2012. Digital print on rice paper, 6.5 x 0.6m. Coding by Jacky Boen
He Zhi Chu, romanised Chinese for “at the river’s beginning” references He Tu, romanised Chinese for “Yellow River Map”. The latter is a mythical diagram of lines and dots, symbols of the cosmos, and emerging alongside the beginning of Chinese civilisation.
Made shortly after the artist’s visit to the Yellow River in Yinchuan, West China, the work consists of 16 varying hollow and filled dots. The dots are arranged randomly using computational algorithm, suggesting an encryption process.
Conceived as infinitely scalable, the implication is of a work whose full entity can never be completed, nor can it ever be grasped in full view. Its presence as a print and as space take place alternatingly, and at once.
The artist, part of the Chinese diaspora, is following a long line of the Chinese tradition of deriving diagrams from earlier sources. As he contemplates his cultural heritage, he is drawn to the geographic origin of He Tu and its mythic, coded abstract form - akin to his gaze of contemporary China.
Operating in between reading and sensing, coding and writing, He Zhi Chu emerged as a way to inscribe new formal and spatial meanings.
2012 Sungai, Sejarah, 河流, 历史, 源, YRAC S-base, Gillman Barracks, Singapore (solo exhibition)