“The paper is very warm,” said the artist as he opened the beautiful A3-size hardcover book.
On Friday, Tung Pang re-introduced his studio to me. Unlike the previous group visit, he took more time to show me his working table, resting area, a small study room, as well as 4 large volumes of books packed with images of ukiyo-e. I was to document them into an archive, while he worked on multi-material designs to be set up, like a scroll of wallpaper, on the interior walls of the House.
When I was in the study room, I noticed a large number of books on the shelves, ranging from art, literature to art history textbooks, very much like an art history professor’s room. It is clear that the artist is taking inspiration from a rich collection of materials, and this resonated with the array of materials I saw during the first visit.
Although the actual task for the afternoon was simple, I thought I gained a lot just by observing the space and having chats with Tung Pang. Upon hearing why I wanted to work in the studio (I gave a condensed version of what I wrote in the previous blog post, about the possibilities of creating a dialogue with the visitors), he rushed to his iMac on the central table and showed me pictures that he accumulated as reference and inspiration for the Half-step House. Many pictures were sent by the people from the Hong Kong House in Echigo, among which one showed the House standing firmly in an untouched snow bed. That was when he told me: the dialogue starts even earlier than the show.
Now recalling my visit, I am also glad to become more aware of the practicalities of the project. Tung Pang talked to me about issues including finding access to resources, the logistics of shipping, problems with translation, and the canvas size for wall projections. These are exactly the things that I hoped to learn through this internship, and are things that we rarely touch upon in class.