The project is funded in part by a community public art grant from the City of Maple Ridge’s Public Art Steering Committee and the exhibition will be mounted by The ACT Art Gallery.
What Moments Have Shaped You...into You ?
Exhibition: June 17- July 15, 2017 at the ACT Art Gallery, Maple Ridge BC Canada
Exhibition Statement by Wan-Yi Lin and Roger Chen
Since July 2016, we have invited the public to submit their personal anonymous stories about defining moments in their life. As of May 15, 2017, we received 271 responses, many of which touched our hearts.
The stories we received are evidence that we are all unique in many ways and that personal growth is an invisible yet significant factor influencing our makeup. Often times, a moment of clarity provides truth, and that truth can hurt us, bring us joy, or move us. Knowing this makes navigating life a little easier.
Defining Moments comprises several art pieces that collectively reflect different aspects of the project.
The installation “Archive” honours each personal story, which is individually accessible in eight viewing structures. The installation also portrays an on-going process of mounting submitted stories which implies that self-discovery is a perpetual process.
The projected video “Hidden Clock” was initially inspired by Phase 1 of the project, which invited public participation through the public’s response to the project question “What moments have shaped you…into you?” But after spending time with the stories shared by the public, we began to reflect on the power of past memories on our present experience and how we think about the future. We wondered if the present could affect our response to the past, and the future as well. So, in “Hidden Clock,” we used a manipulated clock coupled with the sound of a real ticking clock, to empower the present by bringing the past, present, and future closer to a parallel. Ultimately, “Hidden Clock” engages with the idea that we can help shape what future moments will define us.
The sculpture “Paper Trail” is a collection of crinkled paper bound in an abstract form of a book. According to the dictionary, the definition of a “Paper Trail” is the documents from which a person's actions may be traced or opinions learned. The artwork presents crinkles/paths created by both chance and control. Due to the fragility of the material, once paths are formed, they remain visible and cannot be undone. Using all the inherent characteristics resulting from the process and the material itself, the artwork intends to metaphorically draw recognition of different paths in life without passing judgement.
The drawing in the installation “Charcoal” is created from charcoal collected from our wood stove over the years prior to this project. We have been compelled to save these charcoal pieces for no apparent reason other than that they remind us of the truth “No two fires burn the same”. They also remind us of a beautiful quote from Leonard Cohen: “Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.” When we collected these charcoal pieces, we didn’t know what we would use them for. Over the ten-month development phase of the participatory art project, we have reflected on inter-relations and inter-connections in both the tangible and intangible aspects of life. It became clear that the charcoal we have saved over the years is a perfect medium to portray that reflection. From a piece of firewood, to a drawing hung on a gallery wall, the installation “Charcoal” intends to use itself to illustrate that things in the world are interrelated and interconnected, as are moments in life. Nothing stands alone.