Interview with Arthur Huang

Leading up to the Tokyo Spidering exhibition at HAGISO on October 16th, there will be interviews with artists taking part in this exhibition posted here about once a week.  Please come back and visit this site often to learn more about the each artist and their working process!

The first interview is with Arthur Huang.

Which artists have been your greatest influence?

I would say that artists whose process and/or work involve daily practice, documentation, mapping, text, systems, transformation and the body are important to me.  On Kawara, Danica Phelps, Mark Lombardi, Sarah Sze, David Bunn, John Cage, Tim Hawkinson, Matthew Ritchie and Julie Mehretu and Mary Kelly are among the artists who influence my projects on a daily basis.

Where do you find your inspiration?

In the routines of everyday life.

Describe your sketchbook.

I think my sketchbooks are rather dull.  They are basically filled with pages and pages of lists.  There are not many drawings.  I usually put together ideas for my artwork in my head and then execute them.  There is very little trial and error since most of my work is based on some form of predetermined structure.  I am always envious of other artists’ sketchbooks and wish that my sketchbooks would look more visually interesting.

In preparation for Tokyo Spidering, I decided to become more of a visual thinker.  I am putting down as many thoughts and ideas down in my sketchbook in the form of lists, drawings, calculations – anything.  I hope to post pages from my sketchbook as we move towards the opening of Tokyo Spidering.

What were your earliest artworks?

I remember doing lots of drawing until the age of ten or so.  I think a bad experience in a community center drawing class put me off of art.  It wasn’t until university that I started making art again.  I took an acrylic painting class between my first and second year of university out of curiosity.  My first painting was a monochromatic rendering of my keys.  What I particularly remember most from that class is spending most of that summer working on a copy of Paul Cezanne’s L’Estaque.  To this day, it is the only artwork of mine that my parents have framed and display in their house.

In what way does your work in this show relate to its theme of Spidering, the updating of networks?

My work in Tokyo Spidering, tentatively titled, Memory Walks (The World Is Not Flat), is part of a larger long term project called Place Cell Recordings that I have been developing since late 2012.  I have been making drawings from memory for my daily walks for various periods of time.  These daily walks include going from home to the train station, the train station to the bus stop, the train station to work, home to the supermarket, home to the department store, the supermarket to the drug store, etc.  Occasionally, there may be a new destination or route taken, but for the most part, these are mundane walks.  My studio practice is concerned with exploring aspects of our daily activities which often pass unnoticed in lieu of more interesting events in our lives.  For this new piece, I am interested in the space that my mind creates from my walking routes and the ever changing memory of that space.

In what direction do you see your work moving after Tokyo Spidering?  

Memory Walks (The World Is Not Flat) has resulted from a year of research and experiments and I think seeing the work installed at HAGISO for this exhibition will provide some new insights into the Place Cell Recordings project.  I plan to continue exploring my experience of space and memory.  Working on this project and the Houses for Light earlier this year, I have begun to realize that stepping out of the two-dimensional plane is something that I rather enjoy.  Thus I am interested in experimenting with different ways of activating the visual space with my ideas.

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