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Starting building small fabrics and make many of them repeatedly and then growing bigger and bigger

Idea boards

Idea sketches 

Works echo each other

Repeated motions and < Boléro>

-Maurice Ravel, Bolero, performed by London Symphony Orchestra

Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock.... the repeated rhythms come through into my ear constantly. A clock, the second hand moves every second, working steadily, later on, the minute hand joins the moving routine and then the hour hands as well, finally, it points to the number "12", finishing and beginning a cycle, repeating this circulation again and again. After 24 times around this circle, we start a new day, again with the same rhythms. I feel that I follow these duplicate rhythms every day, the gears constantly rotate and steady for repetitive actions. Then, I came to realize that we do repetitive and simple motions from time to time in the living tempo of life. The repeated sequence reminds me of an orchestral piece by Boléro, from French composer Maurice Ravel. The whole rhythm of his music is based on the drums, performing an unchanging, stable, and repeated melody as the main rhythm, which connects the whole construction of the musical composition. The same melody plays 9 times repeatedly; the other melodies are passed within different instruments alternatively, but the drummer constantly stays steady in the percussive rhythm and beats the drum 169 times. The tempo remains unchanged throughout the whole 17-minute duration. The drummer never stops until the end of the music. It looks like a monotonous and tedious action and tempo, but practically every motion comes from the basic core and structure to brace the overall situation.

It is like the path of how I develop my projects. The structure of Boléro’s song starts with playing a stable tempo; in a similar manner, when the ideas show up, I dive into them and practically analyze, investigate, and experiment with a steady pace. Meanwhile, as my ideas progress, like the song progresses, I keep the feeling of refreshment and creativity of ideas by inserting new ‘instruments’ and rhythms, all while continuing to balance on the one straight line of the main percussion (drive). As the song continues, other instruments start with a second melody and find harmonious stability with the beats from the drummer; in my developing process of one project, the basic idea supports me steadily, and then other inputs add stimulation to the original concept, adding more perspectives and dimensions. More and more melodies join and play parallelly with the basic layer; they all perform together in an interwoven, harmonious fashion, creating the breathtaking and majestic pictures and pieces of my art.

Sticking with the same idea, the repeated try-out, is not boring or dull for me at all, on the contrary, it teaches me stability and persistence. Also, most of my series and works are produced in such a sequence: Experimenting and making in repetitive motions with some new melodies that slightly alter the composition, attempting new but similar processes, and then developing a large series. For example, these sculptural-looking clothes started with single and small elements or sequences. It was only later that I assembled them as small groups, and then they grew bigger and bigger; the small components illustrate that that a little strength can twinkle into the great and powerful fireworks, like how the small gears can help work a whole machine.

Not only is my artistic process like Boléro’s, but my art pieces themselves function in a similar way: each piece of my whole body of works needs to echo other works to motivate movement. It is as though there are small invisible strings between my works creating tension. Like Boléro, the steady rhythm in the beginning, then new tones join in, and finally the sum of the instruments come together harmoniously to make a whole; although the sole baseline is very beautiful, the whole song needs other instruments to participate in completing the majestic composition. I do like physically interacting with the artwork I make, as well as seeing how each art piece influences each other. Am I the drum rhythm between them? Thus, I created one series that all pieces of the collection can be worn and carried, not only by people but also by other objects so that each piece can link together and interact as an orchestra. I do not look at my pieces practically in a static, unmoving state but rather I explore their functional possibilities by experiencing how they are used between static and dynamic movement. That movement needs to use the body to feel profoundly the experience of encountering timing within these works and yourself, as well as feeling the communication happening with other people and objects. The more encounters that my artwork has with other people and other objects, the more possibilities and stories are initiated. We never know what the sparks will be unless we encounter and feeling them in that moment.