Doors – Physical Manifestation of Conceptual Transitions

In the beginning…

There were doors…

14497Now a flashback to past! Back to Space. I hope those who are checking have begun reading Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, for I drew inspiration for my initial works mainly from that novel.

Moving on to doors…

This body of works come as an exploration of what we so often take for granted. Yes, we know that a basic room is made of four walls and a door, possibly windows thrown inabbas-kiarostami-photography on the side. However, we recognise the walls that lay right there in front of our eyes, but often neglect the entrance into that space. This consideration made me question – how do we view doors? a transitioning point into another space or a mere object barring the way and obstructing movement between spaces?

In my opinion, doors signify a transitioning point between one space and another. Even as they stand alone without her brother, solid, concrete walls, they divide space according to where they are placed. Many see walls as the main divider of space, I on the other hand was always intrigued by doors taking on that role instead. That idea conjured images of C.S. Lewis illustration of the cupboard in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, where the four children step into the wondrous magical land of Narina simply by stepping through the door of a cupboard in the attic. Similarly, Neil Gaiman’s novel, Neverwhere, depicts a girl who can open doors to any place she desire to go to, a room, an alleyway, etc. These inspirations emphasised my concept of a door being a transtioning point, a divider of space and made me further question the functions of a door and people’s perception of what a door is.

I then went on to break down the door, literally and figuratively. This came in the form of discovering how the components of a door were made – the hinges, the frame, IMG_1645the door itself, and attempting to recreate all these components myself form the raw materials I had on hand in the studios.This process saw me buying all the different variations of hinges that I could get my hands on, garden gate hinges, typical door hinges, even “manufacturing” my own hinges varying in size and material to really feel how each part of a door contributed to the entire system that we see in every room. In going through this process, I discovered the process of art making, handling and feeling the material, to stretch it to its limits and push it further than I have ever done before. IMG_1538I would flatten, hammer, even soften aluminium just to create my own hinges. In that rigorous, laborious journey, I found satisfaction in simply “making”, and it gave me such great joy to just appreciate the final product and know that I saw IMG_1539 2the process from beginning to end. The simple realization that I was actually creating the door from scratch made me reflect deeply on the art making journey that all artist embark on. That, as artists, each component, whether it be a brushstroke or a single nook made by a chisel, matters greatly in the grand scheme of things. it is an initial step in to the creation of an entire system thatIMG_1642 2 allows a work to become whole and, ultimately, convey what the artist’s soul want to share with his audiences, to challenge norms and draw viewers out of their comfort zone.

At the end of this investigation, I came up with a series of works that represented my exploration and research over the year. (I know most might think “one year is a long time for such few works”, but I will explain later.) These series sought to break down the conventional concept of the door and in doing so hope to subvert people’s stereotype of what a door represents. For instance, in the piece on the right, I delineated the wall and the door in three-dimensional space through the use of a line. This use of the line arose as I considered the simplest form of mark making and how it could be translated from two-dimensional to three-dimensional space. Its final manifestation was to be a single beam that would be “drawn” across the space I wished to divide. It would start at one end, connected to the wall, and run, roughly at an average person’s shin, to close to the other end. At that point, the beam would rise then continues to the end of the wall to form the form of the door. By breaking down the form to the bare minimum, I hoped to challenge the conventional stereotype of the door – can it just be the outline? Is that line sufficient an obstruction for people to realise the existence of that door? And that, I believed successfully captured the essence of the exploration at that point.

Now, I hope you all enjoy the galleria below:

2) Door (1)
Door (1), 2011
36 x 24 x 22
Plywood, Manufactured hinges
3) Door (4)
Door (2), 2011
36 x 24 x 18
Plywood
4) Door (3)
Door (3), 2011
36 x 24 x 18
Plywood, Acrylic Mirror
5) Door (2)

Door (4), 2011
36 x 24 x 22
Plywood, Manufactured hinges
6) Door (5)
Door (5), 2011
70 x 29 x 27
Plywood, Solid Wood

References:
Abbas Kiarostami Photography
Neil Gaiman’s – Neverwhere
C.S. Lewis – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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