection 005 – Indexical transparency

Reflection 006 – Intermedia

Reflection 007 – Optical unconscious & Perceptual experience

Reflection 008 – Objectile

Reflection 009 – Projectile

Reflection 010 – Audience activation

Reflection 011 – Videography

DOCUMENTATION VIDEO

 

Coverages / Extended readings

Review by Mina Cheon (Art-uni-on), DEC 2017 

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