Fiction, In Fact (2008)
Medium: A3 Paper 240 gsm, Glue, Acrylic
Dimensions: mm x (Base) 297 mm x 420 mm
Description: This artwork is a part-sculpture, part 2-dimensional site-specific installation. It is currently located on the first level of the school library and presented on a white pedestal. A white model of a dinosaur-bird hybrid bust is situated on the right of the longitudinal rectangular base. The head of the creature is created by adhering layers and layers of paper such that they are perpendicular to plane ground. By compiling multiple layers together, form is created by adding and removing layers at appropriate areas of contour. The creature’s head appears similar to that of a therapod dinosaur. Its mouth is open as though it were calling out. Five large head feathers protrude from the head of the creature; the size of each tail feather is larger than the one above it. The head is connected to the neck and upper torso, which is composed of stacking numerous layers of paper on top of each other. The layers of paper are stacked lengthwise, such that the layers of paper gradually decrease in size towards the neck. This creates volume for the upper body of the creature. A paper sculpture of an arm with wing feathers is adhered just slightly above the bust sculpture. The base of the artwork is a white, A3 sized cardstock joined to another layer of paper beneath. Both layers are presented in landscape. The paper beneath is painted a monochromatic gradient, starting with a dark black hue from the left, and gradually becoming a lighter grey towards the right, where the sculpture of the creature is placed. A silhouette of a dinosaur skeleton is cut out from the upper layer of the base, such that the gradient of the layer below is showing through the cut spaces of the skeleton. Although the skeleton cut-out clearly resembles that of a dinosaur’s, feather-like shapes appear to come out from the arm of the skeleton, forming a wing. The sculpture head is placed such that the neck of the creature is “joined” to the neck bones of the skeleton cut-out.
Meaning/Inspiration: Myths and fictional creatures have intrigued, excited and fantasized us for many centuries. But how did we manage to create such uncanny wonders that outlasted the erosion of time until today? This is the question that made me realize the intimate relation between reality and fantasy; that fantasy is actually a product fabricated from reality. What was really a prehistoric fossil could actually be the very element that catalyzed our ancestors to conceive the legendary dragon. My artwork manifests this relation in the rise of the mythological phoenix (fantasy) through its evolution from a dinosaur fossil (reality). However, these fantastic creatures and tales are gravely endangered by rapid modernization and scientific eradication. This sculpture is my wish for mutual symbiosis of reality and fantasy to endure the modern era. Through the rebirth of the phoenix from the ashes of science, fantasy seeks to find its pristine place again in our imaginations.
Reflections: I would definitely be more consistent in the following the shape of the cut-outs. Some uneven edges jutted out of the continuous shape. The head will be remade such that the layers are done in the same manner as the rest of the body. This way, it would not appear as though it were ‘plopped’ on.