This coming two weeks will be a blast! A busy bustling blast as I am juggling a studio access for Seeding Space with London Performance Studios, a project residency for Disturbance with Ugly Duck and having the second half of the evenings of the week part-timing with Old Chang Kee. I am really proud to have actually come up with a feasible and workable schedule of what might be the busiest two weeks of 2021, apt to close this year's project and mark the beginning of next project. Ping-ponging between Peckham, Bermondsey, Convent Garden and occasional Chelsea/Battersea will hopefully really start my engine fuel again to be productive. But also, this means two weeks of no gym time :(

The plan for LPS was initially ambitious as I attempted to rehearse Who's a Good Boy? (2019), revisit I'll be a Good Boy (2020) and build on who leT The dogs ouT? (2021) that was planned to be presented in a triple bill presentation at the end of the Seeding Space allocated period, the 4th. However, it is no longer possible due to time constraint, hence my plan is now simplified to:

1. Re-mapping the story board for Who's a Good Boy in an attempt to start building the foundation for who leT The dogs ouT? 
2. I aim to establish a structured ground for who leT The dogs ouT?, even better if I could finish its script by the end of the two weeks.
3. An end of year edition print from my Good Boy series
4. a daily recap for I'll be a Good Boy

I plan to use the prayer-like format of the performance to start off my day which I can enter the space at 9am and work til lunch before heading to either Ugly Duck or work in the afternoon. 

I hope to be able to use this opportunity as well to practice the choreography for I'm glad you're evil good too (2021), the work that will be presented at Disturbance. 

Additionally, I will also be opening up the Whatsapp performance throughout the two weeks and inviting audience to get an edition of the piece. From RCA's presentation, I still have around 70+ editions left. 

So, the performance will be live streamed daily at 11AM through my Instagram page as some sort of an intervention/rehearsal/practice and the result of the first week is the following:

Moving on to Ugly Duck, the residency is meant to work towards its final presentation event, called @Disturbance happening on the 30th of November. Its focus is to involve LGBTQIA+ artists that explore works existing within the online and offline realm- apt enough. that the project, curated by Deen Atger and Robert Hall was born out of the need in exploring online or livestreamed performances during UK's lockdown period. Now in the third edition, I am really excited to push my works to explore video projection and livestreamed elements accompanying the offline aspect of the performance. 

I had proposed the second chapter I'll be a Good Boy as the work to be reevaluated for @Disturbance, with the intention to restructure the work which was initially devised for online realm to reenter the offline/public site once again. I have also found it to be a difficult task pitching the Whatsapp text piece to the online festivals I have shown this work in, and with the inputs and tutoring from curatorial team, I am looking for some sort of alternative methods to present this piece. 

We then had an informal zoom introduction with Deen, Robert, Anna and the rest of the artists. During which Deen and Robert showed the possibilities of video projection could be utilize in this opportunity. I started to feel that I will be giving the work injustice if I were to force it back into the offline realm- just because. I'll be a Good Boy had undergone a close consideration that it exists within the screen, the body choreography is carefully framed, amputated even, the voice computerized and the script texted. I then find the work to be 'complete'. 

Hence I proposed a subsequent chapter or act per se, for this series of work, currently titled as I'm glad you're bad good too. Borrowing the narrative and visual representation from PinocchioP's 2016 song きみも悪い人でよかった featuring Hatsune Miku with illustration by Pixiv, I'm approaching this presentation as some sort of intermission period between the first act and subsequent act of Good Boy performances. 

The MV illustration for Pino's song done by Pixiv which became the base sketch of the work I intend to present in Disturbance. Using the recurring thumbs up gesture, I plan to make some sort of 'wings' that will be a two-channel video-collage projection accompanied by two sculptural element. On the left in Pixiv's illustration is the 'cute dog' (taken from the lyrics itself) that will be represented with the glass heart (ref. Tite Kubo) while on the right is Pino's signature mini Miku which will be represented as a miniature mountain (ref. Tangkuban Perahu). 

Some sketches below, but ideally, the hand gesture will form a collage of repeated images, and as they moved mixed between in unison and random, they will give the illusion of a pair of wings. A hand thus becomes a feather. 






The mountain is a repeated installation from Tangkuban Perahu project back in 2012, which was installed as part of a collaborative exhibition Darshan in Substation, Singapore. The exhibition with Mariona Vilaseca, supported by an exchange residency between Grey Project and enCat explored the very notion of mountain itself. The mountain of Tangkuban Perahu is very much referenced in the Good Boy project as not only narratively it includes human-dog offsprings but also it is related to my personal familial and ethnicity/geographical background of the Sundanese-Chinese heritage. 

I decided to invert the color from the original black (2012) to white (2021). 

While I have never intended for this element to exist within Good Boy, the residency and sketching process with Ugly Duck has expanded the narrative in itself. Framed in almost a decade-long interest, it has come to my personal realization that maybe after all, in these ten years of practicing art, I have always looked for ways to become 'good'.  

Not only that, even within the canon of my personal creative narration, Good Boy has become a clear synonym to one of my earliest exploration revolving masculine identity with the Gordius project. Hence the involvement with this residency has indeed become a very productive reevaluation and reconsideration of my chain of thoughts. To be able to associate my current project with my past works have been extremely rewarding. 



Also at the same time, I finally found a place for this element, which has been sitting in my room for almost two years now. The glass heart for me is a very minuscule yet delicate touch to the story I am narrating. The way I am approaching it both as an object and a representation of a larger narrative is very much romantic and idyllic with a hint of sadness, entrapment, bruises but above all, sacrificial. 

The plan for the hart is to have it on top of a steamer plate with a tea candle underneath it. Inside the hart will be crystalized rock sugar that will slowly melt as the performing body exists alongside it. This is an analogue, way simpler version of what I had intended it while developing this segment in school that was with heat mechanism and kinetic sculpting. But one step at a time! :)  


The narrative of Tangkuban Perahu has become more and more apparent as the thinking process develops and Deen has also proposed a long durational piece instead of the initial 15-20 minutes piece. That come in mind, enters the spoon as an additonal, relatively new element in this work. 

I devised a simple action during a workshop in 2019 with Vest and Page in Venice using a broken plastic spoon I had acquired in the same city. Having it clamped in between the creases of the palm, the spoon gives an impression of it sprouting out of the palm, as a sixth finger perhaps. Like an exoskeletal limb, it contrasts the warm fleshy humanoid hand, a hint of robotic and mechanical transformation perhaps?

As the spoon is also a key object in the lore of the Tangkuban Perahu, I decided to adapt this two elements together in this piece. 


And here are some shots of the space that has been allocated for me, as well as its surrounding. 









And then the residency started. I was allocated two sessions to work with Deen, Robert and Graham as we discussed the possibility of the video livestream, arrangement and choreography of the piece, timing, video allocations and other technical issues. 

By the time I came back after our initial meeting too the stage was already erected in the space, which changes the dynamic of everybody's works, especially in regards to making use of the space. 

And so we started to work with the 'wings'. I was initially very unsure how this would have turned up, especially with video collage. The idea was to film the 'feather' against a black background which will then be replicated into the wings. But we settled with a sort-of delayed effect that allows the illusion of replication to occur, in a much more simplified form. I like the ambiguity between movement, recognizable limb and time that amalgamate into a rather organic-looking form of energy. 















Moving on, I spotted a stainless steel table, another material that was initially planned to exist within the Good Boy installation (and currently, for a whole year it remains in my wardrobe,  in the box it came in). So I decided to use the table and scrapped off the projected angelic image and focus on the relationship between the body, the video of the hand, the paper installation and the glass heart as mountains, as hills, as earth, as landscape. 

The heater on site is incorporated into the work as well, echoing the subtle candle light, melting crystals and eventually, the spoons and warmth of the flesh. 

This work becomes rather special in a sense that it really transformed and responded with the space. The spot it occupies too situates the work as a fringe piece, legitimating its feature as long durational, living sculpture-like piece amongst other works which are relatively more grandeur on stage. I enjoy this sort of approach where the work continues in the perimeter of audiences' gaze, providing a certain kind of alternative of perception for the whole event. I hope this expectation works. 






Returning back to LPS before the end of week 1, I am very content with the progress of who leT The dogs ouT?. The work has been at the back of my mind since the unfortunate incident during spring 2020, that it in itself has become the very pillar of the narrative. I will go into greater details on the storyboard next week but in the attempt to utilize the spacious space of LPS, I have discovered a very much enjoyable and constructive method in writing performance script. 

Throughout my MA development, I have accumulated a great deal of images, materials, objects, references and photographs that they have become a mountain of collages that in their own important way, shape Good Boy. This thinking process also echoes to how I usually work, in a circular, repetitive method instead of a linear A to Z. I would start from the middle N, retracing back to G, jumping to Z, so on and so forth. These materials are often reflected visually, or textually on paper, which then are filed into folders as research materials. Apart from that, I have found to be extremely useful for these A4, standardized pictorial representations of my creative engine to be pasted on the wall, as some sort of notice board. 

Being in LPS however, the horizontal space is relatively more available than its vertical wall space that I have come to start placing my paper sketches on the floor. Each sketch is placed to the next of the other, that it becomes some sort of trail, giving the idea of a game of monopoly board. What started out as a mean to organize these considerably random sketches, has become a potential form for thee performance to be presented eventually. 

But what more important for me is the discovery of pouring out and organizing these materials. The practice of quickly sketching any new information on paper and put them on a horizontal space has been very constructive. The occupying of space through walking the trail of paper is also very much performative and expressive. While in this project, the monopoly board format might eventually be incorporated into the actual stage of the performance, the practice in general is something I plan to continue as a sketching exercise- and this I feel one experience I learnt or discovered while being offered the seeding space with LPS. 




By the end of the first week, I managed to complete the trail as such. It feels so rewarding to be able to pour out all these ideas and images within the quiet, solitude studio. Especially in the weeks where I am juggling another opportunity with Ugly Duck as well as having a part-time job.   I will be explaining in greater detail on what are the different components that make up this trail on next week's entry as I hope to finally complete the sketch so that I can start looking into translating them into a script.