Light – a very interesting “object” to work and play with. After all, how can we materialise the immaterial? The artists exhibiting in the Minimalism show do a great job in doing just that.
By creating an immersive environment with just light alone, the artists are able to make light feel tangible, as though it has a presence. Which I feel is interesting because we encounter light everyday in our lives, but suddenly just by taking it and just tweaking the form/colour/layout of the light, we suddenly get transported to a whole new realm.
Also, to me the most interesting thing about working with light is that no matter how many photographs one takes or how great the photograph is, the artwork can only be experienced in the space itself – we can never do justice to the work through a photograph/ video. This was as proven by our visit to the Minimalism show.
This is a concept Alina and I found interesting and are expanding on for our Interactive II Project, where we seek to visualise space through the use of light manipulation. We have an idea now where how the participant interacts with light in the room, others outside the room can see as a projection (through the use of Processing.) Therefore we are in a sense making the light experience able to be captured and documented.
Going back to the exhibition, here are some of the works I enjoyed:
Olafur Eliasson Room for one colour
1997. Monofrequency lamps. Dimensions variable. © Olafur Eliasson. Photograph by National Gallery Singapore.
Olafur Eliasson’s work explores the scientific effects of light and colour on our vision. This room is illuminated by mono-frequency lamps that suppress all colours except yellow and black, causing us to see in shades of grey. The experience demonstrates that our perception is not fixed but changes with our environment, suggesting we can see the world from multiple perspectives.
(image and text taken from https://www.minimalism.sg/artworks/room-for-one-colour/)
Peter Kennedy Neon Light Installations 1970 – 2002
1970–2002. Neon, composition board and synthetic polymer paint. 235 x 1192.2 x 8.6 cm. © Peter Kennedy. Photograph by National Gallery Singapore.
(image taken from https://www.minimalism.sg/artworks/neon-light-installations-1970-2002/)
Kennedy was interested in how neon tubes delineate space, while also creating a sensory experience through the light they emit. He has described this effect as “walking through coloured air or being in the middle of a rainbow.” Another element important to the work is the humming sound of the neon transformers; Kennedy went on to make experimental sound, video and performance work from the 1970s onward.
Here are the photos I took of the works: