Thursday, July 28, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Min Wong is a Darwin based artist. She creates mixed media works and installations.
Can you describe your current work?
My current work is a mixed media installation. It has wallpaper, bird cages and found object installation. It has references to white colonialism and chinese practices. The materials are sourced from China and Australia/Darwin, referring to my heritage. I am interested in my own family history but also the long relationship the Chinese have had with Australia. This is a personal experience that also informs bigger interracial concerns that has plague Australia throughout history.
What is the intention behind your work?
This work has been developed from my Red Gate residency. This work is still evolving. I thought exhibiting at Deaf Space would be a good opportunity to create a playful work in a site specific space. My intention is to use this experience to further develop concepts and a complete body of work. This work speaks about response to environment and the complexities of mixing cultures and their outcomes.
What draws you to create installations?
I enjoy using different mediums and creating a work within a space and its confines. The negative space complements an installation if it is considered and engaging with the work. I am interested in the artwork challenging the space and also complementing it.
How did it feel to receive a residency and can you tell us a little bit about the experience?
it was a fantastic opportunity to be able to spend 5 weeks full time in a studio. I had previously been to China and applied while I was there to do a residency at Red Gate Gallery. Because of my origins, it has informed my work and allowed me to experiment with new materials and experience working an a different culture. The challenges of living in China, ie. a language barrier was a great inspiration that enriched my practice and enabled me to engage in a more realistic dialogue with my heritage and my artwork. I intend to maintain a relationship with China and to visit again.
Images of the Artist studio...
Bill tell us a little bit about your work.
Firstly I start with small pieces of paper and I screw them up, glue them down then I whipped it with rope and ink and then pulled all the paper apart and then images started to become quite figurative in one sense, where you ended up with a three dimensional look, not as in perspective but it was creating space. You are not drawing space by perspective you are actually drawing the space. That is what I am interested in. I am creating images where you are moving away from the two dimensions into the space.
In my work the creases become the lines also, you have the images on the paper, the stain and line but then the shapes of the piece itself, you start to look at that and they become the lines of the drawing. If I was to do a totally black piece, which I have done in the past, not for this exhibition, you would start to look at not the blackness but the shapes and they become the drawing.
It is almost sounds like a performance piece to create the work?
If you wanted me to mess the gallery up totally, I could because I use mops brooms, buckets of ink…
That would be wonderful to watch you could use half the space.
Bill starts shaking his head.
I get very messy, were I am working at the moment, which is a little workshop next to my house, I really only mess up the floor around the work. A while back I really made a mess as it wasn’t mine and it was only an industrial workshop, a shed, so I could afford to throw things around a bit.
Isn’t it interesting that the spaces that we have really determined what we do.
Yes we are.
How long have you been practicing?
Before I ever came to Darwin I did photography in a small country town and what I was doing was very experimental to what the camera club that I was with were doing. There were no opportunities in this place, I use to do experimental stuff with long exposures at night time.
When I was in school I was always into painting and drawing but it all got forgotten about. When I came to Darwin I changed my whole life style and I managed to get into uni and I went back to drawing and painting.
How long have you been in Darwin for?
Since 91 and I started uni back in 92, I concentrated on drawing and painting and I haven’t really gone back to photography. At times I would like too. I prefer drawing to painting. I don’t know why I just love the immediacy of it all.
Have you thought about combining photography and your drawing and painting?
I have thought about that now, taking some shots and then projecting them onto something, taking the shot again and manipulating and destroying the original image through technology.
Would you be interested in programs like photoshop?
Umm I don’t know about that. Photoshop would just be playing with the effects on photoshop itself and not really, I was looking at continually taking a shot, finding a way to project it, take another shot, project it onto something else and take another shot until I destroy that. Totally experimental to see what I would end up with. Really that is what I am doing with my drawing there is no planned starting point other then to just play with paper.
How do you know when to stop?
Sometimes I don’t. It doesn’t bother me, inevitably it is not the image itself on the paper totally, it’s the piece, until you put it up on the wall you just don’t know what you are going to get. You have no idea and once it comes down and off the wall you can never ever show it again like that, it’s impossible, you will never ever show that drawing again. You could put it up a dozen times and have a dozen different drawings. The rolls of paper are 10 metres long and I work on both sides.