Hyper Essay – Fragility

Plannet: https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/pe0001in/2016/01/21/floating-baby/

Fragility of Time: https://oss.adm.ntu.edu.sg/chen0907/2016/02/01/58/

The two projects that caught my eye was Marc Quinn’s “Planet” and Ignacio Canales Aracil’s “Fragility of Time”. Not only these two art pieces have similar mediums, they explore similar themes: to explore instances that only exist for a very short time.

In Marc Quinn’s “Planet”, the artist plays on weight (it is made of heavy metal) and the illusion of weightlessness. I believe that it shows that youth is only temporary and that it passes by before we realise it.  Yet in Ignacio Canales Aracil’s “Fragility of Time”, he pressed and dried wild flowers to form structures that are very delicate; again, showing that temporal strength of something structurally weak. The projects vividly depicts the human fear of the inability to control time and forgetting important memories.

Despite the two project are similar in themes, they are very different in the way they are planned and executed. “Planet” has a much wider scope compared to “Fragility of Time” because the former has a bigger volume and uses materials that cannot be created nor transported by a single person. “Fragility of Time”, on the other hand, is made up of flowers thus is much easier to handle. Even though Canales used unique techniques to create the sculptures, I believe that the process can be done by the artist himself.

“Planet” and “Fragility of Time” are both project that require lots of planning through many channels. The starting point of the two projects might be similar since both of them explored similar concepts. “Planet” was a part of 3 separate installations in the same collection while “Fragility of Time” was a stand-alone project. Marc Quinn probably has some experience with creating public art pieces and the expectations from sponsors or collaborators. However, Canales probably have experiment many times before perfecting his sculpture. Furthermore, as his sculpture is delicate, he has to think of ways to transport it from places to places.

The organisations they have to contact to exhibit their works are very different. Marc Quinn have to connect governmental organisations to seek approval for his work while Canales is able to seek private organisations for his work to be displayed. That is one of the major differences between public art pieces and gallery art pieces since museums can control who can see the art. This help to protect artist and their audience if their works are not socially or culturally accepted.

“Planet” is be site-specific while “Fragility of Time” can be displayed in any gallery with a space big enough. Marc Quinn choose Singapore’s Garden’s by The Bay to display his works. The garden provides a peaceful ambiance to his work which can express his message clearly without interference as city spaces often disrupts artistic expression with static. This is exactly opposite in “Fragility of Time”, the exhibition are in enclosed gallery space, artificially made for humans to be imaginative, accepting and appreciative to every work. However, if “Planet” loses its site, it would also destroy meaning where there is no juxtaposition of the surreal scene with reality.

5 thoughts on “Hyper Essay – Fragility”

  1. Great essay Peng Cheng! Your interpretation for these 2 works is very descriptive and detailed. Yes I agree with you that both artworks shared some similarities and also differences in terms of production phase and also scale. In fact, I feel that Ignacio’s Fragility of Time could be a wonderful addition to the Singapore Gardens by the bay as well! It compliments the space as well.

  2. Hi Faye,

    Can you add links to the original posts on OSS of the two projects?

    You have written a beautiful sentence, very succinct and inspiring: “The projects vividly depicts the human fear of the inability to control time and forgetting important memories.”

    “Canales probably have experiment many times before perfecting his sculpture”. if you look at his webpages at http://el-nogal.tumblr.com/ they give an idea of the progression of his works. Not exactly experimentation (has he written any articles about that?) but it broadens our understanding of his ‘fragility’ project. Can you trace where his artistic development has taken him, over the past three years?

    “Marc Quinn choose Singapore’s Garden’s by The Bay to display his works.” This assumes the (nice!) situation that the artist was presented with a choice! Was that the case? – did you see a statement about it (at his webpages, at Gardens BTB webpages, NEA…?). If so then you must include the quote + reference, it would be very interesting. On the other hand, could it have been a commission from Gardens..?

  3. I like how you explain the consideration of transportation in these two projects. I never thought about this aspect but this could be an important consideration because the project Fragility of Time is delicate, whereas Planet is huge and seems like impossible to handle by one person. Hence, the schedule and execution of transportation could be the major part of the planning.

  4. This essay is very good. it compare many aspects of two projects that i never thought about before. The materials is the most obvious different, other than material, it also point out their organisation,site,collection,transportation,concept and so on. I think it’s very complete, and there is more i can learn from it. All these elements and aspects need specific project planning.

  5. I like it. Fragility is always an interesting topic to talk about. It’s interesting that the sculpture is now at MBS, as I’ve seen it and it seems peculiarly out of place in its surroundings. But when placed together with Fragility of Time, it takes on a new level of depth.

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