Exclusive interview-Tang Xiao: Taking sound from silence and shaping it with sound
Art often serves as a link between different experiences and perspectives. It is precisely in this way that individual limitations are constantly being broken through in the rich dimension of experience. Newly gained experiences will also help us see the world and life better. . Zhimei Space recently launched the Art Talk column, which hopes to use art to connect with the audience, allowing the audience to enlighten their lives in new experiences and perspectives.
In this issue's Art Talk column, we invited Tang Xiao, a participating artist in the "100%" East Lake International Ecological Sculpture Biennale 2021. During the conversation with him, we felt the "sound in silence" in the work "Extracted Sound" , the sound shapes its shape.”
In this exhibition, your participating work is "Excerpted Sound". Can you tell us about your creative ideas for this work?
Before the birth of military radar in the 1930s, Britain built a giant echo gallery of concrete on the side of the European continent. These first technological devices appeared in World War I and were used to prevent, control and detect fighter planes flying from the European continent. Now The appearance of these devices seems to be very strange.
Although the detection range of these devices was not far due to technical limitations, given that missiles capable of beyond-visual-range attacks had not yet been developed and aircraft air strikes had to reach close to the target, they still played a certain role in practical applications.
Radar soldiers during World War I in the late 19th and early 20th centuries relied on their ears and sound amplification devices to monitor distant movements. It is unimaginable that a soldier stared at the distance of the sea for a long time, with the amplified sound of sea waves and wind in his ears. He tried to find the noise of the aircraft engine in the repeated sound waves, hoping to give more peace to his homeland behind. Give a warning time of 10 to 15 minutes. The soldier struggled to discern, but perhaps he hoped that the sound of the enemy's engines would never be heard.
Here, the listening device becomes an amplification and extension of our auditory organs, making it possible for us to focus on finding the tone we need among the huge sounds. The shadowy sounds among the mountains, rivers, trees and grass in Shimenfeng Memorial Park made me feel that there should be a place where people can lean against the mountains and rivers, cut out a device in the void to stay and listen to the sound, take in the sound in the silence, and shape its shape with the sound. The memorial park currently has a memorial area for the Anti-Japanese War Air Force, and the interactive sound sculpture should be an organic complement to the traditional memorial sculpture. This is the sculpture that expresses sound, and the concept of the sound of sculpture comes from.
The work is a "sound" sculpture. Sound is an invisible and intangible thing. Why did you choose this way of creation?
The ways in which we perceive the world are all relative, not to mention that what we see and touch may not necessarily be what we think it is. Therefore, the unity of the world lies in its materiality. Since time and space, as a dimension in this world, are also materials. Then sound can also be understood as a certain description of the material of space and time by waves. I describe this description as a sculpture about the sound landscape.
In your opinion, what is the relationship between the work and the audience?
In the concept of painting, the relationship between the work and the audience is the relationship between the object being observed and the observer, and the space is relatively stable and one-way. In the concept of sculpture, due to the displacement of the movement line of viewing from one-way to multi-dimensional, the relationship between the work and the audience is intervention and surrounding, and this relationship of intervention and surrounding will change randomly during the interaction process. For example, when the audience sits on that chair, a series of relationships such as vision, space, weight, movement and even value of the entire work change. When the audience leaves, everything returns to its original place. This is a very interesting state for the creator.
And what kind of relationship will this work have with its environment after it is put into place?
I hope that this work will become a relic after it is put on the ground. Relics mean reaching a compromise with the ecology: the soil and plants will gradually swallow up the surroundings of the work, dust, rain and snow will leave traces of weathering on the surface of the work, and places that are frequently touched will be exposed. The original color of the metal and other such "natural transformation".
The so-called natural transformation is the process of self-growth that occurs after a work leaves the artist's studio. The environment is the final destination of the work, and the power exerted by the environment is the source of the long-term vitality of the work.
Is there any connection between the work and the context of the city of Wuhan?
The city of Wuhan is a dock and a station, with boats moored and moving, and cars coming and going. In most people's minds, it may be a place to stop during the journey. But precisely because of this, the endless flow of people and things has left too much mixed and vivid information and traces on this city, turning into smoke and smoke on the rivers and lakes.
This work is also a transit station. It does not belong to anyone and does not belong to anyone. Every time a person stays will leave visible or invisible changes on the work. This is a certain connection.
The theme of this exhibition is "100%". How do you understand this theme?
The 100% answer is "one". Taoism naturally produces one, two produces two, two produces three, and three produces all things.
The way of nature and the way of ecology is to seek oneness. We coexist in the same space, and then from the point of oneness and natural ecology, all possibilities arise.
The exhibition focuses on "ecological sculpture". How do you understand the concept of "ecological sculpture"?
What I understand as "ecological sculpture" is something that the natural environment can swallow and digest, and it is a parasite that the ecosystem can accept and transform.
This exhibition also includes new media works. The scope of public art seems to be constantly expanding. How do you view the current development of public art? Or what do you think is the current trend in the development of public art?
The legitimacy of the existence of public art comes from its public goods attributes, and complete public goods attributes are products that human society has been trying to provide to the public throughout its long history, with characteristics such as non-exclusiveness and non-divisibility.
At present, public art is still gradually working towards the realization of these characteristics such as non-exclusiveness. As people's learning methods, communication methods, work and living habits are changing more and more rapidly, through new media, algorithms and big data, the development trend of public art may become more personalized, targeting different groups of people, and art needs will be more invested. specific.
Regarding this exhibition specifically, in your opinion, what significance does the holding of an exhibition like the "Eco-Sculpture Biennale" have on the development of cities or public art?
In the stage of primitive accumulation, the development of a city mainly depends on the growth of economic data. After a certain stage of development, the importance of ecological data and humanistic data will increase. For a city whose basic structure and scale are relatively mature, exhibitions like the "Eco-Sculpture Biennale" are an important tool for improving humanistic data, and are also a booster for accelerating old development points after they gradually age out.