NIHILIST / SELF-PORTRAIT / LANGUAGE / MEANING / UNCONCERN
Tsuki Liang, a 4th year Painting & Printmaking student at GSA, shares with us her recent paintings. Tsuki talks to Art Drool on being human, making work about life and the struggle of having to explain what that means.
Tell us a bit about yourself and where you're based.
This is the part I have no idea how to start. Generally speaking, I am a human being, the same as you. If we go further, I’m an international student studying in GSA right now. I studied in Singapore for five years before that and so far I spent almost half of my life studied aboard. I’m kind of rootless and don’t belong to anywhere. I’m a very contradictory person, also quite depressed and nihilistic. Knowing that will help you to understand my work because all my works are my “self-portraits”.
What do you make & how do you make it?
My work is strongly related to myself, the way I see things, my feelings, my thoughts……and I use art as the language to express them. Probably because the ideas are quite abstract, I found art allows me to present a truer image of my mind compared to the actual language. My ideas come from…I don’t know. It’s possible to explain part of them, but I don’t think anyone can explain or even know completely of how ideas formed in our mind. So for me, it’s more likely to be: right moment, right time, right mood, and I got something to say about all that. PS. I do use my brain during development. The use of material, texture, size of the work… is mostly dependent on that specific idea I want to present. I did prefer working at a smaller scale before because my motivation of painting is based on that right moment, right mood. Unluckily, I lose interest easily and if that happens before I finish the painting, I just can’t do it anymore. (So I've got a lot of unfinished pieces that would never be finished) Also, I like to use detailed and well blended texture to express sentimental feelings. It’s killing me when I paint in large scale. However, I have a strong connection with my current project “Gibberish” and that allows me to work in larger scale without worrying about losing interest on them.
What has been your biggest challenge to navigate?
The biggest challenge is to explain each piece. I’m 90% blind when someone asks me what’s the meaning of the piece. And even if I try to explain it, I just don’t feel right. For me, the work itself is what I want to say. As a speaker, my “job” ends when I finish the piece. I hope they can act like intro, and I hope my audience resonates with the work in their own way. It’s like having a conversation, I said my opinion (through my work) and it’s your turn. Also, self promotion is a huge challenge for me too. I’m sure that’s not hard to understand based on the rest of interview….
How do you think your practice sits in today's context?
Hmmm…I’m not sure. I think it’s dependent on how people look at it. To be honest, I don’t really think a lot about how my works sits in today’s context. The topic I’m interested about is life, the meaning of life and it’s a topic related to everyone. Not to mention, it’s a topic that has been discussed from ancient time. However, I express the idea in a very personal way. I find it’s difficult to talk about that in a more objective way. I can only express my understanding towards it. Meanwhile, I don’t really know how other people think about that, do they feel the same way? or they don’t. Also, I don’t think this is something you will ask your friends at party, “Hey, let’s talk about the meaning of life.” “???” So whether it sits in today’s context or not, I don’t think I can do a lot about that.
What's next on your practice-agenda? Goals, projects or any upcoming shows perhaps?
I just finished my first solo exhibition last month and I’m working on the new project now. Short term plan will be finish the project and keep painting. I do plan to hold some more exhibitions next year, so I hope the whole Covid situation would be better soon.
Favourite studio food?
On-The-Go protein yoghurt? because I don’t want to touch any food when I've got oil paint all over my hands and that one is easy to open lol.
Something interesting you’ve seen this week?
I saw a parcel that is 1cm thick with “yoga block” on the label of item list.
Final words of advice?
Drink more water, it’s good for health.