LIFE IS MEANT TO BE MESSY
集 亂 為 序
Life is meant to be messy
Placing the approximately 37.2 trillion cells of the human body one by one under a microscope to scientists may well be simply a matter of time and technology. The latest scientific research shows that only 43% of those 37.2 trillion cells belong to human, the rest belong to microorganisms. Creating with the cell images of different organisms is Ling Pui Sze’s approach to perceive the macro world from a microscopic origin.
Images of cells have been the main material in Ling’s works over the years. In early series, such as Water, Cells, and Reproducibility, she used images of cells of organisms and plants found on the internet. The images were first printed on Xuan paper, then torn up, reassembled, and finally, shaded with water on the canvas to merge the edges and seams. She reassembled and reconnected the cell fragments by scrutinising the dots, lines and planes of those cells and trusting her intuitions towards nature, which conveys her comprehension and imagination of those unknown organisms. While these new constructs arranged according to her non-scientific logic have a haphazard, deconstructed appearance, they also harness the potential of art to explore and even inspire in turn the scientific inquiry that has influenced her creation. Could her methods of reassembly and collage be similar to the practices scientists use in genetic modification experiments?
Moving from the exteriority of the world to the interiority of the self, Ling’s new series of works, Tuning and White Mirror, reflect the shift in employing images of the artist’s cells under microscopes and her X-rays, obtained from the frequent body examinations in recent years, as the materials for creation. Fibrous washi paper has also been used. If Xuan paper resembles a healthy body, then washi resembles an ill one. Ink requires more time to penetrate and be absorbed by washi paper, similar to nutritions handled by an unwell body. Tearing the paper and organising it into place also takes longer. Instead of first collaging and then applying water, Ling shades each fragment before positioning it in the collage. Her compositions, as a result, are now planned and controlled to a greater degree than before. The addition of straight lines is a further intervention that allows her to direct the flow of the cells on the canvas. These new changes reflect Ling's intention of retracing her body’s rhythms and restoring tranquillity from turmoil through a process of introspecting the body and harmonising its rhythms. The retracing, however, does not mean to repeat a set pattern, but attempts to embrace the messiness in life and find equilibrium of oneself in the chaotic world.
Copyright © Ling Pui Sze 凌佩詩