Summer 2013 International Artist-in-Residence Program

Traveler’s Notes: San Antonio 2013.5.28–2013.7.14

  • Summer 2013 International Artist-in-Residence Program
  • In-Residence Dates: May 21,2013 - Jun 15,2013
  • Exhibition Dates: Jul 11,2013 - Sep 15,2013
  • About the artist
  • photo credit: Riley RobinsonPak Sheung Chuen

    Born in Fujian, China, in 1977, Pak Sheung Chuen immigrated to Hong Kong in 1984. He obtained his BA in Fine Arts and Theology from Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2002. From 2003 to 2007, his work was publishedRead more

About the exhibition

What was your artistic process like here in San Antonio?

I have written in the newspaper for almost 10 years. The newspapers are daily recording, writing, and reading that relate to people’s everyday lives. My artwork is very close to this nature. I try to explore my city every day; it becomes one of my habits. Every day I go out, explore, and write. I try to realize and visualize what I think by taking photographs, doing some sort of intervention, or taking a video. I find that this visualization also shows my reader to think my artwork is in their hand. But I am very sure my artwork is in their reaction. When I am meeting with someone, an instant idea comes out. This is the deepest part of my creation, and I focus on that.

How did you determine what ideas and text to put in your gallery?

I record all my ideas into my computer and classify them into different areas such as “religion.” I have a very strong connection to religious practices. Another area is “the body”: how the body can be out of body. And being separated from my family, I feel the need sometimes to work by myself. Also, “the map.” I try to use the map to locate myself. When I don’t have any direction in mind or have nothing to do, I will pick a corner of a map and walk diagonally across it. I tried to make the room like a meditation box. When people go inside, they see text installed that will spark their imagination. I am willing people to copy these sentences and re-write them or write them in their home. Looking at it every day will create interest and significance, and maybe one day it will become a part of them.

What are your feelings toward traveling and your artwork?

Travel is a spiritual practice for me. It relates to the historical background of the pilgrim. Especially when you travel by yourself, you’re very conscious of your body and your involvement. You keep on talking naturally, but this kind of talking is not to someone else—it is to yourself. I try to make myself a more in-tune person. I like silence, and I think it makes me have a stronger sense of security. At the same time, I also put myself in what some may call unsafe situations. I go out at night, and I was told it’s dangerous. But the nighttime is the time I want to travel because the night has temptation.

How has the layout of city of San Antonio affected you?

All my art is based on the human scale and places I can walk, but San Antonio is very big. For example, walking for three hours in Hong Kong, I can see a lot of different things because it is very dense. Here in San Antonio in three hours it is very different because from one hour distance to the next, the city does not have much variation. So I changed my plan and rode a bus to help me get to and from a destination. This allows me a broader area to observe and explore greater differences within the city.

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