Packed Emptiness & Unpacked Fullness

‘Packed emptiness & Unpacked fullness’ captures the inherent paradox of the existence. It represents the material manifestation of my intuition, stimulated by my physical encounter with the mirror.

The mirror exposes thoughts, feelings, senses. It emphasises my pores – numerous holes in the surface of my skin forming the organic texture of my physical being. In just an instant, it’s reflection breaks layer by layer deep into my stomach. It strikes me: the vulnerability of the human condition always on the edge between fullness and emptiness. The pack is just a framework that varies according to the level of individual self-awareness. Mirrors can reflect my self and the social self at large. Awakening from mirror can happen anytime to anyone.

It is this act that I explore through my installation. Its conceptual framework is outlined by my research on identity and the hybridisation of forms and practices across creative disciplines, including sound and installation. Its form results from unconscious vision and from my experiments with texture, material and colour of my previous work, such as ‘Sweet Trap’ and ‘Sunshine seeker & Sunshine Therapist’.

9 mirrors – 9 packs

The mirrors are a key component for the rhythm and message of this installation. Together, they highlight the precarious balance between emptiness and fullness. Polyurethane foam is a light and malleable material generally used to fill physical gaps. I use it to emphasise the gaps and to mimic the bawl movement, a personal and simultaneously universal bodily experience. Synthetic and transparent, the plastic packs wrap up the stomach-looking material like candy: suffocated and pink. They become an organic alternative to my canvas paintings. Adding colour to the whole composition, the packs are used to contrast the austerity of the medical aesthetics. I leave them hanging on a plain white wall, stripped, naked as the eye that casts its pressuring gaze upon them.

They appear empty-full-empty-full-… In this on-going conversation, the mirrors help to create a new dimension: a placeless place between utopia and heterotopia*, as Michel Foucault (1967) sees it:

In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent. From the standpoint of the mirror I discover my absence from the place where I am since I see myself over there.

*Concept elaborated by French philosopher Michel Foucault to describe a paradoxical space of difference and simultaneity.

References:

Foucault, M., & Miskowiec, J. (1986). Of other spaces. diacritics, 16 (1), 22-27.