Indepth Arts News: |
"Visual Conversations: A Collaborative Mail Art Project by Michael Gilbert and Yeo Shih Yun"
2005-08-10 until 2005-09-16
Since 2002, these 26 collages traveled between San Francisco and Singapore in the process of this collaborative project. Each artist begins a group of works, package them, mail them across the ocean, open up the package and continue the work. Then the collages are re-packaged and sent back. Each artist can re-work on the collages or declare any of them finished. This process affects the work in many ways including the small size of each work, the rough handling (by the artists and the shippers) and the use of fragmented mail materials in the collages.
The artists regard these collages as 'visual conversations'. The process of mailing the packages, the distance these artworks travel and the spirit of cooperation were mixed with our various ways of communicating with each other through visual imagery. Each collaborator looks at what has been done by the other and then responds with new marks and collage material. Both artists are interested in using references to daily life. Ordinary and easily recognizable things seem to carry the most meaning and work the best as material for their conversations.
The visual conversation involves the willingness to let something better in ways that they expect as well as different or unexpected ways. By working together, they give up control to each other. The reward is uncertainty and surprise. As with most conversations, intentions are secondary, and they often proceed without a clear intention in mind.
Eventually, an idea or set of ideas emerges during the process of working and then the rest of the work proceeds from there. They let the pieces grow, change, drift apart and come together. Everything has a beginning and an end, a life and a death. Randomness cannot be avoided, nor do they want to avoid it.
Showcased alongside this exhibition are 35 mail art works by IUOMA (International Union of mail artists) and some local artists with the theme, 'time'. This project will be on-going and was initiated in the beginning of 2005 by instinc who is also a part of IUOMA. Some of the mail art are from USA, France, Brazil, Turkey, Belgium, Uruguay, Italy and Norway.