finding 16.5 inch
Finding 16.5 inch
Language barriers, a new environment, and strangers – I was lost in New York. Having been a student at School of Visual Arts for two years, I felt like I was not fitting in to the community. I felt myself abandoned from the stereotypes and life felt boring. After another bland day at school, I was on my way back home until an abandoned piece of wood t caught my attention. This lonely table leg lured me to pick it up and initially, I was merely interested in the wood’s appearance – its curvature and thickness and maybe the fact that this object was a fragment of a used furniture. It was a funny moment, I didn’t think I would get attached to a piece of useless wood so much. But I naturally began to carry this wood with me, everywhere I went. I began placing the wood between narrow alleyways of apartments, window frames, bike rails, and just about any places where the wood might fit in, without altering this wood in anyway. Each time I found a fitting place, I felt a flush of satisfaction like finishing a large jigsaw puzzle. I didn’t want to create an environment for the wood, but discover a readymade space for this object to fit in and become one. I wanted the wood to be seen as a genuine component of a space, as if the object was already there since the beginning of time. Likewise, I realized I was doing the same thing with my life.
If this object was either malleable or flexible in anyway, I would not have used it for my project. I chose this piece of wood because it reflects how people are. People don’t change easily under influence without their own will. Finding a fitting space for this wood also represents discovering a harmony among people and society. As humans, we all try to jump into an existing system, whether that is school, work, or life in general.
Every readymade space where my wood fits in perfectly is exactly 16.5 inches wide.
By harmonizing this random object with a random space, all of these successful locations now have at least one similarity - they are all 16.5 inches wide in distance. This distance that the wood measures allowed me to reconsider the distances that exist in my own life. While this piece of wood acts as a physical medium to measuring an exactly 16.5 inches wide space, this instrument also becomes a medium to describing my understanding of the distances that exist in my life as well. In my life, distance exists in levels of emotion, culture, lifestyle, attitude, and even physical distance from body to body. I always try to find an appropriate distance between myself and others to find a harmony within and my behavior of doing so is best represented by finding the perfect readymade space for my wood.
This piece of object sits at my home everyday, waiting for me to take a walk with it. My wood will travel further, expand its scope out of New York City, parallel to my own personal growth as an artist. My project will terminate when this wooden object loses its existence.