Meeting People Is Easy
Open to public > 1 month > 4 days a week > 2 sessions a day > 3 hours a session > 3 person per session
Meeting People Is Easy (MPIE) is a solo exhibition in the form of an open studio, where an uninterrupted conversation with the audience is as important as the work on display. MPIE treats exhibition as a site for experimentation and collaboration.
MPIE presents unfinished works and ideas in progress, in the space where they are being made. Throughout the project, the studio is rearranged with works added and removed as I find better ways to talk about my process. MPIE uses different platforms to engage the audience with ideas of the creative process. Both during and after the project is concluded, with platforms that are online and offline.
Over the course of the month, I’ve logged about 150+ hours of conversations with 70+ people, from a diverse background. Most of these conversations revolve around art-making and being a full-time visual artist in Malaysia.
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93 posts | 2017 | Writings, Stills and Videos | Dimension Variable
(Selected conversations on practice & process.)
GAN+HAN is a series of transcribed conversations between writer, Tshiung Han See and visual artist, Gan Siong King. Made in conjunction with the open studio, these conversations revolve around the creative process. The casual tone and everyday language are meant to make these conversations about art accessible to as wide an audience as possible.
There are a total of 9 conversations, which are posted on @meeting.people.is.easy
#1 Same-Same But Different
Gan starts to tell me about a work called “Painting Skull Painting” that is made of two paintings(c). The work isn’t in the studio, so he’s using another work, also made of two skull paintings(d) to talk about it.
Han: So one of the images is a skull with some paint information on the side.
Gan: One is a skull(a), one is a skull(b) with shit on it.
(c) Painting Skull Painting 2016 Oil on canvas
Han: One has shit on it.
Gan: But this(d) is in the Venetian method.
Gan: No, Venetian method. You deal with the tone(e) first then layer in the color(f).
Han: So it's different?
Gan: It’s a classical way of painting, more systematic lah.
Han: No, I mean this is different from the skull paintings.
Gan: Ah, different. But it's the same in the sense that you can see outside the edge of the image.
Han: It's that much more obvious that this one(a) is a painting.
Gan: One is an action, one is an object. “Painting Skull, Skull Painting.” Two different things
(d) Venetian Method 2017 Oil on canvas
#6 On Drafts
Gan: I think the idea of drafts is very common for a writer. You write one draft and then another and then whatnot, nothing unusual. But in painting, you don't think of it as draft. I mean, at least to me, it's either finished or not finished.
Han: The more drafts you do, the better something can get. Sometimes you might even rewrite something from scratch.
Gan: Agreed and actually if we apply that thinking towards an artist or writer's career, even finished works we've done earlier in our career can be seen as drafts. Because they don't represent us completely. They just represent us at a certain point of time in our process, our thinking. Because we evolve.
Herbivore / Carnivore 2017 Oil on canvas
#9 The Process Is The Product
Han: Do you feel pressure to conceal your unfinished work? Do you feel like there's a need to control how people feel about you? Not sure if that's the right way to say it.
Gan: Not for my open studio, but when I was doing "The Horror, The Horror" it was very important to encounter the work as a whole. I didn't want people to see it until it was done. Even the gallery people didn't see it until it was done. They had an idea of what I was trying to do, but not the work itself.
Han: Because the fear can be very great, for many people. They don’t even like to show their unfinished work. And here you are, showing it off.
Gan: In a way, everything in my studio is in progress, which can be very frustrating for people who are used to seeing only finished works in galleries. There's a lot of leads and no end. There are a few stories in my head (if I'm trying to make it relatable to you, as a writer) and I'm showing people all these different paragraphs and sentences, but it's not done. Each of them can be something of their own, but it's not done. There's value in it, I think the process can be the product. I think if you see the process, maybe the appreciation of the finished work can be deepened. And I’m tired of being afraid.
Paperback with sleeve | full colour | 64 pages | 240mm H × 170mm W | saddle stitch binding | Edition of 500
This publication started out as a catalogue for the exhibition, but became a fun exercise in making something in book form. This is the first time I’m completely hands-on in selecting and working with printers, writers, photographers and designers on a publication. The process stirred my interest in doing more collaborative book projects, as I want to develop what I see as an overlap between a book and my video work. As both are essentially about editing a sequence of flat rectangular frames with data to tell a story.
This publication is designed by and in collaboration with NOWORNEVER and Kenta Chai.
Four Rabbits Talking
(Excerpt from a meandering conversation)
In conjunction with this project, I gathered a few friends to talk about our past collaborations. The conversation revolves around our current thinking about the creative process and also provides a window into the norms and practices of the Malaysian art scene from a decade ago.
On 20th August 2017, four friends, Wong Tay Sy (TS), Chang Yoong Chia (YC), Tan Sei Hon (SH), and Gan Siong King (G), came together to record a conversation about some of the art projects they collaborated on 15 years ago (circa 2000 – 2004). Below is an edited portion of that conversation.