Capturing The Spirit Of A Community Through Art And Technology
Young Hong Kong-based artist Kingsley Ng broadens our imaginations through the cultural richness and complex layers found in his work. Ng is an interdisciplinary artist who integrates ideas concerning space, culture and technology into his art. Last year, Ng brought his fascinating work “Music Loom” to The Creators Project Beijing event. This audiovisual installation consisted of an antique loom—over 250-year-old relic—which he gave a new lease on life through the use of advanced technology, transforming it into a sound and image instrument.
The interactive installation, for which Ng recorded the sounds of a French fabric workshop to become the soundscape of the piece, is triggered and played with hand movements, triggering a series of abstract lights. The piece connects the viewers to the old art form of weaving, an ancient technology which shares the same principles as computation. While interacting through the use of IR sensors and light, the loom shows us the basic principles of numeric art and mathematical drawing. The work is nostalgic and playful, shaping an intriguing poetic visual world by merging methods of recording, interpretation and intervention.
Most of Ng’s works keep a certain romanticist style and cultural insight. He attempts to convey the cultural aspects of the community surrounding the location where the work was conceived and made, an endeavor influenced by Relational Aesthetics, which Ng studied in France.
Record: light from +22° 16′ 14″ +114° 68′ 48″
Installation, Hong Kong China
Another work, Record: light from +22° 16′ 14″ +114° 68′ 48″ consisted of a custom-built turntable and projections. In it, the artist emphasizes the patterns of tourists populating the Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. Capturing the camera flash light from the peak hours of human traffic, this data is then etched into a 12-inch disk and played on a modern version of the gramophone. The result is a work where the flash frequency in space composes the music, all programmed by organic human behavior.
This enormous installation was commissioned by Osage Gallery. The wheel is six meters in diameter, with dim and mysterious light emanating from inside. On the rotational ring are nine pieces of curved wooden soundboards mounted with hundreds of strings—as the boards turn slowly, the strings create ambient music from all four sides of the wheel. While the participants rest their backs on the rotating soundboards, lights resembling time-lapse photography of a moving night sky project onto the ceiling. As the higher melodic tone strings are plucked, the lights release their circular momentum. The movement of the participants programs original music and projections, which are unique to each experience.
In an era where technology gives us unlimited possibilities, and our senses are flooded with flashing colors and impulsive ideas, our participation in Ng’s spectacles provides a moment for reflection and contemplation. This world of convenience doesn’t always allow the necessary space for reflection and imagination. Ng’s works are well crafted, steady and calm, cooling us down to earth and leaving space for us to remember and think.
Image Courtesy of Kingsley Ng