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Lam Wong: MA No.1, 2019
Installation view: Lam Wong's MA No.1 - The Space Between Objects, 2019. Background from Left to Right: Pembury Estate, 2017 by Stan Douglas; Handcuffs, 2012 by Ai Wei Wei; The Ecology of Pain: Pooran Farrokhzad, 2016 by Sislej Xhafa; Beh-Rang, 2004 by Yevgeniy Fiks; Weeping Volcano Woman, n.d by Norman Tait. Photo: Lam Wong


Lam Wong: MA No.1, 2019
Detail view: Lam Wong: MA No.1 - The Space Between Objects, 2019, Griffin Art Projects gallery. Photo: Brittney Groetelaars


Lam Wong: MA No.1, 2019
Lam Wong performing MA No.1 - The Space Between Objects during the Person/ne exhibition opening night on May 10 2019. MA No.1 consists of 3 teas, 3 guests, slow-down time and movements in the centre of an art gallery space. Photo: Mei Wong


Lam Wong: MA No.1, 2019
Through out Person/ne, Griffin Art Projects' 2019 Summer exhibition, Lam Wong would tend the living-breathing sculpture frequently and serve tea every week for the guests. Photo: Rebecca Wang


Lam Wong: MA No.1, 2019
installation view: Person/ne at Griffin Art Projects. Photo: Lam Wong




Lam Wong: 間 / MA Trilogy

MA No.1 - The Space Between Objects
MA No.2 - The Stillness Between Movements
MA No.3 - The Silence Between Sounds

Griffin Art Projects
Summer Artist Residency, 2019
Installation and Performance

Person/ne Exhibition, GAP
May 11 - Sep 2, 2019
Curated by Lisa Baldissera

Opening Reception: May 10, 7:00pm
Lam Wong’s MA No.1 Art Performance: May 10, 6:00pm

More info.

Watch MA No.1 performance on Youtube



MA No.1 - The Space Between Objects (Wu/Mu)

Tea inside art gallery. Art installation and Tea Ceremony.

Media: Tea, Mirror, Charcoal, Seal Chop, Chinese Calligraphy (Heart Sutra / Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya), Tea Seed, Obsidian, Tea Cup, Wood, River Rock, Bamboo Ladle, Meditation Cushion, Tea Accessory, Ceramic Tea Ware, Chawan.

*WuYi Mountain TongMuGuan Red Rock Tea by Xiao HeMing. Chawan and Ceramics by Ann Rurak, Danny Kostyshin, Glenn Lewis, Hu Wei, Robert Stickney, Wayne Ngan, Wei Cheng, and unknown artists. Zen Meditation Cushion courtesy of Gareth Sirotnik and Zen Centre of Vancouver.

Dimension: 106.5 x 71 in


My performance at the Person/ne exhibition at Griffin Art Projects in North Vancouver, with new art installation titled ‘MA No.1 - The Space Between Objects (Wu/Mu)’, is the first of the MA Trilogy that I will be developing over the summer of 2019 at GAP as part of my artist residency program. ‘MA No.1’ is a living sculpture, also functioning as a meditative tea space in an art gallery. It is surrounded by the politically charged and emotionally intense works by artists Ai WeiWei, Stan Douglas, Mahdyar Jamshidi among others. The idea of a floating raft like peaceful sculpture centred on the floor feels like an eye of a storm. Person/ne will be showing through out the summer. GAP is opened to the public on Fridays and Saturdays,12-5pm. I will be accepting appointments for private tea ceremony there on Thur, Fri and Sat afternoons. Come for tea and tour the show.

Wu in Chinese or Mu in Japanese is a kanji character mean ‘None’. An expression of negation and the invisible, the empty, the nothingness, or simply mean 'without'. It’s the most used character in the popular essential Buddhist sutra - Prajñāpāramitāhṛdaya (in Sanskrit), or simply the ‘Heart Sutra’.

It’s a pure luck and mystery that the idea of ‘None’ coincides with the show’s title ‘Person/ne’, which means ‘No-one’. The slash (/) in the title is also a nice coincidence, as in 'Wu/Mu', since the work and the title were already conceived quite a while ago. I brought the sketch to our first meeting with an impression to do a Tea based installation without knowing anything about exhibition theme and the curator’s (Lisa Baldissera) plan.

The idea is to extend the charcoal sculpture into a social sculpture with persons in tea gathering. Marrying the contemporary art with the traditional tea. The choice of Charcoal could signify the impermanence of all things on earth, i.e. ash to ash. It creates a microcosm reflecting the ever threatened world of forest fire in our immediate environment of West Coast. Charcoal is also both an ancient and traditional way of making tea.

Lam Wong
North Vancouver





Lam Wong: MA No.1, 2019
Installation view: Person/e. Photo: Lam Wong



The philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote that one becomes a person by inserting herself into the world through action and speech. Arendt also believed that an active process of thinking was the ‘means by which someone constitutes himself into a somebody, a person or a personality.’ It is also possible, in Arendt’s formulation, for someone to refuse these requirements of personhood, by refusing to think and to act.

The modern French word, personne, may indicate both someone and no one; person, in English, indicates both an individual and a citizen with inherent rights and freedoms. The word person derives from the 13th century Old French persone meaning “human being, anyone, person.” It derives from the Latin persona which meant a “human being, person, personage; a part in a drama, assumed character,” which was originally “a mask, a false face,” such as those made of wood or clay worn by the actors in late Roman theatre.

This exhibition considers contemporary challenges to personhood effected by forces like social media, surveillance technologies, the influence of Big Data and the reputation economy, and the marketing language of ‘personal brand.’ Person/ne considers alternatives to these systems, through artistic practices that may be seen as sites of agency in Arendt’s terms, and examines how artists consider contemporary ideas of personhood, agency and compassion.

For Arendt, a person is also a citizen, ready to think or act on behalf of an ideal, a desire or another human being. What then calls one into such personhood, and therefore, into public life? Often it is love—of an idea, of another person, of a set of ethics, values or aspirations. These acts of personhood can also constitute acts of care. Within a contemporary environment, how is it possible to remain attuned and ready to act?

In their processes, methods and conceptual practices, the works in the exhibition respond to a range of 20th and 21st century sites of personhood and citizenship in Arendt’s sense, crossing geographic and psychic borders and demonstrating the agency of taking action through art making. They are alternatively meditative, declarative, political and insistent. The works reveal acts of care, or cognizance of its lack in the micro- and macrocosm, through narratives from both ordinary life and major political rupture. From fictional portraiture or portraits that themselves bear witness, love letters, tapestries, storytelling, the documentation of crossing national borders, or in the care of remembering—histories, relationships, events and people. The artists’ works also may affect a meditative pause in a set of behaviours or a narrative of history—opening a gap into which something revolutionary emerges at just the right moment.

Works are drawn from Griffin Art Projects Residency Artists and private collections in Vancouver; artists in the exhibition include Sonny Assu, Stephan Balkenhol, Christian Boltanski, Sophie Calle, Leon Coupey, Stan Douglas, Duane Linklater, Yevgeniy Fiks, Sima Khorammi, Shawn Hunt, Emily Jacir, Mahdyar Jamshidi, Zoe Kreye, Ann Newdigate, Ricarda Roggan, Norman Tait, Stephen Waddell, Ai Wei Wei, Janet Werner, Lam Wong and Sislej Xhafa.

Lisa Baldissera, Curator

Source: Griffin Art Projects




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