Aiwei Foo is an artist calling herself a "multi-disciplinary artist" and expresses through a cross-section of various themes. Born in Borneo, Malaysia. She is currently based in the suburbs of Kuala Lumpur. She uses herself as a medium to express unique arts which are improvisational and spontaneous, incorporating daily objects, food, and certain manners in her performances and visual artworks. I first encountered her work in 2016 at the international art fair UNKNOWN ASIA Art Exchange Osaka, where she was exhibiting a visual art series entitled "Beaming Girl". The woman emitting light from her eyes is, of course, her own medium. The concept of the light from eyes telling was “visible but invisible, not seeing or not being able to see” which was struck me out. I’ve been following her art since then. I am happy to be able to share Aiwei's work with you at the chignitta art gallery. (curated by Junko Sasanuki)
Aiwei Foo is a multi-disciplinary artist who was born in Borneo, currently lives and works in the suburb part of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Her approach in the creative process focused on the improvisational and spontaneous aspect via working with limitations of different kinds: from tea and food to textile and music, from written words to performance arts and visuals arts (drawings and videos). In 2016, Aiwei was the featured artist on Unknown Asia Art Exchange Osaka whereas in 2019,
she was one of the artist ambassadors for “Japan Art Travel”, organized by the Japan NationalTourism Organization (JNTO).
First of all, let me introduce three experimental projects which are entitled "Daily Hat Object", "Baking Exercise", and "Human Sculpture". These were created during the lockdown period in the spring of 2020. Everybody had to obligate restricted days to stay at home. It might seem irrelevant and useless, but she simply hoped to propose another angle on how we could form a new relationship with the objects around us. ⠀Please check out the images and videos below.
■Daily Hat Object
This series was made during the lockdown where utilizing the available resources around was somehow an obligatory circumstance. With the limitation of resources, the artist intends to suggest and form an alternative relationship with the objects around us through a seemingly absurd and light-hearted manner. This series was merely a demonstration of the few possibilities among many others.
"SHAMAN TEAROOM" PROJECT
Let me introduce Aiwei's newest performance project called "Shaman Tearoom" later in this part. Aiwei has started an experiential tearoom performance and food project since 2018. The tearoom project was commissioned by National Gallery Singapore in the same year whereas her exploration of using food as a medium also has been part of the Singapore Food festival art program in 2019. Her latest tearoom project, Shaman Tearoom (山門) was exhibited in the inaugural Singapore Ceramics Now 2021 (as part of Singapore Art Week) and her performance art sessions, together with her collaborator, experimental musician Kent Lee, were live-streamed from Kuala Lumpur due to the pandemic.
■ Shamarn Tearoom
The idea of Shaman Tearoom is to propose a concept to rest and be still in the midst of this busy urban living. It began as a multi-disciplinary approach to incorporate different art forms in a tearoom setting by using tea as a medium and language of expression. It is an experiential project where tea drinking is an improvisational act for the artists to interact with the audience. It seeks to blur the boundary of art and life where the roles of the artists and participants are equally important in completing the session.
Not exactly a conventional tea ceremony, Shaman Tearoom is a versatile project. The artist always considers the five sensory experiences as the artists believe that this immersive experience could bring forth another level of communication even without words. It suggests a state of mind and an acknowledgment of self. Let's look at a short film specially made for the exhibition, Singapore Ceramics Now! 2021, also a part of Singapore Art Week events.
Aiwei's art projects and performances are introduced on her instagram. I hope you keep enjoying them, feeling ambiance and tranquil moment. Last but not least, I was happy to exchange messages with Aiwei for making this program. Aiwei, thank you so much!