MFA Thesis Exhibit

Vivian Wang

Electronic Integrated Arts

Artist Statement

In my art I try to make feelings visible. I see the world as a place that gathered feelings through history and still holds them. Some of these feelings are bad, some indifferent, some interesting and some extraordinary. It is up to us to have the sensitivity to discover them, the ability to separate them and to give their own form to them. Some feelings are clear. As in the anger for a mayor who wants to build avenues to help the traffic and plans to destroy the forest park in the middle of the city. It makes me realize the love for the trees in the park where people can find peace and quiet. Some feelings are complicated. As in the beautiful architecture that the Japanese built and left behind. They invaded and caused great suffering. How to reveal these feelings that are attached to those places but are invisible like ghosts? 
It is possible for me to understand and love modern art in this way. 
In my photography I try to hold the feeling that exists in an object or in a view. I try to make it available to the senses. This makes two things clear for me. First, the importance of the body where experiences happen. Second, the importance of the image that must make the experience possible. The body receives information that makes the experience possible. It is a wonderful instrument that humans share. It is the basis for empathy. Its appearance can be a tool that reminds us of sensations we recognize. All images get constructed. I am interested in the strongest effect with minimum manipulation. I admire Ann Hamilton, Miroslav Tichy, Olafur Eliasson, Gary Hill and Zhang Huan  because they pay attention to the body and to materials, and their images hold feelings for themselves and for the viewers. I think about Ann Hamilton’s work all the time. Her simple but powerful work inspires me. She compares the artist’s work to sewing. When the needle goes through the fabric up and down it goes into an unknown place and brings up something unknown into the known space. That’s what the artist’s work is about. Each artist has their own needle. 
Photography cannot capture a moment in time. That is impossible to do with any medium. Photography can try to hold and remind of the feeling at a specific moment and a specific place in an image. It is this photographic image that I want to expand with other technologies. I began to explore them in Alfred. Technologies bring together with them new ways of thinking about images. 
How can photography become time-based? Can that make it better at holding a feeling?