Just a year ago when I was working on casting for the first time in London, I found that it was quite interesting that the word “casting” also meant “spin fishing” or “projecting”.
At the foundry in London, I made a series of sculptures by sand casting, which is one of the most primitive methods of founding. The sculptures in the form of the Rosetta Stone were made of aluminum and I put its title “Glyphs of the Light”. In the beginning of the process of making the sculpture, I made several plane slates with plaster and engraved them with drawings in the shape of the sunlight on the ground filtering down from the trees. Then I put them into the sand of fine grains, made the sand stiffen, took the slates out from the sand and made negative molds. (After this step, as the plaster slates were no longer used, they were destroyed for recycling.) I poured the melted aluminum into those molds, left them for a night, and then silver boards with a symbol of sunlight were finally finished.
Through the whole process of the sand casting, I was be able to get a new understanding of the essential process of making drawings, that is to say, what is happening between “seeing” and “drawing”. When I was casting the sculpture, several reversals occurred between negative and positive of the molds. Reversal originally trace back to the negative handprint on the Chauvet cave made by a Paleolithic man 35,000 years ago and was applied to a principal phenomena for photographic technique invented in 19th century. Through the process of reversal, an image casts another image, reality casts another reality and the original material fades away with its trace and the trace gradually spread out of the course of the interaction. Therefore, casting could be seen as a technique to generate echo.
According to Yoko Ono, every single line is a part of a circle. In fact, examining any actual line carefully, you will find it slightly curved or trembled that could be extended until it forms a distorted circle like a shape of an island. In other words, every single line is a border to divide inside and outside (or the past and the future) just as if the water’ s edge is the border between the land and the ocean. As skin is the border between inside and outside of our body, the moment of presence is the edge between the past and the future.
Facing with the wave by the ocean, I first trace the line of the wave’ s edge with my eyes. And then I throw a hook as far as possible towards a fish I have never seen before. Once the hook catches the fish, the fish line becomes a circuit connecting the fish and me, and we reverse one another. I become the caught fish and I as a person standing on the shore disappear. A positive becomes a negative and the future becomes the past or other way around. And by repeating this process, the echo occurs. Just like the album of Arthur Russell, “World of Echo”, I make another world consisted only by the echoes parallel to the real world with continuous reversal and change of the border of time and space.
This series of drawing, “casting”, symbolically represents the process of casting by using clippings of photographs printed on a museum catalogue.
an essay for the two-person exhibition “Panta Rhei”
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