Nested – Su mei Tse @Artforum



With the title Stone Collection, I like to refer to a very simple gesture, a natural reflex that we had in childhood and even later to collect found stones while longing a path. The quality of choosing is very personal, intuitive. Here the idea is the same, just with a different scale and presenting a found object in the idea of an objet trouvé. As in previous works, I’m not interested in inventing something new but rather pointing on the existing, bring it to the foreground and create a visual composition.

For me the presence of a scholar rock, as it traditionally did in a scholar’s room referring to nature and inspiring the creation, also confronts us (physically) to the question of scale. Scale not only in terms of dimension and weight but also in terms of time. These stones which have been washed and shaped (often by the stream of a river) during hundreds, thousands of years relativize our existence and brings a new perspective to the lapse of time that we have. In another work Red Ladder (The Scale) I present the same concern but with a certain smile. This laboriously forged object (sculpture) is less important for its material existence, but rather a (jokingly) link to its title and theme about scale. A kind of French word play: c’est une question d’échelle, it’s a question of scale (échelle means ladder but also scale). A reflexion I developed in different ways these last years.

The way to present these stones (and my work in general) is important for me. Here trying to create a meditative composition, a space for quiet contemplation and at the same time adding a “painterly” quality, renouncing any ornamentation but create a minimal background for each stone. The choice of color is carefully selected to vanish the obsolete, the “dust” and give a personal and playful note to this tradition that I appropriate into my work. I want to evoke the meditative moments through these works. My cultural background has to do with that interest and affinity in silence, but it is also a personal need. Already in 2003, I worked with our condition to be exposed to noise, speed, and stress. Being overwhelmed by information and impressions, the noise from outside but also noise inside us, provoked by our thoughts, restlessness, and agitation seriously affecting our life. That was also the reason I decided to create the “radical silence” for my solo exhibition “Air Conditioned” in the Luxembourg Pavilion at the 50th Venice Biennale.


Natural materials are also important in my creations. At the one hand, I like to work with natural elements for their visual and haptic quality. For example, in the series of “Moons”, I used marble as paint attracted by its deep and precious texture. At the same time, the use of marble has to do with my time in Rome, its unconscious influence on me but also its historical reference in Roman art. Then there is this red resin, in opposition to create a tension between marble and the strong red color treated in relation to the Japanese tradition of lacquer ware. So in a second reading, there’s a tension underneath the work between two countries and two cultures. This kind of tension relating to nature also embedded in the work Trees and Roots. I started it with a series of photographs of “everyday” moments of these trees with their wrapped roots waiting to be planted before adopting their new environment, the ground, being “rooted” again. I was touched by the fragility (and force) of this “exposed” situation, the beauty of the wrapped roots and the idea (and image) of the growing roots, “taking” the ground and gradually anchor themselves. Later I developed that image into bronze sculptures, working with the scale and space. Beside being inspired by nature and natural elements, I’m interested in the nature of the human being, the physical body and, especially, his spiritual soul. Through my work, I try to get closer to our intuition, to the essence of humankind and reflect to our existence in time and on earth.

My works often refer to words, language, literature, and books. So that people can see the paragraphs on the wall for corresponding works presented in Yuz Museum. During the preparations of the exhibition (the first venue of the touring show was in Luxembourg at the Mudam) I exchanged a lot with Christophe Gallois, the curator who has not only a sensitive reading and understanding of my work but also a deep and rich body of references. This vivid exchange has led to these “notes”, giving like a second layer of meaning. Besides of this, music also plays equivalent role in my creation. I think the most important for an artist is to use a personal language, to express ideas in the most honest way. As I grew up in a musical family, for me, music and sound are the “tools” to use to create images or to get inspiration from and express myself with that language I feel familiar with.

“Nested” is my first solo show in China, which composes interesting dynamics beneath the exhibition. The influence of oriental culture keeps floating in my works for last years. When I visited China (my family is in Hong Kong, to be precise) as a small child, I was fascinated by the landscape and the contrasts between the modern (contemporary) architecture and the tropical natural environment. The loud, busy and “wild” crowds, the smells on the markets and the excitement in the Cantonese language. When I visit China now, I can not speak of a “real” China still being a foreigner feeling that “wildness” in a way, but at the same time feeling very familiar, close the way of feeling, eating and perceiving. Maybe it remains in my works in some way.


我想用藏石系列指涉一个十分简单的动作,一种我们在童年就有,甚至延续到成年的条件反射在路上散步时收集发现石头选择是一个非常个人化与直觉性的过程。“藏石系列的理念也是如此只不过尺度不同而且是在拾得艺术”(objet trouvé)的概念下呈现这些现成物我一直对发明新的东西不感兴趣我更关注指认现有的事物将它们带入前景并创造出一个视觉上的构图

在我看来供石不仅如它在文人书房中的传统功用那样隐喻自然并激发创作灵感同时还使我们在身体上直面尺度的问题尺度不仅指尺寸和重量也包括时间这些经过河流千百年洗炼的石头使我们的存在相对化并为我们所经历的时间流逝带来新的视角在另一件作品红色梯子比例尺)》我表达了同样的关注但多了一些幽默感这件费心锻造的物品雕塑最关键之处可能并不在于其物质存在而是它的标题和与尺度概念之间玩笑式的联系它是一个法语的文字游戏:c’est une question d’échelle(这是一个尺度的问题)。échelle既指梯子也有尺度的意思

此次展览我尝试创造一个冥想的结构一个安静沉思的空间同时在其中加入一种绘画放弃任何装饰给每块石头创造一个最极简的背景颜色都经过精心挑选以消除过时与尘土的感觉为这一被我挪用进自己作品的传统增添一种个人化和俏皮的意味我对寂静的兴趣和亲近很大程度上与我的文化背景有关但它也是我的个人需求早在2003我就开始在作品中处理我们日常面对的噪音速度和压力问题我们无时无刻不被各种信息和观感淹没噪音不仅来自外部更来自于内心它严重影响着我们的生活这也是我选择在第50届威尼斯双年展卢森堡馆的个展空气调节”(Air Conditioned)中制造极端寂静的原因



我的作品经常涉及文字语言文学和书籍在余德耀美术馆的这次展览中观众可以看到墙上的段落与展出作品相互对应在准备展览期间巡展第一站是卢森堡的MUDAM美术馆),我和策展人Christophe Gallois交流很多他不仅对我的作品有敏感的解读还给出了深刻而丰富的参考文本我们之间的交流生成了这些笔记”,为作品编织了第二层意义当然音乐在我的创作中也很重要我认为艺术家最重要就是使用个人语言以最诚实的方式表达想法我出生于一个音乐世家对我而言音乐和声音就像工具”,我借由它们制作图像获取灵感用最熟悉的语言述说自身



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