Close Studio: A Viewing 2017
EXHIBITION. 9:00-17:00, Tuesday 16th May-Friday 21st May 2017; Studio 112, Jan van Eyck, Maastricht, the Netherlands.
Starting on November 25th 2016 until May 15th 2017 at studio 112 the camera in Junsheng’s studio – securely fastened and neatly positioned to capture his working space – has taken a single photograph precisely every minute. Now this endeavour has finished the artist has closed his studio, and opening it again it will only be for the ritual of this project’s passing. The mourning of its peering presence lost, the celebration of its completed task. This ritual is made visible in two distinct works. Presented on the walls of his studio that are within the frame of the image itself the collection of over 95000 photos have been translated into the serial presentation of each image titled Wallpaper 112. Daylight, night, his own absence and presence, and that of all others having visited his studio throughout this duration have all been captured and become part of this extensive sequence. But what are all of these images together? If the wallpaper reveals the serial abundance of this repetitive act, then what is its distillation? It is the single photograph - on the back wall where the camera once stood - that holds compressed within it the entirety of the series. Symbolically all its layers are framed along with it, stacked behind, yet concealed by its successor. Only its last imprint of time allowed visible. Time passed, sequenced and framed. Closing the studio becomes Close Studio.
- Huib Haye van der Werf, May 2017
Turning my own light in upon myself, I return And penetrate into the spiritual source, neither front nor back, - Shitou Xiqian, Caoange
Once I was thinking about how to end the project, a
word just flashed into my mind and I decided to let
it call the final stage of the work, in Mandarin it
reads hui guang fan zhao.
Four characters, (M: huiguang fanzhao; J: ekō henjō; K: hoegwang panjo) which above the photograph, from left to right in sequences, 回means “circle”, “turnround”, “return”, “report back”, “change”, etc.; 光 means “light”, “time”; 返 means “return”, “go back”; and 照 means “illuminate”, “reflect”,
“mirror”, “photograph”, etc.. Together they literally mean “turnround the light inward and shine back”, “turning the light back and illuminating inward”,
originally it’s a picturesque phrase that often appears in Zen literature. On the other hand, in daily language, this word means “the last glow of the setting sun”, in extension of this, it also means “terminal lucidity” which a special term to describe an unexpected return of mental clarity and memory that occurs in the time shortly before death of a person, or “a brief revival before the end of a being”. One can say one looks “huiguang fanzhao”, means one looks very well, but is dying, it’s the time.
- Zhou Junsheng, May 2017