The Absence of Objects:
Make Your Own Sculpture at Home
A Text-based Workshop Led by Sara Wu
Have you ever thought about the objects around you? Such as the cup of coffee at hands, the pencil and notebook waiting to be used?
This workshop is a journey to develop a new understanding of everyday objects in our surroundings.
As we are spending more time at home, let's find and use transparent objects at hand to make a site-specific sculpture!
What are we going to do?
Collecting objects and observing your surroundings
Perceiving your work (optional)
Reflection and Feedback
Stable Ground or Table
Your Mobile Phone
Collecting Objects & Observing your Surroundings
Let's collect some “transparent” objects at home, such as glass containers, acrylic sheets, taps, bottles, food packages, plastic bags, clear film sheets, anything you can think about. The object doesn't have to be in transparent. Let's think about it creatively and come up with your own definition of transparency!
Before picking up the objects from their surroundings (aka the context), please take photos of them in the space where they used to belong. These images will be used at the end.
During the process of collecting, you can walk around the corner of your place and observe different objects and their surroundings. It may take you several observations to discover transparent objects.
Making Sculpture at Home
With the collected objects, we are ready to create our sculptures! Now, find yourself a plain, stable ground. Our goal in this activity is to try to put the objects together, so they can become each other’s container.
As shown in the right image, gradually put one object inside the other one and pile up as many objects as you can.
During this process, focus on experiencing how weight, shape and form affect the arrangement and the relationship between objects. If you want to photograph your work-in-progress to record your ideas, that would be great!
Here are some useful tips during this process:
Challenging yourself to be more familiar with the objects. Remember to use as many objects you have collected as possible!
The first one is never perfect! Try more arrangements to achieve your ideal form.
Let's be creative! You can play with the labels, stickers or any other traces of usage on the objects.
It would be helpful to decide a theme for your observation, such as the endless circles, depth of surfaces, light reflection, etc.
After several rounds of practising, pick up your most satisfying work and let's observe it further and closer.
STEP 3 (OPTIONAL)
Perceiving your work - How to understand my work?
This session is composed of three activities to further your practice and develop more perspectives when creating your sculpture. This part is optional, so if you don't have the materials at hands, don't worry and skip to the next section.
a) Think about the light on/against your work
There are several ways to incorporate light in your work. For example, you can add water into your objects. Try transforming the shape by squeezing and cutting the objects. You can even move your sculpture under the sun to see how the light changes the perception of the work.
This activity will let you perceive the forms of the objects and create more dynamic interactions and possibilities between them.
b) Add some colours to your work!
You can use spray paint and acrylic paint to colour your objects.
While deciding the colour and objects you would like to paint, let's focus on the form of each object again.
Try to think about the following questions: How would you describe the relationships between these objects? How can you present your ideas visually? What is the difference between the transparent and the painted objects? Which one is more visible?
c) Describe your work
Below are some words to help you describe and perceive your work.
We live in a time when the reconstruction and re-understanding of living space become increasingly essential.
By finding objects in the domestic space and putting them together as a site-specific sculpture, we have created a new experience with the objects while rethinking them in new concepts, such as capacities, contexts, forms and functions.
How is this practice going to inspire?
Let's take a look at the photos taken during the first step when selecting the objects in your place. We can use the contradiction between its "original" space and where it locates in your sculpture as a starting pointing.
Try to think about the following questions:
Is there any difference between the objects in your images and in your sculpture work? Think about the relationships between the objects and where they situate in.
Do the painted objects possess the same quality (weight, shape, form and visibility) as the transparent ones?
Why using transparent objects?
Regardless of whether you have noticed or not, transparency is everywhere, but it is hard to identify its existence. Take another look at your work and think about the questions below:
Is transparency a colour? If it is, what kind of colour would it be?
Is transparency touchable? Is it visible or invisible?
Can you see glasses? How do you perceive their forms? By the colour of their edges? By reflections of light? Or by separating them from the background?
Transparent objects are a medium that enables us to observe things in a partially abstract way. Transparency not only merges and unites with the surroundings but also, eliminates its identity and experience created by others.
There are several ways to receive feedback on your work:
1. Share your final work on social media and see how your friends will respond to it!
2. Post your work on Instagram and tag @transparent.domain and @sara.wu111 or email us () to discuss your art with me and the curator by November 30, 2020.
Sara Wu’s artistic practices encompass photography, sculpture and installation. Her works are inspired by the observations and identifications of existing daily experiences, through which she suspends the surfaces of overlooked, mundane events and the annotation of its re-experience.