THE WAY

HKU Master Scenography Artistic Research Document

September 2016 – June 2018

This document consists of four sections in a loop. Every section can be the beginning.
Whichever you start with, you will reach the whole content.

Start from the section DŌ – THE WAY

“The Way of the Sword vs The Way of Artistic Research
One teaches me how to become a better person, the other, how to become a better artist.
One pushes me to discover my own character, the other, my artistic identity.
Both are practice based; I have to learn from experiences by doing, making, thinking about it, reading, writing, talking, teaching, asking questions about it and reflecting on it.
Both require me to face myself, to look into my soul, to discover my deepest desires and fears, and to learn how to accept and deal with them.
Kendo and Artistic Research can both go on life-long, become a way of living.”

Start from the section WHAT IS ARTISTIC RESEARCH?

“Method VI – Artistic Freedom
I think the very first prosecutor of the artist is the artist’s self. Fear of failing, fear of being judged, criticized, fear of being unwanted… Caring too much about what others think, self-judging, adaptation anxiety, sacrifices to please others, forgetting and eventually betraying one’s self… With a fearless and peaceful mind, it is possible to create a full awareness of one’s existence as an individual, as a person, as a character, as an artist.”

Start from the section WHAT IS SCENOGRAPHY?

“… Either it is a theatre design on stage or an interactive installation in a museum or a walk outside on an open-air site; the purpose of the manipulation of the space is to affect the sensation of the other. That “other” is often called the audience (which refers to hearing), more recently called the spectator (which refers to looking/watching) and even … the experiencer (which refers to all senses) and the existence of the audience/spectator/experiencer is the sole purpose of existence of any scenographic (or not) art work. But especially within the field of scenography which deals with space; the spectator … has its own space to be concerned about. And the art of scenography is not hidden in the mere decoration of the space or presenting a perfect image to a spectator, but in the communication in between the performance and the spectator.”

Start from the section MY JOURNEY

“This is a story of my journey
of re-discovering, re-positioning, re-identifiying myself and my work;
from being a designer to be an artist, from a set designer to a scenographer, from knowing too much to not knowing, from certainty to uncertainty, from restriction to freedom, from safety to unknown, from my space to others’ space,
from me to you.”

THE WAY Master Scenography Artistic Research Document is honourably mentioned and selected to be published by HKU Research award De Pluijm in 2018.

Research Document Cover
Artistic Research and Kendo

 

“As a scenographer and visual artist, I am highly inspired by the martial arts practice of Kendo (Japanese fencing) and its philosophy that is based on Zen Buddhism. Kendo suggests a lifelong pursue of the cultivation of the character in order to become a better person. As a result of that, to make the world a better place with peace, respect, responsibility and awareness… Practising Kendo is quite confronting and challenging. Particularly, on accepting fears, embracing failure, gaining perseverance, endurance and striving for continuous self-improvement.

“I see this way of practising very similar to my artistic research practice. While Kendo is teaching me how to become a better person, the artistic research is teaching me how to become a better artist. One pushes me to discover my own character, the other, my artistic identity. Both are practice based. Therefore, I have to learn from experiences by doing, making, thinking, reading, writing, asking questions and reflecting on them.”

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