Lee Wen

Gasworks Residency (1998)

April - June 1998

Text by Lee Wen - "Connection/location"

Cultural production exists in dialectical relationship between society and the individual as also between the artist and the community. We all exist within a social system which is seemingly internally coherent but may not be easily translated outside. Our interpretations of the world helps us to take possible actions to create changes for a positive direction. However the situation changes as one moves from one location to another. We live in a complex transnational and global meetings, mixings and clashings of differing cultural perceptions at an increasing rate and pace never seen before.

Each of us exists within a certain axis of cultural and historical location. Are we able to see clearly where we came from, where we are now or where it's leading us? One finds familiarity and strangeness in every place we go. Our awareness is sharpened in new locations and experiences. Yet it remains difficult to keep a constant vigilance on our perceptions so that we do not fall prey to false consciousness and prejudices nor become victims to propaganda of the market and power of the media and other distortions. However a distorted reflection is better that none at all as long as we are aware of these discrepancies.

Stumbling into the streets as the music played on. Could not remain in the same room where the illusion disseminated by those who have the power to change the way things are and yet are not. It should have been better, it could have been better. To be awakened by the light on the back of our heads as we turn to find ourselves between the walls of conjectures. The grounds are shifting in various directions no less an earthquake in slow motion. Its movements were caused by our own actions. I am here because you are there, you are there because I am here and we laugh at death through the veils of its own fictions. I ate again although I was not hungry, desire bloated my waist, the satisfaction of feeding the wriggling pain of missing something. The mind became an organ for screaming a battle cry against the empty sky that clouds and clears as when it likes who knows when. I made the rounds to play the game seeking fairness beneath the courts of justice with threats of being sent to hell where one finds reflection in the other. All the same between differing myths. Pray for courage to remain faithful. For the journey takes time to overcome our weaknesses in cheating, lying, stealing and avoiding the imagined road. Its hard to begin without reassurance in the words and papers significance. Begging for a stronger foundation to stand beneath the tree.