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21 Jun,2015

Play. Hands are the medium.


What happens when you make the game of pingpong useless? Zhuang Zi emphasized the value of uselessness. And in what way are hands connected to seeing?


The exhibition Play. Hands are the medium, is a total installation where the game of Ping Pong, the writings of Zhuang Zi and the Chinese characters for seeing (kàn) come together.


Researching the processes of our awareness (yishi) forms the main material in my work.

Through my installations I intent to set out the process of our perception in a critical and playfull way. In what way can an object chance by observation and in which way can an observer change by observing. What is the possibility of an authentic experience in a changing reality?


Our awareness, our possibility to perceive and the way we perceive gives us the opportunity to create a world.  I am interested in the nature of the intuitive creating process.

The process of making coincides with the process of perceiving. I am researching how art can be an situation, not the work will be the subject but the relation between the objects.


In my installations I often use everyday objects, ready-made's and found objects, creating a connection with daily reality and the personal. The starting point for making this work I used a popular game in China: PingPong.


The titel Play. Hands are the medium, is an invitation to play the game of pingpong. Play also relates to the action of playing an important moment in the process of making is which things seize the opportunity to lose their static meaning.


Hands are the medium. In  my research on how we look at things, I got interested in the Chinese character for seeing. The Chinese character (kàn) means look or see. It is a compound of two characters: Hand () and eyes (). This can be meaningful to the maker as well as for the observer.


Together with the 'Inner Chapters' of Zhuang Zi, I will have a dialog with the game of ping pong.

Here the logic/ causality of the game will be in dialog with the intuitive creating process of the maker. In the exhibition space different moments of this process will coincide.


The result is an exploration on conceptions of the body. Since Cartesian thinking the body in westerns philosophy is split in body and mind and the main role is taken over by the mind. In Daoism different conceptions of the body are experienced.


In the making of the work questions arise, as to where to localize the mind, and the minds 'eye'.

In the sorting which evens things out, Zhuang zi asks himself  ''the mind or the heart, the organ of thought. Should it be allowed to take charge of our lives?”


Vera Visser