During COVID times, I came back to Shanghai and worked as an intern in an architectural studio merely out of curiosity. In the past few months, I was getting to know some of the operating mechanisms and started to raise some real confusion, doubt, understanding, and imagination. The experience offered me a portal to look closely at how our accustomed environment was constructed and to reflect upon how the body navigated and interacted with our surroundings.
I found myself easily get lost. Get lost in the city, get lost in an architectural model. Postmodernism - like the city taken to epitomize its cultural ethos - is thus taken as characterized by this experience of disorientation.
But what kind of disorientation is this? From what kind of psychic space of orientation does it diverge?
I take walking as my starting point. Wandering in the city, strolling around the 3d model.
Meteorology in my book is a subject of chasing the invisible atmospheric movement. The most attractive part to me would be the weather forecasting, for it seems to always be a work in progress.
It reminds me of those early days when the paper wasn’t invented, people used to write on parchment which was expensive and not readily available. The text was scraped or washed off using milk and oat bran so that the page could be reused for another document. With the passing of time, the faint remains of the former writing would reappear enough so that people can discern the manuscript page which is the palimpsest.
If we take the parchment as a meteorological chart, habitat, or city, the chorus of idle footsteps will refer, like words, to the absence of what has passed by. Walking whether in real space-time or in Cyberspace, your path is disciplined. But the disorienting space makes people feel discomfort is that once inside, you can just go wherever you want. You don't know which way to move. The intertwined paths of wanderers give the shape to spaces and weave places together, following the thicks and thins of an urban “text” they write without being able to read it. As if reciting how indescribable modernity is.
The first six pieces of Portal are the ones I made after walking on rainy days and will be presented in an upcoming art book ATMOSPHERE / RAIN published by DREAMER FTY. Wandering, overlapping, disorienting. As if the rain links heaven and earth.