Philosophy- IE 9-The Original Proposal: The original project aims was to explore “How can Japanese poetry structure become the structure of a non-written form of contemporary Sound Design? (October 2008) and the aims were to explore a number of Japanese poetry forms; this in essence has remained constant backbone of the project.
late 2009 :The original proposal was adapted to encompass a wider range of medium for the end work by and a specific poetry structure had been chosen. By altering the proposal to “Using a specific Japanese poetry structure and translate it into another unwritten form of art such as print, photography, typography and sculpture…. and not multiple narrative structures”, this not only made the project suddenly more interesting, unpredictable and at times frustrating, but the method of adaptation was the key, to enable further development of the work.
Research :My research into various forms Japanese poetry forms including the Haibun, Tanka, Renku, Haiku, Renga, however the Bussokusekika was chosen because it presented a natural structure for a series of work, which could be interconnected but remain separate works.
The original Bussokusekika is inscribed beside the stone Buddha Foot monument at Yakushi Temple in Nara and is a series of 21 verses, some of which are now partially worn. The IE series is a “substitute variation” because the original form contained 21 elements, which were split into a 4/ 17 ratio based on two distinct themes or idea.My series contains 9 pieces in total, and has a larger number of themes including the “collecting celebrities lives ”, life and death, identity, ethnicity, cultural heritage, disability, the transient life, the destruction of humans on the natural world and the “intangible existence” or the life beyond this existence. The adaptation of a poem into another art form, is not a literal representation one, sometimes only a single word, is present, but in most cases, there is no direct reference to the poem.
A recent development, has been the emergence of the IE Films, a subcategory which containing the first four works, by chance have evolved into moving image, sound or animation works. Now, the IE series splits into two series, like the original Bussokusekika, the first 4 works being in a audio-visual format, and the later 5 works ranging from Paper, laser cut Silk with embroidery, Acrylic with Light, Wood, and 3D printing with charcoal.
The original proposal defined a general area of research, this created infinite possibilities, both for the project and further work in the future, this was both it strength and weakness simultaneously, it worked, the work became something more than what I could of guessed two years ago, but it did make life difficult at times.
Note to Self :In the future, any projects will plan to include a time period for research and development, exploration and reflection, which makes it possible to find your connections with your work and explore them.
Methodology:The purpose of the structure of the poetic form was a loose guideline to and something whose every detail was to be adhered to, after a period of self- reflection; the methodology revealed itself, as series of interpretations each as a result of the previous one.
The first, was writing poetry, this is an interpretation of life, distilled into a poetic form, then by imposing a loose structure of the Bussokusekika form, and then finally stage was the re interpretation, of the poem and structure into a series of exhibition pieces.
By focusing, on either a key element or even the intent behind a poem, this was then juxtaposed with another secondarily element, because the poems were personal, only by relating them to an external element, could they become both personal and accessible to a wider audience.
Green space, was originally written as a tweet for twitter poetry event at King’s place in 2009,but in the IE 9 series, it focuses, on the value of the environment, valued either as potential property development with its destruction, seen as something which can be offset.
Charcoal is created through the carbonising of lemon, which represents both carbon as a monetary tradable element capable of being sold and exchanged but also replacing a disappearing landscapes; but is also is an ancient remedy for toxicants and is widely used in “Activated charcoal “ form to treat poisoning by hospitals.
The IE 9 series, contained 9 poems, which were transformed into exhibition pieces, a further 42 remain as poems either because they were overlapping from a thematic viewpoint with the one of the exhibition pieces or because they would be suitable for a further transformation at a future date into original artwork or else they were passing ideas not suitable for further development. There are many variations of each poem, and many way of re-interpreting that same poem; I think that once you believe that a poem can become a print, vinyl, drawing and sculpture, then many possibilities open up.
Key Developments:Writing poetry The development of reflective practice through the use of a blog has been key to my personal development of my artistic practice, by embracing writing, as a way of gathering ideas, and exploring themes, within the relative safety of a blog.
The act of writing either as a blog or poem, has led me to develop a level of self awareness, because it forced me to consider very word both as a separate component and as part of a whole, an also to explore my feeling both as a person and my creativity; thus the blog becomes a time capsule, which captures ideas and thoughts as they happen, intergrading a twitter feed into the blog further expands this.
Artistic Self:One of the most significant developments has been the emergence of an artist persona or alter ego, which has enabled me to separate personal issues from artistic practice and continue with the MA.
I think this approach has been healthy because the Artist persona, has enabled me to create the work through a detachment of personal life, there have always artists known by their pen names or stage names.
To love a sound for being a sound
I have been inspired by music, and composition, since I was a child, yet I do not play a traditional analogue instrument or read it, I relied on Garargeband to enable me to realise my thoughts. Quincy Jones describes “orchestration as painting with sound”, I understood is entirely and visualised my soundscapes as paintings in an abstract space. In the beginning I tried to create music in the tradition sense, but this was a deconstruct sound, and construct it as layers.
In later with pieces such as 4 pianos, (only three are played at one time) but they have been recorded without referring each other, so any harmony occurs by chance rather than design. The IE piece,”Butterflies” contains original sounds cape composed by firstly experimenting with sounds I was drawn to and then recorded as a 5 separate performances.
The final version of Butterflies, contains 5 layers, these sounds evoke 5 butterflies which fluttering and dancing in space, they break the convention of sound design by playing more than three sounds at any one time, but also symbolically represent the
Symbolically representing a decade of the life of Michael Jackson, but as the final part of the Butterflies trilogy, the final soundscape captures the spirit of Michael Jackson. Butterflies the Yellow edition, its is the final journey, as the animation shifts from white, to black, blue, and finally yellow, I say goodbye to Michael, with a new work of art, and thank him for all the joy he brought into this world.
When I graduated from my degree, in 2007,I hoped that one-day, I wanted to direct a Michael Jackson video, especially for his song “Butterflies”, sadly he died, and now in this new series “Butterflies”, I believe I have fulfilled that ambition.
Key contextual discoveries :Spiritual representation :I was fortunate enough to attend Farrah Mahmood Rana, in Miniature painting workshops in 2009, who is an Assistant Professor at the COMSATS Institute of Information Technology in Islamabad and also a contemporary Miniature Mughal painter.
The workshops series led me, to explore how miniature mughal painters use symbolism within their painting and later enabled me to consider within my own practice how I might be able to explore abstract ideas through visual representation.
The photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto had influence my previous work, but within this series, it has been his approach to representing form and light in work especially in series such as “Joe”.
My paper sculptures series, and can be seen in the test piece “fleur” for the artwork of “ Intangible existence”, explore form and structure.
Cultural Identity:The Hussein Chalayan exhibition at the Design museum in 2009, reawaken my interest in fashion, as a former fashion design student.
Hussein’s work explore ideas not fashion, within a traditional sense, this approach, led me to visualize “Brown”, by using a traditional ethnic garments, textures and process to communicate a visual representation of abstract effect of western influences on ethnic and cultural identity.
Movement /Expression:Following the recent Andrew Bracey exhibition at Manchester art gallery in 2010,and also attending the weekend workshop with the artist, I was able to realizing how I could create movement within my drawings without altering their aesthetics.
This approach is used when creating the drawn animation for “Perfect cloud”. Abstract Art
Mark Rothko on the Seagram Murals:“They are not pictures. I have made a place.”( he made a distinguished between an artist who reveal everything by describing everything in parrot fashion, thus allowing no place for the viewer to engage with the work and those like Mark who left a enough space with some small guidelines to encourage a creative engagement between the artist and the audience.
My final exhibition work, focuses on creating space for engagement with the audience with the exception a perfect cloud, which only purpose is to capture the fragility of this life as the changing movement of clouds.
Further development of this project :The IE 9 series has become a ongoing project with multiple variations.