‘Polychord’ by Ian Woo

“A polychord struck between the heavenlies and the meaning of your existence’ (full title)

The artist explains: “The ‘polychord’ is a shell-like geometric structure that takes its pattern from the irregular steps of the Esplanade concourse. This white, pleat-like structure is hollow, and is inspired by juxtaposed relation between the horizontal Concourse steps and the vertical mirrors rising vertically upward. It is a puzzle reminiscent of a structure of two opposing sounds coming together, an idea that comes from the musical term ‘polychord’.”

The work reminds one of giant chopsticks, arranged like pleats on an elaborate skirt, or the bellows of a folding camera. Held in stasis, suspended in mid-air, they look like vector clouds or a badly formed bird, waiting to form or take flight. The ‘white planks’ curl like a sushi mat, lit unevenly by warm spot lights. One might have liked deep, coloured lights to go with the idea of dark, tasteful harmony like those in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera, Point of No Return. One might have desired for a larger rendition, if not thunderous rectangular cuboids descending from the ceiling such that they dwarf the human scale, to be truly ‘heavenly’.

Unlike his earlier paintings or drawings, this large scale sculptural installation reacts to its immediate surrounding – the concourse steps. This work in comparison has less frenzy of activity, and appears a lot calmer, losing some of its chaotic-ordered-aesthetic appeal. A polychord dwarfed by the physical space, some amplification might have benefited the work, tossing one’s sense of balance like Escher’s impossible steps brought to life.

Esplanade Concourse

12 MAR 2010, FRI –
4 APR 2010, SUN

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