Interview with artist Eason Tsang Ka Wai

On 27/06/2017 by Marianna Tsionki

Eason is an artist based in Hong Kong, working with photography, video and installation Eason considers the details and mundanities of everyday modern life. Living in a dense city Eason’s work contemplates the experience and desires of those trapped inside a vast metropolis.

A.M. I have been thinking about your work Boring 30 seconds (a TV screen placed on the floor with a constant glitching of channel numbers and snippets of noise), contemplating how I do the same thing at home, guiltily flicking through channels unsure of what I am trying to find, not able to settle on anything. I wonder if you work full time as an artist or if you have another job alongside which you try retire your mind from at the end of the day, creating a need to ‘switch off’?

E.T. I now can be considered a full-time artist, with some part-time jobs on the side. My work “boring 30 seconds” was done during the preparation period of my first solo exhibition. I felt that I was working 24/7, I tried to have my “own time” to retire my mind, but I found that those moments were actually boring.

A.M. These mundane elements of daily life appear to be the same across the world but within these mundane foundations, you sneak into different spaces and find a new vantage point from which to observe and record. We all tend to see things the same way from the same viewpoint, perhaps this is why everyone enjoys looking out of the window on planes; it is something we don’t normally get to see. Your images create a new viewpoint for us to see from and therefore change our perspective. Is this something you intended from the series?

E.T. To me, the rooftop is like a semi-public space, to which people cannot really enter, but you can easily gain access to space by vision. I intended to use birds eye view to clearly display what is happening in that space.

A.M. Humour in subtle hints also is visible in your work, the constant flicking of the TV is so ordinary it is funny to see it conveyed in a way to isolate it and present it as an action. The restricted view and restricted access to what is in fact a natural view of the sky (cloud projection behind locked door only visible through door peephole), being able to only peer at this free element is a humorous remark on our often daily shut in lives. Is humour something you consider while thinking about the work, especially through the installations you create?

E.T. Oh yea, many people have told me that my work exhibits a sense of humour. But it is not intentional at all. I did not do it on purpose.

A.M. Your current work reflects on living in a vast city, do you imagine if you lived and worked in another location your work might differ? And is this idea of ‘the city’ an ongoing theme within your practice as a whole?

E.T. Most of the ideas of my work is from my daily life. I think it should be quite different if I move to different city.

A.M. The installation at CFCCA shows a variety to your thought process, what is your next project idea and what do you have coming up next?

E.T. I will explore more of the relationship between images and the media that carries the image. “Internal structure” is one of my latest works in this direction, here is the description of the new work:

 

Internal structure (2016), the mechanical assembly of LED light tubes inside the light boxes is photographed, and the slides are installed on the exterior of the light boxes. The momentary capture of the light tubes’ interior mechanism and the installation of actual light boxes reconstruct a subtly fascinating combination.

 

A Look at Looking by Eason Tsang Ka Wai continues at CFCCA until 25 June.

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