Turn it Out
“Turn it Out” is the name of my project, a transformation of a box that now has different angles one can view from. The concept is from mathematical geometry in which I challenged the human vision to bring viewing pleasure within shapes of simplicity. Two rectangles and four 90 degree triangles are the basic form. I see it as a combination of two sets: one set is formed of one rectangle and two triangles. The final outcome is presented with two sets glued together, creating more surface of triangles from the side. The two sets glued together are slanted on purpose to show more dynamics with the sticking-out points and angles. It is an object that would trigger one’s desire to hold it up, turn it, and flip it to see different outcomes and changes. It is meant to challenge viewers’ thinking and vision, especially on how many different sides that can be found on this 360° active project.
From a box to an artwork, I followed the guiding principle of minimum process for maximum change. The box originally had four sides before the deconstruction. Then, one diagonal cut was made. It took me with one cut to set a tremendous change on its appearance. After drawing multiple complex design, I decided to challenge myself and used one limited cut to find out what simplicity can bring to us. In the process, I undrilled some screws for the big diagonal cut from the side that has surface on top, position the two pieces to a certain angle, and glue them together to finish up the work. Though the work process was minimum, the change was maximum since one can no longer see how that one cut was made, instead, the amount of angles and points are increased after the transformation. It is no longer a box, but a playful product that can stand on the table with any of its points to present different vision. After the transformation, the object becomes unique because viewers’ visual experience changes as they flip through different angles and will no longer see the previous cubic shape of the box.
Through this module, I also realized the importance of context in one’s work. When the destructed box is placed under light, the shadows are created to make the angles more vibrated and excite our vision. Furthermore, I took the idea of having story behind a work and the consideration of visual experience to my work from this module. Janie Antoni spoke about her work Moor (2001) in her interview that she believes in story and meaning of each creation; she hopes audiences may piece the hints together to figure out the meaning. I was inspired by her statement; therefore, I made a piece that has multiple sides and possibilities. Similarly, I believe each person has different sides of him/her and if one put the time and efforts to understand and discover, he/she will find the most beautiful side of the person and will often be surprised just like what my project hopes to achieve. Another artist I was inspired by was Ann Hamilton and her installation The Event of a Thread (2012-13). I admired the fact that people could walk around the installation and encounter different sensory experiences. Though my project is not an installation that can be walked in to, I took the element of visual changes and experiences one work can bring and applied it to my own. This is why I make sure every angle of viewing my work is dramatic, interesting and is capable to give diversity in both sensory and touching experience with different points and angles all over.
Lastly, Mona Hatoum’s The Greater Divide (2002, Mild Steel) stroke me because of its sharp, simple design that looked threatening yet satisfying which provoked my interest on simplicity and conflicting ideas of a work. I was impressed by her idea of making sharp holes on the divide that is supposed to protect privacy. And I believe my piece could relate to this because it also has a sharp appearance and achieves the goal that viewing it from far away and closely would make a huge difference. After the class, the function of my project will be served as an artwork in my house while having the function of laying polaroid photos on it from all angles, fulfilling both design and artistic purposes.
Wooden box, 24' x 12'' x 12'', 2016