Transcript: Liang Shuo interview

Liang Shuo: Forming Space

(Original language: Mandarin)

LIANG SHUO: When I create a site-specific work, I do not have a specific plan in mind. Instead, I look at the space first and observe its conditions. I then write a set of rules. Rules of a game that don’t need to be too explicit and that can be revealed layer by layer.

This is what I hope for my work. Not to have to be clear on every detail.

When I was standing in this space, the first thing I noticed was Central, Hong Kong’s downtown and behind it, the Peak. So the first thing I did on that day was to walk from the museum to the Peak. During my walk, I experienced the urban space and discovered how widely used bamboo scaffolding is in Hong Kong.

This type of construction really is everywhere. It’s a rather bold visual language. It has formed a relationship with Hong Kong's glossy, modern buildings. I think it is an excellent relationship of co-existence.

I’m approaching this work intuitively. One of my considerations is that I need to think about how to create a relationship between the installation and the human body. You are not only seeing the work, but you are also entering it, interacting and building relationships with it. Perhaps you need to step on it.

Since the work is enveloping the viewer, it has to have a very strong structure. It has to be very sturdy. This is one of my considerations when it comes to the choice of material. A material like bamboo, which obviously makes up the scaffolding, has always directly interacted with the human body.

[I was inspired by] the ‘Peach Blossom Spring’ story, because I’m interested in forms of space and their psychological implications. The Peach Blossom Spring comes from a fable written by Tao Yuanming, called ‘Peach Blossom Spring Story’. It embodies the idealised life of seclusion.

Whether such a place truly exists may not really matter. I would summarise the ‘Peach Blossom Spring’ type of space as one that has a very narrow entrance leading to a vast and open space. I hope I have created a disorienting space in which everything is separated. Sometimes, in an unexpected situation, the work might surprise you with something wide and open.

Then, when looking back at the path that you have just walked with a new perspective, you may no longer recognise it. This space does not allow you to see everything at once.

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