New Worlds Full of New Dialogues by Hui Serene Sze Lok
Residency length: 6 weeks
During Hui Serene Sze Lok's (https://residence.3331.jp/en/artists/004311.html) program with AIR 3331, she created new worlds for us to step into. These worlds were formed by interweaving texts and space, as well as objects familiar in our daily lives, found anywhere from the art supply store to flea markets. Traveling from Hong Kong, Serene put her methods into practice with Tokyo as her new canvas for the creation of her own poetic and site-specific work.
Inside the AIR 3331 Nishikicho Shared Studio, (https://residence.3331.jp/en/facilities/), Serene made full use of her work table next to other residents. She posted across the wall, texts that invited dialogues with our thoughts, and on her table could be found old globes, with markings half rubbed away using sandpaper. Indeed, her space displaced the ground below our feet where we found new relationships to the world we think we know. Yet there were instances when she played off the spaces of fellow residents, further expanding connections to be made between worlds. In the first part of Serene's program, she collaborated with residents in a group show (https://www.3331.jp/schedule/en/004370.html) that displayed their shared experience of creating and living in Tokyo together, where new dimensions were brought out in all of their artowrks.
In July, Serene was invited to share her work at the Canvas Artist Talks held at a local pub in Tokyo's eccentric neighborhood of Shimo-kitazawa. The audience was able to view samples of past works, including those from a residency in Iceland. We saw inside her hand-crafted artist book full of memories and intimate thoughts expressed as calligraphic lines and bold colors, resonating with her background in traditional Chinese painting. Perhaps it is her skill in capturing poetic landscapes that allows her to imagine alternative modes of existence in our everyday surroundings.
As Serene's residency drew to a close, she held an exhibition titled, "Words Unsaid, then forgotten" (https://www.3331.jp/schedule/en/004401.html), showcasing her resulting artworks inside the lounge space at 3331 Arts Chiyoda. She took on the challenge of transforming this large space into her own atmosphere in which we could feel and experience each artwork and the dialogues sparked between them. Upon entering, visitors could play a mis-harmonized music box that punched out notes onto paper - a new kind of sheet music. Another space we came across was a moving image of waves displayed on a globe, its printed text and geographies completely erased - yet interestingly, the projection simultaneously revealing a larger ocean scene on the wall.
Serene returned to Hong Kong and is busy back at her position in a gallery. Yet she has taken up motifs and ideas developed during her AIR 3331 residency as a foundation for her project in progress for an upcoming group show of Zines. This new artist book will feature two simultaneous texts - one being the title from her AIR 3331 exhibition. The letters are in fact, not printed, but embossed/de-embossed to be both read by sight and touch as a dialogue between two texts. We see Serene's Tokyo experience here as another stepping stone along her path across various locations that will no doubt continue to be shaped as her world expands.
Hui Serene Sze Lok's Website >>> https://www.szelokserene.com
We hope the creativity of our past participants will inspire some ideas for your project proposal to AIR 3331!
AIR 3331 OPEN CALL
Program Availability: April 1, 2019 - March 27, 2020
(1-3 months per residency)
Deadline: September 28, 2018
AIR 3331: Emily