Home  |  Information  |  Instagram
© WooJai Lee / Studio Woojai

In Presence

Hanji, newspaper and mixed media. Dimensions Variable.
Melbourn, Australia

This project transforms paper into sculptural objects to explore the potential of mundane materials to generate confrontations in our perceptions. Using minimal forms in a site-responsive installation, this project encourages interaction with the audience, to generate a contemplative examination of humility and intimacy of the handmade and developing appreciation of the imperfect and the neglected.

Through the manipulation of paper, this project aims to challenge the preconceptions of material, culture, and our understanding of what is ‘real’. The waste newspapers are turned into pulp and sculpted into three-dimensional artworks with texture and volume that simulates more substantial material, which confounds our expectations of the newspapers. By having these sculptures exist in repetition, as simulations of one another, yet with their individualities, it questions what we believe to be real. This project uses minimal forms to hide the artist's identity (ethnicity, culture, politics) so that the work becomes free from prejudicial interpretations and is instead experienced for its material presence in the space. Although the work can be seen as purely objective, my aim is to instill the work with subjectivity by bringing the artist's presence in the making and creating narrative through the material’s peculiarity. The repetitive and time-consuming ‘labour’ is present through the subtle irregularities, existing as eminent results of the hand-crafted, generating humble and intimate contemplation in the making. By having slight faults exist in contrast to the geometric forms, their presence is accentuated to create an appreciation for the beauty of imperfection. All these features are to exist in modesty, not screaming for attention, yet with a strong presence. This project explores the liminal spaces of contrasting ideas. The duality of the cultures and material application is explored to create not a harmonious balance but as a constant struggle to defy being categorised.