What's In My Portfolio: Joanne Pang

Videography by Jie Rui Tu
Photography by Chino Sardea
10 Jul 2019

Time can be understood in terms of duration, punctuated by separate moments and occurrences. In between states of change, I find it meaningful to pay attention to in-between moments, to find visibility in the seemingly invisible. I am interested in materializing the transient state of things – giving it shape, line, and color before it disappears.

For the exhibition ‘Species of Texts and Spots’, I focused on language and how communication is made up of signs, gaps, pauses, and subjectivity in the midst of deciphering the message. In my paintings, I try to evoke a sense of spontaneity and abstraction in communication as I draw a relation to the gaps and nuances in communication through the use of diverse brushwork to mimic the nature of fleeting thoughts that are in juxtaposition with geometrical letterforms.

 My process is quite organic as I often tap upon nature and the element of chance. For instance, I take cues from the outlines of water puddles on fabric in an attempt to echo and commemorate the unforeseen and the transience aspect of life. Concurrently, I’m inspired by stains, folds, accidents and consequences.

 In the process, I find myself negotiating between the physical aspect of painting versus the immateriality of thoughts, force and time. Through the exploration of the density and textures of materials such as ink, acrylic, graphite, and lipstick, I seek to create abstract images that evoke a sense of transformation. 

 The title of the show is a reference to one of my favourite books, Species of Spaces and Other Pieces by French writer and philosopher, George Perec, which reflects on the way we occupy the space around us, covering the poetics of banal and mundane spaces. Poems in the text are laid out in a playful rhythmic manner – with plenty of empty white space between black typography. His writings reveal a sensitivity to the notion of space that propels me to explore new visual frequencies arising between silence and noise.

 “Space is a doubt: I have constantly to mark it, to designate it. It’s never mine, never given to me, I have to conquer it.” – George Perec