Learning to fly (and fall, over and over again)
Jan. 22, 2014
As I hoped, I finally have some photo's of the first finished piece during my stay here in Hong Kong for this post. Unfortunately, not everything else has gone smoothly, in fact, nothing really has! When I started to get settled into the studio upon my arrival here, one thing I made note of right away were the strong gusts of wind. I was told that the Shek Kip Mei part of town was generally pretty windy, which worked out perfectly for the work I was looking to develop, as the planned media approach involved the use of kites. The even more exciting part was that I had access to the roof top (which also has an artist grown farm on it)!
When the kite was finally finished being prepped, I went out to fly it with assistance from a friend. This didn't go well. There was simply not enough wind that day to get the job done, and with repeated falls, the kite was ultimately destroyed. On to other things, for the moment. I managed to find some wood to install the work on, and photograph it on. Final documentation will hopefully involve white walls. I'd install on the walls here, but they're concrete and I'd rather not wreck walls as a visitor. Wood will have to do for now.
Prior to mounting
One out of two isn't bad, right? Well, the next day I guess it got REALLY windy - and remember how the studio is missing a roof and also has some open walls? Well, let's just say I wish I saved the kite for this day to try and fly. The entire studio had all my stuff all over the floor or objects had found new homes out in the hallways due to the wind.
There goes a solid few days of around the clock work, but I'm glad I brought plastic glue with me (I almost didn't pack it)! Not too bad.
After two mishaps I felt like I had lost much valuable time, so I got right back at it, and worked through the night. This studio really takes on a new persona at night. The lights go down in the building, and only a few people remain behind, with the occasional security officers. You build different relationships with these people. Some play their trumpets out in the open at night, others ride their bicycles through the hallways. It's great to see how other artists take a break from their work.
I decided to go with a white background this time on the new piece, as opposed to my usual black. I've always preferred black for its instant contrast with most colors you put next to it, and for its incredible mirror like finish when used on plexiglass. But after spending near 24 hour days in the studio, you start to really question your decisions as to whether they really are purely aesthetic or if they have hidden value to you. I figured using the opposite of black would be a good way to find out what really holds me to the black, if anything at all.
That same night, I decided to get dinner at midnight. The good thing about Hong Kong is that there is always somewhere to get food, no matter the time of the day. I ended up eating here alone :( (but it was really good)!
As as modern as Hong Kong is, it can be very difficult to find supply for whatever it is in life you may need - but once you find it, it's amazing. I went searching for fabrics for the kite and found this, thanks to a recommendation from a studio mate. Certain streets are covered in nothing but fabric samples and rolls. I'm new to the fabric thing, but fabric artists would probably be in a state of glee if they saw this.