Alvin Xiong “Concerto In Ticktack” In Elam Grad Show 2015

Alvin Xiong thrilled us with his final Master of Fine Arts Presentation last weekend at the ELAM Graduate Exhibition. Congratulations Alvin! 

Concerto in Ticktack 

In the Yin and Yang symbol, Yin is the black side with the white dot in it, and Yang is the white side with the black dot in it.[1] In Chinese aesthetic philosophy, Yin and Yang (darkness and light) describe how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.[2] As Francis Bacon said, “In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present.”[3] This implies that darkness enhances the power of light, and the light makes the darkness even deeper.

 My project investigates the relationship between light and shadow, by using their relationship within a minimalist sculptural light work. Light has been an important element in the visual world since ancient civilizations. The sanctity of light and sun is one of the most ancient and persistent themes within sacred art and architecture. People in ancient times worshipped the sun, reflecting their ancient thoughts that the sun had immortal power over human mortality. On the other hand, the importance of light is not only apparent in ancient art, but also appears in minimalist and post minimalist earth art, like James Turrell’s The Roden Crater Project and Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels.

In this work, I try to integrate Yin and Yang philosophy to modify the space, creating an atmosphere of harmony for the viewer. In this particular space, the white items are my Yang elements; the floating black fabric creating a non-flat volume to respond the white area and balancing the entire energy in the room. 

Yin and Yang is also about the cycle of life: starting with the rising sun where the rays shine straight up. From there, the sun goes higher into the sky creating rays of light that point downwards creating shadows. As the sun rising, it creates energy and movement. Those items that were in the dark are now in the light. This thought provides a way to integrate drawing as a movement from the body into this contemporary light work. Drawing on my expression to respond to the light and showing the viewer how I worship light. Once the audience walks into the work, their body movements continuously activate the work together with the artist’s gesture, their presence completing the installation.

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[1] Schreuder, Duco. Vision and visual perception: The Conscious Base of Seeing. Bloomington: Archway Publishing, 2014 

[2] “Yin and Yang.” Livelovecreate. Accessed November 7, 2015. http://www.livelovecreate.org/2014/09/yin-and-yang.html

[3] “Fransic Bacon Quotes.” Brainy Quote. Accessed September 3, 2015. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/francisbac119506.html


Title: concerto in ticktack 

Medium: Light Emitting Diodes, electrical component, fabric, pigment 

Dimension: approx. 14,000L x 3,000H x 3,000W mm