In “Continuum (Automatic Itineraries)”, Yen Phang explores the body not merely as a vessel for existence and consciousness, but also as a destination. Over 200 postcard-sized tiles have been created for this performance-installation, each documenting the artist’s daily awareness of his bodily reactions to the sub-zero winter temperatures of Montreal, Quebec, where this series was developed. “Continuum” is an attempt at “knowing thyself”, or at least our physical selves, in a time when the rationalist quest for scientific understanding of the body becomes a substitute for actual bodily experience.
Born in 1979, Yen Phang works primarily across the mediums of painting and performance. His thematic preoccupations have mainly included how we attempt to understand each other’s subjective experience through the creation of negotiated sign systems. While having painted since the age of 10 under the tutelage of Dr Chen Xiu Min, Phang’s turn to a full-time visual arts practice may be traced primarlly to a hospitalisation stint in 2003, wherein he found that his only viable means of communication was non-linguistically through pencil and paper. Through painting and gesture, Phang explores the fluidity of meaning, and the boundaries between representation and abstraction, between chaos and man-made semiotic order.
This performance-installation is part of More than [show] business – Post-PopUp at CCA. The project More than [show] business – Post-PopUp at CCA is a collaborative effort between Post-Museum and CCA, led by curators Anca Rujoiu and Vera Mey, with the additional support of the National Arts Council (NAC).
[Image by Yen Phang]