Monthly Archives: August 2015

Research Critique Assignments: Yoko Ono: Cut Piece

Cut Piece by Yoko Ono

To go straight ahead into critique Cut Piece and how it fits into the Collective Narrative, I have taken the summarize explanation of Cut Piece from the book of Art & Feminism for you to read and understand what Cut Piece is all about.

“In this performance Ono sat on a stage and invited the audience to approach her and cut away her clothing, so it gradually fell away from her body. Challenging the neutrality of the relationship between viewer and art object, Ono presented a situation in which the viewer was implicated in the potentially aggressive act of unveiling the female body, which served historically as one such ‘neutral’ and anonymous subject for art. Emphasizing the reciprocal way in which viewers and subjects become objects or each other, Cut Piece also demonstrates how viewing without responsibility has the potential to harm or even destroy the object of perception.”

Yoko Ono is an important artist in the Fluxus art movement and  her work fits in the collective narrative model. I was lucky to be able to visit Yoko Ono: One Woman Show in MoMA when I was in New York 2 weeks ago.

As the idea of The Collective Narrative is about social interaction and exchanges of conversation, ideas and information, I feel Cut Piece is a good example. Cut Piece does not work just by Yoko Ono, Cut Piece needed the audience participation in order for it to happen. However, as the idea of the collective narrative is more than just audience participation, it is also about sharing and exchanging of thoughts and hearing other people voices. In this case, Cut Piece does not comply with this. I personally feel that Cut Piece has only one voice and that is Yoko Ono’s. The audience participation only makes Yoko Ono’s voice heard louder. By allowing the audience to cut her dress bit by bit, she radically critique the role of women in society. But what if the audience do not want to get involved? Will the meaning of Cut Piece change then? I think the Cut Piece was force due to the fact that this performance need an audience participation. If nobody in the audience wants to cut Yoko Ono’s dress, then I think Cut Piece won’t be discussed much today. DSC08502 copy

As I was viewing the video at MoMA, there were a few crowd looking at the video of Cut Piece being projected onto the wall. As I already knew of Cut Piece, I briefly explained it to my girlfriend who is with me. Our attention was short as we need to cover more space within a short period of time. But I think we stayed for a good 30 seconds and I feel that is good enough for one to understand what Cut Piece is all about though.DSC08503 copy

Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece reminds me of Marina Abramovic’s Rhythm 0 where the audience are free to do whatever they want to Marina with the items that were available such as a loaded gun, knife, hammer, saw and there’s even a condom. Marina’s Rhythm 0 makes Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece seems so conservative and small though.

As audiences gets more brave with time through out both performances, things get escalated quickly. As Marina Abramovic isn’t worry about getting nude, Yoko Ono was holding her bra after an audience member cut her bra strap. This makes Yoko Ono more conservative unlike Marina. This means Yoko Ono is preventing full audience control of the performance.

In Summary, having a Collective Narrative concept in any art is important if the meaning involves other people’s participation, be it the result is exactly how one think it should be or not. Even though Cut Piece deserve some respect for its avant garde and a first of its kind during its time, Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece is actually thought provoking and it makes me wonder, what are the thoughts going through the audience mind when they are cutting Ono’s dress. Are they happy about able to keep a piece of history or are they just a representation of how men view woman as objects rather than subject.






The date is 6th August 2008. It was the last day of school for the first semester during my First Year in Republic Polytechnic. It was a time where I still have no direction in life. Honestly, I wasn’t really happy to be thrown into this school because I have no other choices as I didn’t get to the Polytechnic that I want. Instead, I was donated to Republic Polytechnic, with a diploma in Design for Interactivity. DSC06954

So that day, we have to make a presentation. I can’t remember the topic of the presentation but I remember it was some kind of entrepreneurial module. So anyway, our Facilitator, his name is PJ, is a very fun and engaging teacher. That day, right after our first meeting, suddenly, PJ announces that he is giving out awards! Awards with funny categories! And guess what! I’ve won! But it was a weird award, it was for the Ultimate Slacker Award! DSC06963

I’m all smiles in the photo above but actually, I might be feeling dampened and embarrass maybe. Okay maybe not embarrass but sad that I got such a degrading award. But I know it was all fun and games! Actually, I think I kinda deserve that title. Okay, I am not really a slacker in class but that’s what the impression my classmates have of me I guess. For my defence, I am a chill person, not slacking. I manage to complete any task that was assigned and guess what, I have a GPA of 3.5 out of 4 for my first semester! I did even better than most of my classmate.DSC06974

W36J was my class and being our first year and this is our first batch of classmates we have, we were pretty close actually. Everyone knows how I can be goofy and such but I do get my work done. From this point, I still wasn’t sure what I want to do in life and have not yet discovered ART/DESIGN/MEDIA.DSC06972

While my other classmates get awards as well, their awards were more decent for example, most comical, most talkative, most irritating and etc. While I got the weird award of Ultimate Slacker Award, it kinda pushes me to be better actually. Sometimes in life, you have to put up a fake front to show people that you are interested in things. Sometimes, even though I am into something but I won’t show so much enthusiasm, because like I said, I am a chill guy. DSC06978 copy

So here’s a class photo with our loving Facilitator, Mr PJ!

Anthropomorphic Objects by Ana Jofre

At Vancouver, I attended an artist talk. All these artists are actually professors and professionals working in university all over the world. One of the speaker was Ana Jofre. Dr. Ana Jofre. She’s currently in OCAD University doing a research position.


She was sharing her project on anthropomorphic objects which she is interested on and large based on her artwork and practice.IMG_3440

Her first artwork she shared is titled Monster Jofre. See that little hairy guy there, that’s Monster Jofre. Basically, Monster Jofre is an interactive sculpture that responds to people’s presence. When one comes up next to Monster Jofre, the head will turn and face you. Below is a video that shows just that


Right after she showed us that video, she went on to explained the rationale behind her practice and work. She mention that the lagging of Monster Jofre’s head turn create an awaited anticipation for the viewer. Personally, the lag works for me as it shows normal human behaviour sometimes.

Ana also mention that her work is based on a human form because the human form is uncanny and furthermore simplistic form that is relevant to all of us; being able to recognise another human form.

Monster Jofre is actually female with fur which explores the confusion of gender in the society as well. Ana proceeds to share with us how this artwork explores what it means to be human. From instant judgement of Monster Jofre to accepting how the sculpture looks like.


Her other human form sculpture also take her last name as this is something I am wondering about actually. I suspect that Ana Jofre is creating a part of herself into theses sculpture and by placing her name as part of the artwork, they are a representation of her. I wanted to ask her this question but I never got the chance to.


Ana then puts these sculptures into narrative sequence. Since they are taking in a human form, I guess it is only right that they too, have a story to tell about their life and personality. Even though Monster Jofre is just a big hairy fur, Ana Jofre mentions that these objects do have personality. Like a puppet, Ana Jofre directs them in situation for example, sitting in a bench at a park. IMG_3444

Taking selfie with Ana Jofre’s artwork has become an obsession for some in this selfie-digital world. Giving storyline to the photograph creates a reference and give life to the motionless sculpture, Ana proclaims.



I really enjoyed Ana Jofre’s presentation about her practice. By combining robotic, interactive and sculptural into her work, I believe each of them compliments each other to give a complete experience for the viewer. For example, a robotic sculpture usually takes no form of a human form but instead, bare and metallic. By making a human form robotic, it makes her work more relatable to us. Moreover, it is also interactive! A very friendly artwork that is accessible to all of us. I also feel that putting her sculpture into photograph which creates narrative adds another layer into her work. I have attached a photo of Monster Jofre which is more clear to see.

Monster Jofre

About the artist: Ana Jofre.

Here’s what Ana Jofre wrote in her website pertaining to her Artist Statement:

“I’m interested in the emotional response that anthropomorphic objects elicit, and in our desire to imagine life within them. My life-sized ‘people’ are the artistic output of playful musings on this idea, merging sculpture with puppetry and some robotics, with the intent of evoking a (pleasurable) sense of uncanny ‘presence’. The human figure, as a form with which to communicate, and the themes of presence and personality are key throughout all my artistic products, which include ceramic sculptures and pencil-drawn portraits.”

Her website:

There isn’t a website that feature this particular work though.

In her website, she does a lot of sculptural work which takes a form of a human. Even though her background is in Physics, she started pursuing art as a professional practice. Maybe her background in Science does help her a lot in determining the scientific backdrop of a sculpture and human features.



What is Art?

If you ask me what is art today, I would say that it is about a form of expression and emotion. But if you ask me what is art 10 years ago, I would say Art is the fresh coat of paint design on the HDB block.

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me with duchamp

I have a brand new definition of art when I leave MOMA and the Met in New York. To me, Art is a process. A process so sophisticated that it changes everyday.

For example, back in 16th Century, those craftsmen who did those Ceylon casket and presenting it to Queen Catherine as a piece of art. But now, we called these caskets as antiquities and even might able to label such similar items as relic. We might agree that it still a piece of art today as compare to the 16th Century, however, today’s definition of art is not affirmative to call it art and exhibit it in a museum beside a Rothko.

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I guess I can define Art as categories as well. Like how Jackson Pollock won’t be exhibited in the Asian Civilisation Museum but a work from Justin Lee will.

As much as art is a freedom of expression, there are bodies who wants to control Art like those big art house. Art become commercialise like Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons but it’s all good, art makes the money go round.

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Claude Monet, Reflections of Clouds on the Water-Lily Pond, c. 1920, 200 × 1,276 cm (78.74 × 502.36 in), oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York City

#iHeartRobotMusic by Steve A. Bjornson

An interactive project by artist name Steve A. Bjornson titled #iHeartRobotMusic which was done in 2012 and showed here today in ISEA2015  in Vancouver.IMG_5956 copy

This installation artwork was installed on the basement level of the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts in downtown Vancouver. With that being said, is a pity that this installation work was place in the B2 level of the building where little or no human traffic was present most of the time. Actually, it was the only artwork to be place there!IMG_5956 copy

Anyway, #iHeartRobotMusic is an interactive artwork where people is encourage to tag a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #iHeartRobotMusic. The images is then translate into another image (as you can see on the right, below). It changes into a image which is able to translate into notes which triggers a motor that plays an instrument. In this case, the instrument is made up of motors that hit metals poles and bowls. With different notes being played at different time, it turns into a sound scape. So basically, an image has a sound, in this case, sound of metal clashing onto each other.

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The installation is build with a structure on its own which is used to make the hitting sound as well.

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Take a look at the video I took below with my iPhone. You can see the motors being trigger and hitting the bowl.

I find out more about this project and it was previously shown at another gallery. But it uses different materials for example, styrofoam cups, musical toys, box and bottles. In the video below you are able to see and hear what the artist explained about his work. I got to say that it is good that for different location and venue, the artist decided to use different objects as his source of sound. This project is flexible in a sense that any object can be used as a musical instrument because all you need is the motor and any object to make a sound. So I really like that flexibility and improvisation in this project.

As a whole, I enjoy Steve’s #iHeartRobotMusic. It is playful, interactive and yet engaging. However, I feel there is a lack of substance in it. Turning a hashtag picture into abstract sound of metal clashing is abit too simple for me. If you were to ask me on how to improve this, I would say this. I would choose a famous photograph that many people in the world can recognise, or even a painting. Then translate the image into notes through real musical notes like do re mi. Instrument wise, I would expect a symphony, then people would really listen to real music. I mean, Mona Lisa is just a visual, but what if, there is sound/music that reveals more about the painting?!

Anyway, there’s not much about the artist online and i can’t find his portfolio and website. Apparently, the video above I shared is one of the videos where you are able to know more about him and his work. It seems that he really love #iHeartrobotMusic so much!

Signing off from Vancouver, BC, Canada,