Artist’s Interview: Tan Wee Lit

Audio interview with artist, Tan Wee Lit was conducted at Post-Museum, Dec 2009.

Q1. Tell us about your work in this exhibition, These Things Must Be Done to Get Along in Life.

A: http://www.boonscafe.com/audio/tanweelit/Wee_Lit_Q1.mp3 (1′ 14″, 1.2MB)

Q2. Why an edition of 110? Is the 5 year gap significant? Does the buyer know the variance in price of the item?

A: http://www.boonscafe.com/audio/tanweelit/Wee_Lit_Q2.mp3 (2’48”, 2.7MB)

Q3: How do artists package themselves, to sell artworks?

A: http://www.boonscafe.com/audio/tanweelit/Wee_Lit_Q3.mp3 (0′ 45″, 729KB)

Q4: Your work seems to deal with humour or satire. Can you describe the concept behind your work, with an illustration of another recent example?

A: http://www.boonscafe.com/audio/tanweelit/Wee_Lit_Q4.mp3 (1′ 30″, 1.4MB)

Q5: Can you quote another of your work that deals with humour?

A: http://www.boonscafe.com/audio/tanweelit/Wee_Lit_Q5.mp3 (4′ 45″, 4.7MB)

A: http://www.boonscafe.com/audio/tanweelit/Wee_Lit_Q5_2.mp3 (1′ 41″, 1.6MB)

Q6: What happened to your CDL public sculpture commission?

A: http://www.boonscafe.com/audio/tanweelit/Wee_Lit_Q6.mp3 (4′ 59″, 4.8MB)

Edition of 110

Edition of 110, 3”x 2” x 17”, Cast and painted polyvinyl plastic (2006)

An action figure of the artist himself is reproduced and sold as limited edition toys for US$59.90. It is a self mocking gesture about the artist’s own anonymity and at being mass-produced as a toy where only celebrities are. The original figure, sculpted by the artist himself, also questions the role of craft behind the work in contemporary art today, as well as making Art accessible and affordable for the public. It also makes a statement about collecting artworks based on the name (and reputation) of the artists and the question of edition-ed works. A different version would be sculpted and release every five years, marking the changes in the artist’s skills, physical appearances, where he is based, etc and subjected to price fluctuation.

The “Missed” series

The “Missed” series, 2 ½” x 1 ½” x 6-8” (figures), 10”x10”x48”, White porcelain, engraved white marble, wood (2008), Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

People from the Wanted and Missing List in Chicago are sculpted out of fine white porcelain, and erected on individual marble slabs and plinths. The title is a pun on that these series of commemorations depicted these people possibly missed by their loved ones, and perhaps just only missed being spotted and identified by the man in the street.
Reconstructed from “dust” into which they seemingly seemed to have vanish, there is an insinuation of fading memories with them being sculpted in various degree of detail. The series of ghostly figures filled the gallery space with the poignancy and sterility of a mausoleum.  These people are also accorded the dignity and respect akin to past noblemen and dignitaries being commemorated for being hand-sculpted by the artist.

Erosion and Reclamation

Sculpture commissioned by CDL. Installation date to be confirmed in 2010.

Text and images courtesy of the artist, all rights reserved.

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